By Blakelee Mills on Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Category: Surfer

View All Aspects of Your Data with Surfer’s New 3D Viewer

 Pop quiz! You have 5 seconds to determine this landmark - Go!

Times up! Now, you have 5 seconds to determine this landmark – Go!

If you guessed a bridge for either image, you're correct. I would wager you recognized the bridge more quickly in the 2nd image than in the first.

We live in a three dimensional world. As such, it's usually easier to understand three dimensional models as opposed to their two dimensional counterparts. Now that's not to say 2D doesn't have its place. I'm a great fan of platformer video games because in my attempt to play the 3D games, I end up running circles in some obscure corner of the realm, staring at the ceiling while my teammates yell at me. 2D can distill an environment down to the important aspects. But I digress. 

3D models are a realistic and accurate way to communicate information. 3D models are used in to render construction designs, plan search and rescue efforts, visualize archaeological remains, design excavation or remediation projects, or visualize the Theophilus crater on the moon.

The latest release of Surfer includes a 3D view window to display a map in three-dimensional view space. The input grids from grid-based layers are rendered as surfaces in the 3D view. Base (vector and raster), post, and classed post layers are overlaid on the surfaces. 

The 3D view window includes a number of useful features that make it easy to navigate through the model. Achieve a 360 degree perspective of your map by rotating it, walking along the surface, displaying and adjusting water levels, adjusting the vertical exaggeration, or by creating and recording fly-through videos to share with others. Additionally, control the final display of the model by changing the background, adjusting the lighting, and altering the field of view, location, and aim properties.

Active maintenance users receive these new features for free. Simply download and install the latest version and you're good to go. Anyone else wishing to experience the new release, download the two-week Surfer trial.

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