Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I've been part of the Golden Software team since 2008. Colorado School of Mines is my alma mater (Go Orediggers!) where I earned a degree in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Economics/Business. I must say, I'm very proud of my CSM hardhat and whitewashed rock! When I'm not here in the office, I can typically be found hanging...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I've been part of the Golden Software team since 2008. Colorado School of Mines is my alma mater (Go Orediggers!) where I earned a degree in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Economics/Business. I must say, I'm very proud of my CSM hardhat and whitewashed rock! When I'm not here in the office, I can typically be found hanging around the beautiful Golden area with my family.


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Mar
01

33 Years of Customer-Focused Mapping and Graphing

I was recently interviewed by Scientific Computing World (you can read the full article here), a global publication dedicated to providing computing and information technology resources to scientists and engineers. During this interview, I enjoyed discussing how the needs of these scientists and engineers have changed, and how Golden Software will continue meeting their needs in these ever changing times.

The month of March marks our 33rd anniversary, and as you can imagine, we have witnessed many changes over the past three decades! It’s difficult to recall days where printed image resolution of 24dpi was the norm, but that’s where we began. Our first product, PlotCall, was a breakthrough and offered 200dpi imagery resolution for computer generated maps. Fast forward to today and you’ll see our products used to generate maps and graphs for scientific publications, cutting-edge research, business intelligence reports, and even expert witness documents.

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4177 Hits
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Feb
19

Customer Spotlight: Dr. Eric Delmelle Uses Voxler 3D Data Visualization For Space-Time

Golden Software customers possess a broad assortment of backgrounds from earth sciences and engineering to education and politics. This vast background results in a variety of uses for Golden Software's products. Each customer uses the software in a unique way, and we are pleased to share these stories. This blog article features Dr. Eric Delmelle, a professor of GIS and Health Geography in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina, and his use of Voxler, among other applications, to visualize space-time patterns of human behaviors and human health issues.

Dr. Delmelle's research focuses on answering fundamental epidemiological questions where spatial and spatiotemporal methodology is a critical avenue for analysis. He uses robust geocomputational methodologies that "deepen our understanding on the dynamics of infectious and non-infectious diseases". Dr. Delmelle is dedicated to the development of new visualization techniques that detect space-time patterns at different scales and leverage state of the art computational techniques to generate predictive models that could ultimately have influence on health decisions in the public sector.

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Feb
04

A Look at GIS Applications in Different Industries

Last week I attended the GIS Colorado’s winter meeting. During this daylong event, a number of organizations presented on a wide variety of GIS software applications. The Colorado Department of Transportation presented on tracking and analyzing snow plow performance, a topic that hits close to home as we are currently buried in over a foot of snow here in Golden, Colorado. Another presenting government agency was the US Census Bureau as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 US Census. From the private sector, Astadia gave a demonstration on their augmented reality tool for locating assets, AECOM described their use of Hazus to prevent dam breaks, and Critigen showed how they visualize fish habitats. We also heard from the Colorado Geographic Alliance who is working to bring a Giant Traveling Map of Colorado to kids here in our home state

GIS has such a wide range of applications. As such, it has become a key component within any organization. GIS allows us to visualize and analyze our data to better understand trends and relationships. Where should a transmitter be constructed with the least visible impact to the surrounding community? What is the best way to evacuate a town in case of an emergency? What will happen to the river biology if a kayak park is constructed upstream? These are a few of the many questions GIS can help answer.

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Jan
28

Surfer Mapping Software Assists the Sporting Community

The dreaded dead spot. Tormenting professional and recreational players alike, the dead spot can quickly wreak havoc on any indoor gymnasium event whether it is basketball, red rover, or a track event. When dribbled on a smooth surface, a ball typically bounces back quite easily; however, when the ball happens upon a dead spot, the bounce back is either greatly reduced or even changes direction. Dead spots are also noticeable when running across the floor, and the supposedly solid surface is not so solid underfoot. Injuries have been caused by these flooring distortions. Thankfully, the individuals at Mathusek Incorporated, a sports and commercial flooring contractor, have found a way to eliminate these dead spots in their floor installations by utilizing Surfer.

A sports floor is only as good as the concrete slab it rests on. One of the leading causes of a dead spot is the flatness, or lack thereof, of the slab. Prior to installing a gym floor, Mathusek offers a concrete slab assessment. Specifications require the slab tolerance to be no more and no less than 1/8 of an inch in a 10-foot radius. To verify the level, Mathusek establishes a benchmark in the middle of the floor. Readings are then taken every five feet and recorded. Each point is compared to the center benchmark to verify it is within the 1/8” requirement.

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Jan
25

Comparing Surfer and QGIS

Quite often people will ask, “What are the differences between Surfer and QGIS?” Below is a comparison of the main features and functionality of each program. Surfer, as you may know, provides 2D and 3D contouring complete with surface mapping software. QGIS has an assortment of plugins, and we haven’t been able to review them all. I encourage you review and let me know if there is any missing information. As new information comes in, I’ll be sure to update the matrix below.

 Surfer version 13QGIS version 2.12.3
Price1-3 licenses $849/license
4-10 licenses $805/license
11+ licenses $765/license
Free
Development ModelCommercialOpen source
Plug-ins
Free Resources
Website
Live technical support
Phones
Email
Live chat
Knowledge Base
Forums
User Groups
Documentation
In-program help
Training manual
Paid for Resources
Full PDF user guide
Live training
Provided by
Golden Software &
authorized resellers
Provided by 3rd party
contributors
Map Types
Base map
Contour map
Image map
Post map
Classed post map
Shaded relief map
Vector map (1-grid)
Vector map (2-grid)
Watershed map
Viewshed map
3D surface map
3D wireframe map
Pie chart thematic map
Histogram thematic map
Map Features
Axes
Profiles
Scale bar
Color scale
Coordinate systems
Import/edit/export attributes
Measure distance
Measure angles
Digitize XYZ points
Overlay maps
Stack maps
Log contours
Save/load contour levels
Edit contours
Inline contour labels
Map transparency
Gridding/Interpolation/Rasterizing
Inverse distance
Kriging
Minimum curvature
Modified Shepard's method
Natural neighbor
Nearest neighbor
Polynomial regression
Radial basis function
Triangulation with linear interpolation
Moving average
Data metrics
Local polynomial
Function grid
Variogram modeling
Grid date/time data
Grid reports with statistics
Faults
Breaklines
Anisotropy
TIN support
Grid Functions
Math
Calculus
Filter
Spline smooth
Blank/null
Convert
Extract
Transform
Mosaic
Volume
Slice
Residuals
Grid info
Grid node editor
Assign coordinate system
Regrid
Grid metadata
Grid transpose
3D File Viewer
Worksheet
Automation
Import/Export
Import options
33
22
Export options
27
28
Open grid
47
64
Save grid
24
64

Beyond the actual functionality, another difference between Surfer and QGIS is the development models. Surfer is a commercially developed program whereas QGIS is open source and is developed by a community of contributors. While it’s difficult to quantify, I believe it’s worth mentioning the pros and cons, according to me, associated with our commercial software model and QGIS’s open source model.

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — P. Wallström
So the conclusion is that I should buy Surfer and download QGIS and I have them both? In my work I use Bentley Microstation, ARC, ... Read More
Thursday, 23 March 2017 01:04
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