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 have an appetite for knowledge and a desire to share it! I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2008 with a B.S. in Mass Communication. However, I soon found that this path did not provide the stimulation I craved. I became more and more interested in the changing technologies around me, so I went back to school t...o study computer programming for a short time before making my way in the tech industry. I provide technical support for all six Golden Software products. I enjoy hearing how our customers use our software in their professional and personal lives. Working at Golden Software provides me the opportunity to learn new things every day while also satisfying my desire to help others. The best part of my day is answering users' questions and helping them solve their problems and display their data in an engaging and informative manner! When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, making my own health and beauty products, seeing live music, and getting outdoors! More

Surfer 13 New Feature Series: Viewshed Maps

Today's new feature series focuses on viewshed maps. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I've republished Leslie McWhirter's article from our newsletter published in July 2015 (Issue 79). Read on for an example of creating and using a viewshed map.

With the release of Surfer 13 comes an exciting new map type: viewshed maps. Viewshed maps show visibility of the surrounding map from a given point location. These maps have a wide range of uses in industries like security, architecture and landscape architecture, military, communications, surveying, wildlife research, and urban planning. Uses include site selection for buildings, radio/cell phone towers, or parking structures based on potential views or openness of the region, selection of survey locations, and discovery of holes in radar coverage. Read on for an example use case, and then contact us to see how viewshed maps can be integrated into your daily workflows and presentations.

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Surfer 13 New Feature Series: Graticules

In the coming weeks, I'll be introducing some of the new features in Surfer 13. The first feature discussed in this series is the addition of graticules!

A graticule is a network of lines representing the Earth's parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. While a graticule represents lines or latitude and longitude, a map-grid represents lines in other units, such as meters or feet. A graticule or map-grid can be added to a map by selecting the map and clicking the Map | Add | Graticule command. Graticules and map-grids are a great way to add more context to your maps. Display your axes in the units of your data (feet, meters, etc.), and add a graticule to show latitude and longitude values too! Do your clients need a map displayed in multiple units? Project your map in UTM meters, but display a grid in feet!

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Maps and Map Layers in Surfer Mapping Software: The Source Coordinate System vs. the Target Coordinate System

Since Surfer 10, users have been able to create maps using layers that contain data from different coordinate systems and reproject the layers to the desired coordinate system on the fly. This valuable feature has streamlined workflows, eliminating the need to transform all data to the same coordinate system before using it to create multi-layered maps. For an example, see the sample file CoordinateSystems.srf, located by default at C:\\Program Files\\Golden Software\\Surfer 12\\Samples. Let's take a look at this powerful component of Surfer's 3D Mapping software!

Know your data

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Mapping Challenge: Use Golden Software's Mapping Software to Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

I ran across a recent mapping challenge while perusing reddit.com's GIS community, and I wanted to extend the challenge to Golden Software users! This challenge asks users to submit a map that would help someone survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. The challenger also requests steps used to create the map. The challenge is presented as a fun way to help others learn mapping software.

Golden Software documentation writer Zach whipped up a submission today. His map was created using a combination of MapViewer 8 and the eagerly anticipated Surfer 13! Zach's map uses real city population density data from the Colorado Front Range presented as a proportionally-sized post layer, his own calculated zombie population data displayed as an image layer, a base layer downloaded from an online server, and a contour layer created from manipulated data from a grid downloaded from an online server (a new Surfer 13 feature). Stay tuned for future blog post detailing how to recreate this map!

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Using Didger and MapViewer to Build a Site Map

I recently took a trip to Tennessee to attend the 14th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The festival takes place on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, TN. In addition to music and art installations, Bonnaroo has campgrounds organized by pods, a cinema tent, a comedy theater, and more! Upon arrival to the festival, attendees are given a map of the festival site. With stage names that include What Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, and The Other Tent, the map is a necessary tool for many attendees! For this post, I used a combination of Didger 5 and MapViewer 8 to recreate the map and export it to KML to display in Google Earth.

To begin, I downloaded the PDF version of Bonnaroo's map (pictured below) from their website.

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