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 grew up in the California Bay Area and received my B.S. degree in Earth Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During that time, I spent a year abroad living in Leeds, England. After graduation, I took a year off to work as an intern at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, learning more about hydrogeology a...nd performing laboratory experiments and some basic computer modeling on groundwater remediation strategies. I continued with my education, graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with an M.S. in Geology, focusing on economic geology. My graduate project was delineating a copper-gold exploration target in Chile. During my graduate degree, I worked at the campus computing center. Supporting computer systems and programs was a new experience for me, and I found that I really enjoyed helping the students use computers and solve problems. I was excited when a position opened at Golden Software, allowing me to tie my knowledge of geology with my desire to solve problems and help users. I began working at Golden Software in 2000, and am currently the Surfer product manager. My family (including our cat, dog, hamster and fish) and I call Nevada our home and enjoy camping, biking, hiking and traveling. More

Exporting Maps from Surfer Mapping Software into ArcMap

Over the years, one of the most common questions asked is “How can I get my contour map out of Surfer mapping software and into ArcMap?” It's actually quite easy to get maps from Surfer into ArcMap. You can just click File | Export from Surfer and export to a shapefile (*.SHP). There are other formats you can choose (e.g. DXF, MIF, GeoTIFF, etc.) but I will focus on SHP for this article.

You might ask, “What about attributes?” When exporting to a SHP file in Surfer 13, the Z value of the contour lines are exported as attributes to the associated DBF file. In addition, if you have objects in a base layer that have attributes, those attributes are exported to the SHP file as well. All attributes are stored in the associated DBF file for the SHP.

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Jennifer Woodson
Hi Shaheen, You can export any map to an image format or PDF. In the Export Options dialog, on the Spatial References page, just ... Read More
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 15:37
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Variations in Hillshading: Creating Tanaka-style Illuminated Contour Maps

There many methods for displaying contour lines in visualization and GIS software programs. In most cases, representing terrain data with standard contours or hillshading techniques are sufficient. In other cases, you may want a more artistic technique to help emphasize specific features in the data or to make the map more pleasing to the eye. One of these techniques is using the Tanaka method for creating illuminated contours. I recently read an article about how to create illuminated contours in ArcGIS and couldn’t resist trying to replicate the results in Surfer's mapping software.

The Tanaka method applies a northwest light source to a contour map. The contour lines then change in color and width based on their relationship to the light source. Contour lines facing the light source are drawn in white while those in the shadow are drawn in black. The contour lines facing the light source (or facing away from it) are thicker, and the contour lines in the orthogonal direction are thinner. A more detailed explanation of the method can be found online at: http://www.mbmg.mtech.edu/pdf/gis_illum.pdf

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Jennifer Woodson
Let us know how it goes, Eugene. We'd love to see your finished product! Jennifer Woodson Technical Support... Read More
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:36
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The Unicorn Project: See Surfer In Action

Bernhard Hochwimmer is the Executive Director and Manager of Geology for Dart Mining NL based in Melbourne, Australia. Dart Mining NL is a base metal and gold exploration development company with many projects located in the northeastern section of the Victoria province.

One such project of great interest is The Unicorn Project. Hochwimmer uses Surfer mapping software to create 2D and 3D geochemical maps of the region to be mined. These maps for the Unicorn Project are compiled utilizing some 1,312 soil, float and rock chip samples taken on 100 x100m grid intervals. By overlaying maps of different elemental geochemistry, Hochwimmer can estimate the mining potential within Mt. Unicorn (Figure 1).

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What Are the Most Popular Commands and Map Types in Surfer?

When you installed Surfer 13, you might have noticed the request to be part of our customer tracking program. What is this? This isn’t where we track your personal data or use any personal information from your computer. What this entails is Golden Software checking to see what commands you use in Surfer. That’s all. We want to see what you click and how many times you click it. 

Why is this important? This tells us which features are used the most, and which features are used the least. The more times a feature is used, the more weight it carries when the time comes for us to discuss which new improvements to include in the next upgrade. For example, if the results show that most people create contour maps and very few people use vector maps, we may favor new features and enhancements for contour maps over vector maps. 

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Visually Verify Grid Results Through Surfer Gridding Software

You’ve used Surfer to grid your data and created a great looking map. You put it in the final report for your presentation. And you think, that was easy and I’m all done now.

The final map is prepared and ready for the report.

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