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.

Quickly Interpolate Elevation Data with Raster Tools

A classified raster layer in ArcMap generated from Raster Tools overlaid with a roads shapefile.

Golden Software’s new Raster Tools add-in for ArcMap leverages Surfer’s 12 different gridding methods directly in the ArcMap ecosystem to create accurate and precise raster datasets from your point data with only a few clicks. Raster Tools is a wizard-based add-in that walks you through all of the necessary interpolation parameters that have been elegantly laid out on 3 pages, so you have quick access to select an interpolation method, customize neighborhood search parameters, choose output raster extents and resolution, and more.

Continue reading
  4318 Hits
0 Comments
4318 Hits
  0 Comments

Gridding and Contouring Airborne Geophysical Survey Data

Golden Software recently hosted a training class on gridding and interpolating data in Surfer. Before the class was held, a user asked if we’d specifically cover the best options for gridding airborne geophysical data. At the time, it was not in the schedule, but as I looked at the data I thought this type of data could be very common and would make a great example. In this type of data, the data is taken in lines, where the data points along the lines are much closer together than the spacing between the lines.  Users generally want to interpolate the data to create a smooth color-filled image map while maintaining the data at sufficient resolution to show important anomalies.

Continue reading
  6323 Hits
6 Comments
Recent Comments
Kari Dickenson
You are correct that one degree of latitude is not the same as one degree of longitude. As you say, you could do the conversion ... Read More
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 10:22
Jennifer Woodson
Thanks for commenting, Pascual! You're absolutely correct that degrees of latitude and longitude are not equal, and Surfer does no... Read More
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 08:44
6323 Hits
  6 Comments

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.

Continue reading
  21657 Hits
4 Comments
Recent Comments
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
21657 Hits
  4 Comments

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.

Continue reading
  2667 Hits
0 Comments
2667 Hits
  0 Comments

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 2.12.3Price1-3 licenses $849/license4-10 licenses $805/license11+ licenses $765/licenseFreeDevelopment ModelCommercialOpen sourcePlug-insFree ResourcesWebsiteLive technical supportPhonesEmailLive chatKnowledge BaseForumsUser GroupsDocumentationIn-program helpTraining manualPaid for ResourcesFull PDF user guideLive trainingProvided by Golden Software & authorized resellersProvided by 3rd party contributorsMap TypesBase mapContour mapImage mapPost mapClassed post mapShaded relief mapVector map (1-grid)Vector map (2-grid)Watershed mapViewshed map3D surface map3D wireframe mapPie chart thematic mapHistogram thematic mapMap FeaturesAxesProfilesScale barColor scaleCoordinate systemsImport/edit/export attributesMeasure distanceMeasure anglesDigitize XYZ pointsOverlay mapsStack mapsLog contoursSave/load contour levelsEdit contoursInline contour labelsMap transparencyGridding/Interpolation/RasterizingInverse distanceKrigingMinimum curvatureModified Shepard's methodNatural neighborNearest neighborPolynomial regressionRadial basis functionTriangulation with linear interpolationMoving averageData metricsLocal polynomialFunction gridVariogram modelingGrid date/time dataGrid reports with statisticsFaultsBreaklinesAnisotropyTIN supportGrid FunctionsMathCalculusFilterSpline smoothBlank/nullConvertExtractTransformMosaicVolumeSliceResidualsGrid infoGrid node editorAssign coordinate systemRegridGrid metadataGrid transpose3D File ViewerWorksheetAutomationImport/ExportImport options3322Export options2728Open grid4764Save grid2464

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.

Continue reading
  8267 Hits
1 Comment
8267 Hits
  1 Comment

Subscribe To Our Blog

Most Popular

For more than 20 years, Surfer mapping software has been used by representatives of nearly all indus...
Over the years, one of the most common questions asked is “How can I get my contour map out of Surfe...
I'm pleased to introduce our first ever guest blogger, Scott Carter, Owner and Creative Director of ...

Exceeding expectations

Go to top