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.

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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Customer Spotlight: Dr. John Hall Uses Surfer For Geological Purposes

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 features Dr. John Hall of the Geological Survey of Israel and his use of Surfer.

Dr. Hall is a marine geophysicist and doctoral graduate from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological (now Earth) Observatory. Upon the completion of his doctorate, he worked for the Geological Survey of Israel until his retirement at the end of 2005. His research includes global tectonics, offshore geophysical surveys, and compilations of detailed gridded topography for Israel and neighboring areas. Although Dr. Hall is retired, he continues to utilize Golden Software’s own contouring, gridding, and 3D surface mapping program, Surfer.

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Jennifer Woodson
Hi Chuck, Thanks for your comment! Please contact me at jennifer@goldensoftware.com if you have work you would like to share! We'... Read More
Thursday, 31 December 2015 13:13
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Welcome to the Sondermülldeponie Kölliken (SMDK); the Kölliken Hazardous Waste Landfill

Rainer Albert is an experienced Surfer user and recently discovered the versatility of Voxler. Below outlines his contribution to the modeling of the Kölliken hazardous waste landfill using 3D visualizations from both Surfer and Voxler.

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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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Updated: Netherlands Company Uses Surfer to Search for Drowning Victim

We recently received an update on the case of the missing diver. The blog has been rewritten to reflect this new information.

November 20, 2011 - Four recreational divers went looking for wreckages at the bottom of De Nieuwe Meer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, an approximately 30 meter deep lake. The group split into two pairs and set out on their adventure. They were well-equipped and all wore full face diving masks.

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