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.

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.

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Customer Spotlight: Services Enviro-Mart Using Voxler

Golden Software customers possess a broad assortment of backgrounds from earth science 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 newsletter features Philippe Lemoyne, Professional Engineer, and Martin Page, Professional Chemist, of Services Enviro-Mart, Inc. and their use of Voxler.

Services Enviro-Mart, Inc. is a soil and underground water decontamination service company located in Quebec, Canada. Their services include the elimination of organic contaminants and odors. Enviro-Mart utilizes a revolutionary technology, Cool-Ox™, to treat the contaminants. The technology is typically less expensive and invasive than remediation via excavation.

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A View of Colorado Distilleries Using Mapping Software

As many of you know, the craft beer explosion has been hitting Colorado for years, becoming one of the main staples of the Colorado economy with hundreds of breweries littered across our colorful state.  Sampling craft beer at local breweries, a very popular activity among many adults, has become a mainstay of the Colorado culture. This phenomenon is not limited to beer; the craft beverage industry seems to keep growing and growing. Craft distilleries are also popping up all over the place. Colorado is now home to over 70 craft distilleries, providing a home for locals to sip some of the best tasting and finest quality spirits in the country. This artisan drink trend is creating a new sub-culture of bar-goers, where the distillery tasting rooms are their new target destinations.

As this trend increases in popularity, my curiousity rises, and I ask myself, “Where are these 71 distilleries located across the state? Are there any near my neighborhood in Denver? ” I put together an easy solution by using a combination of the internet, Surfer, MapViewer, Google Earth, and beginner-level GIS experience. I started the project by doing a little internet research to find the addresses of the distilleries in Colorado. Once I had done so, I used our mapping software Surfer to generate a data table of the addresses that were then geo-coded. With data that is geo-coded, it was fairly simple to create a post map in Surfer of all of the distillery locations across Colorado. Finally, I exported the post map from Surfer in KML format and imported it into Google Earth for seamless display of the distillery locations on that platform. I used the following approach to answer my questions :

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Customer Spotlight: GeoMathics One Finds Voxler Advantageous

Cornell David, Manager and Senior Geophysicist at GeoMathics One, a geological and geophysical service company located in Bucharest Romania, first encountered Golden Software products in 1990.

GeoMathics One uses Voxler to display an assortment of geophysical data including 3D chemical distribution and 3D geophysical data acquired with Electrical Resistivity Tomography systems. David states, “I’ve appreciated Voxler from the beginning. Voxler gives you the ability to plan a 3D geophysical investigation.”

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A Graphical Look at New Year's Resolutions

Each year, like clockwork, on January 1st millions of people take a long, hard (or maybe not-so long and hard) look at their lives and plan out their goals. I’m a list-maker and planner by nature, but I had never been into making New Year’s resolutions before I began working at Golden Software. All the statistics point to a system that is designed to fail. I heard on the radio recently that 75% of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first 24 hours. Now, I don’t know about that, but it did get me thinking about the numbers behind New Year’s resolutions, and why the success rate was so low.

New Year’s resolutions by the numbers. These Grapher 11 graphs show the types and specific resolutions people make, what percentage of Americans make and keep their resolutions, and the percentage of resolutions that are kept over the first six months of the year. Data from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html and http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ using our unique graphing software.

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