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Surfer 12 Highlight: Export Non-Map Objects with Map Coordinates

One of the many new features in Surfer 12 is the ability to export non-map objects with map coordinates. This can be useful if you have drawn objects; such as arrows, polylines, or text boxes that you want to reference to map coordinates.

As an example, in the image below I have created a map showing the Golden, CO area, with the location of the Golden Software office building. I have also added several drawing objects to the map: symbol objects (green and blue stars), a route (green polyline), and a blue text object (Golden Software Office). 

Image1Example map in Surfer 12 with map objects and non-map objects.

Using previous versions of Surfer, you could export both the map objects and the non-map objects to view in other programs. However, in past versions there was a workaround for file types like DXF and KML that allowed you to do a dummy export to save the coordinates, and then export to the saved coordinates rather than application coordinates. Surfer 12 has added a feature to streamline this process so you can export non-map objects in map space!


Below are two subsets of the map above showing the map objects (left) and the non-map objects (right). 

Image2.png Image3.png

Surfer 12 display showing map objects (left) and non-map objects (right).

Below are the steps to export your map (map objects and non-map objects) to a Google Earth file format (*.kmz).

  1. Create a map in Surfer that contains both map objects and non-map objects.Use the File | Export command to open the Export dialog (shown below).
  2. In the Export dialog, navigate to the location you would like to save your file, and enter an appropriate File name.
  3. Set the Save as type to KMZ Google Earth KMZ (*.kmz) from the drop-down menu.
  4. Uncheck the box next to Selected objects only. This will export all objects (both map and non-map objects listed in the Object Manager.   
  5. **Check the box next to Show options dialog.**
  6. Click Save to export your map.

Export dialog to export map and non-map objects to a Google Earth KMZ File.

After you click Save, the Export Options dialog will appear. Here you will need to set the Scaling source for your Google Earth KMZ export. From the Scaling source drop-down menu, choose Map:… from the list of available options. You will see the File Rectangle coordinates adjust so that they display in map units.

Set the Scaling options so that the Scaling source uses your map coordinates.

You can also specify additional KML/KMZ export options in the KML/KMZ Options tab, shown below. 

Image6.pngExport Options menu, displaying the KML/KMZ Options.

When you have specified the desired options for the KMZ file, click OK to exit the Export Options dialog and generate your file for use in Google Earth.

You can view your map in Google Earth by double-clicking the KMZ file, or using the File | Open command in Google Earth. You can see how this Surfer map is displayed in Google Earth in the image below:

Image7.pngExample Surfer 12 map with map objects and drawing objects displayed in Google Earth.

In Google Earth, the map layers from Surfer are retained so that you can toggle the view of individual map layers and map objects similar to the Object Manager in Surfer. Below is a screenshot of Google Earth, highlighting (in red) the map objects and drawing objects imported from Surfer.

Image8.pngMap objects highlighted in Google Earth after being exported from Surfer 12.

Once you have setup and exported your Surfer map to Google Earth, it can easily be shared with others who may not have Surfer.

If you would like to check out Surfer 12’s other new features or test drive the demo, please visit the Surfer 12 website:

The cost of a new Surfer 12 license is $849, though you can upgrade from any previous version of Surfer for only $279. You can purchase the software using our secure online order form and select Download Delivery to receive download instructions within two business hours.

Golden Software offers many resources to assist you in learning the program:

  • Tutorials: to access, click Help | Tutorials
  • Support Central provides access to:



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Sunday, 18 November 2018

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