Golden Software Blog

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Feb
16

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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Recent Comments
Guest — Kari Dickenson
Hi Brian, If you map doesn't have a coordinate system assigned to it, then there will not be a Spatial References tab since there... Read More
Monday, 12 February 2018 15:45
Guest — Brian Boer
why does my export options dialog window not include a "spatial references" tab? Any other way to assign a .prj to an exported sha... Read More
Monday, 12 February 2018 15:36
Guest — SHAHEEN
Can we export the following from surfer to arc map with all spatial and project information : 1_ 3D Suface raster 2_ vector ma... Read More
Saturday, 03 September 2016 02:15
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Jan
05

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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Guest — Alberto Vargas
Excellent contribution. Very interesting article.
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:40
Guest — Eugene
Awesome will definitely try this
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:30
Guest — dan
very nice!
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 09:07
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