Golden Software Blog

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Visualization of Oklahoma's Induced Earthquakes

As many of us earth and atmospheric scientists already know, seismic activity in Oklahoma has increased dramatically since 2009. This increase in earthquakes seems to be common knowledge. However, I was curious about some of the specific details and statistics surrounding this new phenomenon. According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, or OGS, the northwest and central part of the state, which has historically had a low rate of seismic activity, has seen seismic activity rates jump by nearly 600% between the years 2009 – 2016 compared to the rate of activity from 2007 and earlier. I recently attended to the 22ndAnnual 3D Seismic Symposium in Denver, CO, where the director of the OGS, Dr. Jeremy Boak, gave a presentation about the seismology of induced, or human caused, earthquakes in Oklahoma and how this new trend was effecting the state.

Earthquake events in Oklahoma from 2009 - present mapped in Surfer color-coded by year.

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Recent Comments
Andrew Dudley
Hi Dr. Boak, Thank you for posting your comments here, they are definitely appreciated. I am no expert in earthquakes, geology, o... Read More
Monday, 28 March 2016 13:25
Andrew Dudley
Hi Peter, Thanks for leaving your comments. I'm not sure if the distribution of the seismic events has a spatial relationship to ... Read More
Monday, 21 March 2016 13:16
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Fun Personal Uses of Golden Software Products for Geo-Nerds

We here at Golden Software are geo-nerds (or geo-geeks, if you prefer). We really are passionate about maps and map-making, both on the job and in our free time. I’m not saying I’m a workaholic, but it’s hard to separate work from home when you love what you do! As such, I was very excited to show my kids the books listed in the 15 Picture Books That Support Children’s Spatial Skills Development article (in case you’re wondering, our favorites were Shrinking Mouse, Big Bug, and You Are (Not) Small).

I also often think of uses for our software in my personal life. One project I have ‘on the books’, so to speak, is mapping out our unfinished basement in Surfer, so we can design a finished product in order to procure a building permit. Another work-in-progress is a MapViewer pin map with locations and attributes for each of the playgrounds that we’ve visited locally. A project I have recently completed is designing a play area for my kids. We live in an HOA neighborhood, so everything outside belongs to the HOA, and we need to get approval to put or build anything out there. Since our patio is too small for a playground and we have some space that’s hidden from the road between our garage and our house, I thought I would get approval to build a sandbox there that we can put a slide in and perhaps add a swing set to later. Here is the result:

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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 2.12.3
Price1-3 licenses $849/license
4-10 licenses $805/license
11+ licenses $765/license
Free
Development ModelCommercialOpen source
Plug-ins
Free Resources
Website
Live technical support
Phones
Email
Live chat
Knowledge Base
Forums
User Groups
Documentation
In-program help
Training manual
Paid for Resources
Full PDF user guide
Live training
Provided by
Golden Software &
authorized resellers
Provided by 3rd party
contributors
Map Types
Base map
Contour map
Image map
Post map
Classed post map
Shaded relief map
Vector map (1-grid)
Vector map (2-grid)
Watershed map
Viewshed map
3D surface map
3D wireframe map
Pie chart thematic map
Histogram thematic map
Map Features
Axes
Profiles
Scale bar
Color scale
Coordinate systems
Import/edit/export attributes
Measure distance
Measure angles
Digitize XYZ points
Overlay maps
Stack maps
Log contours
Save/load contour levels
Edit contours
Inline contour labels
Map transparency
Gridding/Interpolation/Rasterizing
Inverse distance
Kriging
Minimum curvature
Modified Shepard's method
Natural neighbor
Nearest neighbor
Polynomial regression
Radial basis function
Triangulation with linear interpolation
Moving average
Data metrics
Local polynomial
Function grid
Variogram modeling
Grid date/time data
Grid reports with statistics
Faults
Breaklines
Anisotropy
TIN support
Grid Functions
Math
Calculus
Filter
Spline smooth
Blank/null
Convert
Extract
Transform
Mosaic
Volume
Slice
Residuals
Grid info
Grid node editor
Assign coordinate system
Regrid
Grid metadata
Grid transpose
3D File Viewer
Worksheet
Automation
Import/Export
Import options
33
22
Export options
27
28
Open grid
47
64
Save grid
24
64

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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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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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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