Surfer is a grid-based mapping program that interpolates irregularly spaced XYZ data into a regularly spaced grid. Grids may also be imported from other sources, such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The grid is used to produce different types of maps including contour, color relief, and 3D surface maps among others. Many gridding and mapping options are available allowing you to produce the map that best represents your data.
An extensive suite of gridding methods is available in Surfer. The variety of available methods provides different interpretations of your data, and allows you to choose the most appropriate method for your needs. In addition, data metrics allow you to map statistical information about your gridded data. Surface area, projected planar area, and volumetric calculations can be performed quickly in Surfer. Cross-sectional profiles can also be computed and exported.
The grid files can be edited, combined, filtered, sliced, queried, and mathematically transformed. For example, grids can be sliced to create cross-sectional profiles, or the Grids | Calculate | Isopach command can be used to create an isopach map from two grid files. Grids can be edited with an intuitive user interface in the grid editor.
|CREATE PROFESSIONAL MAPS
Easily communicate both simple and complex spatial data. Surfer gives you the tools to create high-quality maps to clearly deliver your message to coworkers, clients, and stakeholders.
SURFER MAP TYPES
MODEL DATA IN MULTI-DIMENSIONS
Gain deeper insights into your data when viewed in three-dimensional space. Surfer’s 3D viewer makes it easy to model, analyze, and understand all aspects of your data. Switching between Surfer’s 2D and 3D perspectives ensures you discover all of your data’s patterns and trends.
Achieve a 360° Perspective
View point data in true 3D space
LiDAR POINT CLOUDS
LiDAR is an increasingly popular data collection method used within many fields including archaeology, surveying, GIS, and more. Use Surfer’s extensive LiDAR processing and visualization features to take advantage of all that LiDAR has to offer.
Surfer’s LiDAR Point Cloud Features
Create a point cloud from multiple LAS/LAZ files
Remove, reclassify or crop to selected points
Surfer’s LAS/LAZ Filtering Options
Spatial filtering based on XY bounds or elevation data limits
You will be up and running in matter of minutes. Surfer’s user interface was designed to take the guesswork out of learning a new program. We worked hard to streamline workflows so you don’t have to.
Surfer User Interface Features
Welcome dialog to get you started
Contents window to easily manage layers of maps and models
ENHANCE MAPS & MODELS
Surfer gives you the tools to visualize and model all types of data, but it doesn’t stop there. Surfer’s extensive customization options allow you to convey complex ideas in an easy to understand manner. Enhance your maps and models with a variety of customizations options.
Surfer Customization Options
Add legends, cross sections, magnifiers, scale bars, and multiple axes
Combine or stack multiple maps
FULL GRID CONTROL
Surfer gives you extensive control over grid files. Create isopach maps for structural geology, calculate volumes for inventory management or derivatives for terrain analysis, and even create site suitability models all with grid files. Achieve a complete understanding of your underlying data.
Surfer Grid Features
Directly edit the underlying grid data
Project grids from one coordinate system to another
Edit contour lines down to the finest detail. Surfer’s grid editor lets you quickly adjust contour lines by interactively editing the underlying grid file. Brush, warp, smooth, push down or up, and erase grid nodes, and immediately see the changes to your grid-based maps.
Perform free-hand contour editing
Warp contour lines
GRID DATA WITH CERTAINTY
Have complete confidence in the accuracy of your model. Surfer provides numerous interpolation methods to grid regularly or irregularly spaced data onto a grid or raster, and each interpolation method provides complete control over gridding parameters. Plus, no time is wasted with multithreaded gridding!
Surfer Gridding Methods
Surfer Interpolation Features
Create grid files directly from contour polylines
MAKE MEANINGFUL DECISIONS
Get answers to your questions with Surfer’s geoprocessing tools. Process your data and analyze relationships. Narrow down areas of interest, highlight important intersections, or perform mathematical calculations on the underlying data to make informed decisions.
Surfer Geoprocessing Tools
View, create, edit and delete object attributes using the convenient Attribute Table
Convert between polygons and polylines
Apply line, fill, and symbol properties based on attribute values
IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ONLINE DATA
An abundance of data is at your fingertips waiting to be visualized. Surfer gives you immediate access to worldwide aerial imagery, Open Street Map imagery, worldwide vector data, and terrain data. If you have your own favorite data servers or access to a private data server, include a custom link to that source for easy access. Surfer makes it easy to access the surplus of online data.
Supported server types:
Web mapping server (WMS)
WORK SEAMLESSLY WITH ALL COORDINATE SYSTEMS
Your job is to transform data into valuable visualizations. Surfer’s job is to make it easy for you. Surfer effortlessly manages unreferenced data and data projected in different/multiple coordinate systems. It really is that easy.
Surfer Coordinate System Features
Over 2500 predefined coordinate systems
Over 80 ellipsoids
WHAT’S NEW IN SURFER?
There are several new features in the latest release of Surfer! The top new features are listed below.
Top Features in Surfer’s Latest Release-
IMPROVED 3D SURFACE MAPS
New methods have been added to show the base on 3D surface layers. You can now select three different Z value settings to define to what Z value the base is shown. Previously, the base for the 3D surface layer filled the sides from the surface down to the minimum Z value of the grid file. Now you can select to show the base from the surface down to the minimum Z value in the map, to the minimum Z value in the grid, or to any Z value that you specify.
DIGITIZE IN 3D
Before this new release, you could digitize your XY coordinates in 2D maps. Many of you use this feature to create blanking data. You can now perform the same type of digitization of data in the 3D view. 3D digitization collects XY and Z coordinates. Although you can use this new feature in a variety of functions, one function could be to obtain the XYZ coordinates of specific spot locations on a surface or points on subsurface drillhole paths.
This new feature works well with our new drillhole map. For example, when viewed in 3D, you can digitize specific locations at depth on each drillhole (e.g. the top of a unit or stratigraphic layer, determined by your displayed drillhole data). You can then go back to the 2D plot view, grid the digitized XYZ data, and add a contour layer from grid file to the existing drillhole map. The new surface will also be displayed in the 3D view with the drillhole paths!
NEW FRAMES FOR COLOR SCALE BARS AND MAP SCALE BARS
We have added two important enhancements to the visual appeal and aesthetics of maps that you need to present to clients or peers. You can now add and customize a frame around color scale bars and map scale bars. You can set the margin between the frame and text in the scale bars and you can define its fill and line properties. This is very useful when overlaying the color or map scale bar on top of a filled map, such as an aerial photograph.
MORE HELP WITH COLOR SCALE BARS
We know that many of you often build maps that have several layers and thus have several color scale bars. A new enhancement makes it easy for you to identify which layer a color scale bar belongs to. In the Contents window, click on one of the color scales and the name of the layer it is linked to is displayed in the Properties window.
|MANAGE WARNING MESSAGES AND WARNING DEFAULT BEHAVIOR
Because of Surfer’s flexibility, the application warns you when changes you make to maps may create unintended consequences. For example, Surfer issues a warning when adding new layers to maps when the added layers have data outside the current map limits. You are asked if you would like to adjust the map limits to include all the data, or keep the limits as they are. These warnings give you the option of cancelling out of the change or accepting the change and continuing.
Some of you perform routine tasks that trigger these types of warnings repeatedly, always with the same response. To save you time and headache, we have made several of these warnings optional. You can either choose not to show the warnings in the future directly in the warning itself, or you can use the File | Options command and control whether to display the warnings or not, or specify the default action to take.
SAVE A GRID AS A GEOTIFF
You could always export a map as an image TIFF, but now you can save a grid in GeoTIFF format, so that the Z values are saved to the TIFF file instead of colors for an image. Anywhere you can save a grid, you can select to save it in the TIFF Image as Grid format.
ENHANCEMENTS TO THE MAP WIZARD
The Map Wizard has some new wizardry! We have added Point Cloud and Peaks and Depressions maps to the available map types you can create. These enhancements work the same way as creating other map types from the Map Wizard, simply select the Home | Wizard | Map Wizard command, select your data or grid file and click Next. Select the map types you want to create! Note that you can only select Point Cloud map type if you selected a LiDAR LAS or LAZ file in the previous step, and then selected to load it as a point cloud.
QUICK ACCESS TO GRID INFO
We created a quick way to access commonly used grid information, by including this information on the Info property page for any grid-based layer. These new Info page contains information about a grid file itself, its XY geometry, and some Z statistical information.
The Info properties page is a quick way to see information for any grid in the plot window or the active grid in the Grid Editor. Simply click on a grid layer and select the Info properties page to view the information. You can even click the Copy button to copy and then paste this information into the plot window, or another application.
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Windows 7 SP1, 8 (excluding RT), 10 or higher
32-bit or 64-bit operation system support
1024×768 or higher monitor resolution with a minimum 16-bit color depth
At least 500MB free hard disk space
At least 512MB RAM for simple data sets, 1GB RAM recommended
3D View requirements:
Graphics card with OpenGL v3.2 or later, including the following support:
GLSL (GL Shading Language) 150
Graphics emulators, such as VMs and Parallels for Mac, may not support all the required features for viewing data in the 3D view
The Surfer Guide can be downloaded in pdf format here
©Copyright © 2023 Golden Software, LLC
Surfer is a full-function 3D visualization, contouring and surface modeling package that runs under Microsoft Windows. Surfer is used extensively for terrain modeling, bathymetric modeling, landscape visualization, surface analysis,contour mapping, watershed and 3D surface mapping, gridding, volumetrics, and much more.