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Surfer 12

Detailed Description








Introduction

Surfer is a contouring and 3D surface mapping program that runs under Microsoft Windows. It quickly and easily converts your data into outstanding contour, surface, wireframe, vector, image, shaded relief, and post maps. Virtually all aspects of your maps can be customized to produce exactly the presentation you want. Producing publication quality maps has never been quicker or easier.

Surfer easily creates a multitude of map types to visualize your data.
Top row left to right: surface map, contour map
Bottom row:  shaded relief map, image map, wireframe map


Main Features

 Contour Maps

 Map Layers

 3D Surface Maps

 Superior Gridding

 3D Wireframe Maps

 Variograms

 Vector Maps

 Faults and Breaklines

 Image Maps

 Using USGS and STRM Data

 Shaded Relief Maps

 Active X Automation

 Post Maps

 Worksheet

 Base Maps

 Object Manager


Contour Maps

Surfer contour maps give you full control over all map parameters. You can accept the Surfer intelligent defaults to automatically create a contour map, or double-click a map to easily customize map features.

Display contour maps over any contour range and contour interval, or specify only the contour levels you want to display on the map. And with Surfer you can add color fill between contours to produce dazzling displays of your maps, or produce gray scale fills for dramatic black and white printouts.

  • Automatic or user-defined contour intervals and ranges
  • Full control over contour label format, font, frequency, placement, and spacing
  • Drag contour labels to place them exactly where you want them
  • Automatic or user-defined color for contour lines
  • Color fill between contours, either user-specified or as a custom color map of your choice
  • Save and load custom color map files for the exact desired display
  • Use one of the built-in presets as the color map
  • Full control over hachures
  • Save and load contour map level files that contain all the level information, so you can easily and quickly create contour maps with consistent properties
  • Regulate smoothing of contour lines
  • Blank contour lines in areas where you don't want to show any data
  • Specify color for blanked regions, or make them transparent
  • Add color scale
  • Create any number of contour maps on a page
  • Add base, vector, shaded relief, image, or post map layers to contour map layers
  • Drape contour map layers over 3D surfaces or 3D wireframes for dramatic displays
  • Export contours in 3D DXF and 3D SHP formats
  • Adjust the layer opacity


3D Surface Maps

The 3D surface map uses shading and color to emphasize your data features. Change the lighting, display angle and tilt with a click of the mouse. Overlay several surface maps to generate informative block diagrams.

Create exciting 3D surface maps from your XYZ data!
Image courtesy of Igor Yashayaev, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.


3D Surface Map Features

  • Specify surface color gradation, shininess, base fill and line color
  • Control mesh line frequency, color, style, surface offset
  • Set lighting horizontal and vertical angles, ambient, diffuse, and specular properties
  • Overlay contour maps, image maps, post maps, shaded relief maps, raster and vector base maps, and other surface maps for spectacular presentations
  • Choose overlay resample method and resolution, color modulation (blending) of surface and overlays
  • Save and load custom color map files for the exact desired display
  • Use one of the built-in presets as the color map
  • Add color scales to explain the data values corresponding to each color
  • Disable the display of blanked grid nodes or map the blanked areas to a specific Z level


3D Wireframe Maps

Surfer wireframe maps provide an impressive three dimensional display of your data. Wireframes are created by connecting Z values along lines of constant X and Y. Use color zones, independent XYZ scaling, orthographic or perspective projections at any tilt or rotation angle, and different combinations of X, Y and Z lines to produce exactly the surface you want. Drape a color-filled contour map over a wireframe map to create the most striking color or black-and-white representations of your data. The possibilities are endless.

A wireframe map can be used to display any combination of X,Y, and Z lines.
A USGS SDTS DEM file was used to create this map and color zones were defined for the X and Y lines.

3D Wireframe Map Features

  • Display any combination of X,Y, and Z lines
  • Use automatic or user-defined color zones to highlight different Z levels
  • Stack any number of 3D surfaces on a single page
  • Optional hidden line removal
  • Overlay any combination of contour, filled contour, base, post, and classed post maps on a surface
  • Views of the top or bottom of the surface, or both
  • Proportional or independent scaling in the X,Y, and Z dimensions
  • Full control over axis tick marks and tick labels
  • Add a base with optional vertical base lines
  • Display the surface at any rotation or tilt angle


Vector Maps

Instantly create vector maps in Surfer to show direction and magnitude of data at points on a map. You can create vector maps from information in one grid or two separate grids. The two components of the vector map, direction and magnitude, are automatically generated from a single grid by computing the gradient of the represented surface. At any given grid node, the direction of the arrow points in the direction of the steepest descent. The magnitude of the arrow changes depending on the steepness of the descent. Two-grid vector maps use two separate grid files to determine the vector direction and magnitude. The grids can contain Cartesian or polar data. With Cartesian data, one grid consists of X component data and the other grid consists of Y component data. With polar data, one grid consists of angle information and the other grid contains length information. Overlay vector maps on contour or wireframe maps to enhance the presentation!

A vector map of Mt. St. Helens overlaid on a contour map. Use a color scale bar or legend to indicate the magnitude of the arrows.

Vector Map Features

  • Create vector maps based on one grid or two grids.
  • Define arrow style, color, and frequency
  • Symbol color may be fixed, based on vector magnitude or based on a grid file
  • Save and load custom color map files for the exact desired display
  • Use one of the built-in presets as the color map
  • Display color scale bars and vector scale legends
  • Scale the arrow shaft length, head length, and width
  • Control vector symbol origin
  • Choose from linear, logarithmic, or square root scaling methods
  • Adjust the layer opacity


Image Maps

Surfer image maps use different colors to represent elevations of a grid file. Create image maps using any grid file format: GRD, DEM, SDTS DDF, GTOP30 HDR. Surfer automatically blends colors between percentage values so you end up with a smooth color gradation over the map. You can add color anchors at any percentage point between 0 and 100. Each anchor point can be assigned a unique color, and the colors are automatically blended between adjacent anchor points. This allows you to create color maps using any combination of colors. Any color fill you choose for an image map can be used with any other image map, even if the associated grid files cover distinctly different Z ranges. Image maps can be created independently of other maps, or can be combined with other maps. They can be scaled, resized, limited and moved.

Customize your image map by adding color, including a color scale, and
overlaying it with other map layers to make the map as informative as
possible! The above map is created from an image map of Colorado
elevation overlaid with a base map layer showing the county boundaries.
Image courtesy of Igor Yashayaev,
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.

Image Map Features

  • Display pixel maps or smoothed images
  • Save and load custom color map files for the exact desired display
  • Use one of the built-in presets as the color map
  • Create an associated color scale
  • Overlay image maps with contour, post, or base maps
  • Specify a color for missing data, or choose to make areas of no data transparent
  • Change the rotation and tilt angles
  • Adjust the layer opacity


Shaded Relief Maps

Shaded relief maps are raster images based on grid files. Shaded relief maps assign colors based on slope orientation relative to a light source. Surfer determines the orientation of each grid cell and calculates reflectance of a point light source on the grid surface. The light source can be thought of as the sun shining on a topographic surface. Surfer automatically blends colors between percentage values so you end up with a smooth color gradation over the map. You can add color anchors so each anchor point can be assigned a unique color, and the colors are automatically blended between adjacent anchor points. This allows you to create color maps using any combination of colors. Shaded relief maps can be created independently of other maps, or can be combined with other layers. Shaded relief maps can be scaled, resized, limited, and moved in the same way as other types of maps.

Create detailed shaded relief maps! This map shows a turbidite fan
and was created with multi-beam echo-sounder data obtained
in the Caribbean Sea

Shaded Relief Map Features

  • Create photo-quality relief maps from grid files
  • Control light source position, relative slope gradient, and shading
  • Overlay with contour, vector, post, or base maps for highly effective displays
  • Shading calculations based on several shading methods, including Simple, Peucker's Approximation, Lambertian Reflection, and Lommel-Seeliger Law
  • Set relief parameters using Central Difference or Midpoint difference gradient methods
  • Save and load custom color map files for the exact desired display
  • Use one of the built-in presets as the color map
  • Specify a color for missing data, or choose to make areas of no data transparent
  • Change the rotation and tilt angles
  • Adjust the layer opacity


Post Maps

Post maps show XY locations with fixed size symbols or proportionally scaled symbols of any color. Create post maps independent of other maps on the page, or combined with other map layers. For each posted point, specify the symbol and label type, size, and angle. Also create classed post maps that identify different ranges of data by automatically assigning a different symbol or color to each data range. Post your sample locations, well locations, or original data point locations on a contour map to show the distribution of data points on the map, and to demonstrate the accuracy of the gridding methods you use.

Different symbols are used to display different ranges of data in classed post maps. Here, a classed post map is overlaid on a wireframe map and 3D label lines have been added to lift the symbols up off the map surface.

Post Map Features

  • Create any number of post maps on a single page
  • Post data from any number of files
  • Use proportional or fixed size symbols
  • Full control of symbol style, color, and frequency
  • Post every point or every nth point
  • Specify custom symbols from the worksheet
  • Add labels from a data file and adjust the angle of the label and the plane in which the label appears
  • Drag post map labels to place them exactly where you want them
  • Make a classed post map to post different symbols for specified ranges of data values
  • Create a classed post legend to display the symbols and data ranges
  • Save and load classes for a classed post map
  • Adjust the layer opacity


Base Maps

Surfer can import maps in many different formats to display geographic information. You can combine base maps with other maps in map overlays, or can create stand-alone base maps independent of other maps on the page. You can load any number of base maps on a page. It is easy to overlay a base map on a contour or surface wireframe map, allowing you to display geographic information in combination with the three dimensional data.

Display your base maps in Surfer alone or overlay them on other maps.

Base Map Features

  • Edit the line, fill, text and symbol properties for individual objects in a base map
  • Globally edit the line, fill, text and symbol properties for al objects in a base map
  • Import georeferenced images files in real world coordinates
  • Manually georeferenced images files in real world coordinates
  • Calculate the area and perimeter length of polygons in a base map
  • Calculate the length of polylines in a base map
  • Copy, paste, reshape, move and delete individual objects in a base map
  • Add new objects to a base map
  • Adjust the layer opacity
  • Import base maps in several formats: AN?, BLN, BMP, BNA, BW, DCM, DIC, DDF, DLG, DXF, E00, ECW, EMF, GIF, GSB, GSI, JPEG, JPG, LGO, LGS, MIF, PCX, PLT, PLY, PNG, PNM/PPM/PGM/PBM, RAS, RGB, RGBA, SHP, SID, SUN, TGA, TIF, TIFF, VTK, WMF, X, and XIMG.
Map Layers

Adding multiple map layers to your map gives you a way to combine different types of data in one map. For example, you can drape a georeferenced image over a 3D surface map, overlay multiple base maps with a contour map, or plot a post map with contours over a wireframe map. And because you can add any number of map layers to a map, you can show any amount of data on a single map. You are limited only by your imagination!

This map was created by adding two contour map layers, a base map layer and a wireframe map layer to display contaminate spread.

Overlay several surface maps to generate informative block diagrams. This image illustrates the geology of the Great Lake Ladoga on the margin of the Baltic (Fennoscandian) Shield. 

 

Effortlessly produce vivid and stunning maps that display an array of data! Image courtesy of Igor Yashayaev, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada.

Overlay multiple map layers and adjust the transparency of the upper layers to see the lower layers beneath! This example shows a partially transparent contour map overlaid with a georeferenced image file imported as a base map.


Superior Gridding

The gridding methods in Surfer allow you to produce accurate contour, surface, wireframe, vector, image, and shaded relief maps from your XYZ data. The data can be randomly dispersed over the map area, and Surfer's gridding will interpolate your data onto a grid. Use Surfer’s default settings or choose from twelve different gridding methods. Each gridding method provides complete control over the gridding parameters, so you can produce exactly the map you want. If your data are already collected in a regularly spaced rectangular array, you can create a map directly from your data. Computer generated contour maps have never been more accurate.

Gridding Features

  • Interpolate from up to 1 billion XYZ data points (limited by available memory)
  • Produce grids with up to 100 million nodes
  • Specify faults and breaklines when gridding
  • Choose from one of the powerful gridding methods: Inverse Distance, Kriging, Minimum Curvature, Polynomial Regression, Triangulation, Nearest Neighbor, Shepard's Method, Radial Basis Functions, Natural Neighbor, Moving Average, and Local Polynomial
  • Specify isotropic or anisotropic weighting
  • You have full control over the grid line geometry including grid limits, grid spacing, and number of grid lines
  • Customize search options based on user-defined data sector parameters
  • Specify search ellipses at any orientation and scaling
  • Use spline smoothing and grid filtering to alter the grid file
  • Use grid math to perform mathematic operations between grid files
  • Use Nearest Neighbor to create grid files without interpolation
  • Use Triangulation to achieve accuracy with large data sets faster
  • Detrend a surface using Polynomial Regression, generate regression coefficients in a report, and calculate residuals
  • Use data exclusion filters to eliminate unwanted data
  • Use duplicate data resolution techniques
  • Generate a grid of Kriging standard deviations
  • Specify point or block Kriging
  • Generate a report of the gridding statistics and parameters including ANOVA regression statistics
  • Specify scales and range for each variogram model
  • Generate grids from a user-specified function of two variables
  • Calculate grids with Data Metrics including: number of points within search ellipse, distance to nearest and farthest neighbor, median, average and offset distance to points within the search ellipse
  • Use cross-validation to judge the suitability of the gridding method for the particular data set


Variograms

Use the variogram modeling subsystem to quantitatively assess the spatial continuity of data. Variograms may be used to select an appropriate variogram model when gridding with the Kriging algorithm. Surfer uses a variogram grid as a fundamental internal data representation and once this grid is built, any experimental variogram can be computed instantaneously.

Instantly create variograms in Surfer to quantitatively
assess the spatial continuity of your data.

Variogram Features

  • Virtually unlimited data set sizes
  • Display both the experimental variogram and the variogram model
  • Specify the estimator type: variogram, standardized variogram, auto covariance, or auto correlation
  • Specify the variogram model components: exponential, Gaussian, linear, logarithmic, nugget effect, power, quadratic, rational quadratic, spherical, wave, pentaspherical, and cubic models
  • Customize the variogram to display symbols, variance, and number of pairs for each lag
  • Export the experimental variogram data


Faults and Breaklines

Define faults and breaklines when gridding your data. The data on one side of the fault will not be directly used to calculate grid node values on the other side of the fault. When the gridding algorithm sees a breakline, any data points that lie directly on the breakline take precedence over an interpolated value. Use breaklines to define streamlines, ridges, and other breaks in slopes. Unlike faults, breaklines are not barriers to information flow and the gridding algorithm can cross the breakline to use a point on the other side. The gridding methods that support faults are: Inverse Distance to a Power, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, and Data Metrics. Breaklines are supported by: Inverse Distance to a Power, Kriging, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, Radial Basis Function, Moving Average, Data Metrics, and Local Polynomial gridding methods.

Faults and Breaklines

Define faults and breaklines when gridding your data. Faults act as barriers to the information flow, and data on one side of the fault will not be directly used to calculate grid node values on the other side of the fault. Breaklines include Z values. When Surfer sees a breakline, it uses the Z value of the breakline in combination with nearby data points to calculate the grid node value. Unlike faults, breaklines are not barriers to information flow and the gridding algorithm can cross the breakline to use a point on the other side to calculate a grid node value. Use breaklines to define streamlines, ridges, and other breaks in slopes.

The gridding methods that support faults are: Inverse Distance to a Power, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, and Data Metrics. 

The gridding methods that support breaklines are: Inverse Distance to a Power, Kriging, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, Radial Basis Function, Moving Average, Data Metrics, and Local Polynomial. 


Original contour map without faults or breaklines.

The same data set gridded with two 
faults and displayed as a contour map. 
The same data set gridded with two breaklines
and displayed as a contour map.

Using USGS and SRTM Data

  • Use USGS DEM, National Elevation Dataset (NED) and NASA Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) data with any Surfer command that uses grid files.
  • Directly use the files in native format without modification or conversion.
  • Display information about the files, such as X, Y and Z extents or grid statistics.
  • Create contour, vector, shaded relief, image, 3D surface, and 3D wireframe maps from the files.


The above contour map was generated from a grid file in BIL format,
downloaded from the USGS The National Map Seamless Server

Active X Automation

Create your own scripts to automate repetitive tasks! Don’t spend time doing the same process over and over again – write a simple script to simplify your life! Operations performed interactively can be controlled using an automation-compatible programming language such as Visual Basic, C++, or Perl. Surfer includes Scripter, a built-in Visual Basic compatible programming environment that lets you write, edit, debug, and run scripts. Why do more work than you need when you have Surfer working for you!


Worksheet

Surfer includes a full-featured worksheet for creating, opening, editing, and saving data files. Data files can be up to 1 billion rows, subject to available memory. You can use the Windows Clipboard functions to Cut, Copy, and Paste data within the Surfer worksheet, or between applications

Worksheet Features

  • Open files in BLN, BNA, CSV, DAT, DBF, MDB, SLK, TXT, WKx, WRx, XLS, and XLSX formats
  • Import a database directly into the Surfer worksheet
  • Calculate data statistics
  • Perform data transformations using advanced mathematical functions
  • Sort data based on primary and secondary columns
  • Spatially filter data
  • Assign a projection or coordinate system to your data, and convert the data to a new projection or coordinate system
  • Select a predefined coordinate system from Geographic (lat/lon) or one of the supported projected systems (Polar/Arctic/Antarctic, Regional/National, State Plane, UTM, and World)
  • Define a custom coordinate system by selecting a supported projection, specifying the projection settings, and either choosing one of over 400 predefined datums or creating a custom datum
  • Add a frequently used coordinate system to the Favorites list to be easily accessible
  • Assign which columns in the worksheet contain the X, Y and Z data
  • Use the Find/Replace function in the worksheet to easily find or replace your data
  • Print the worksheet
  • Save your data in BLN, BNA, CSV, DAT, SLK, TXT, and XLS formats.


Open, enter, edit and save data in the Surfer worksheet.

Object Manager

The object manager makes the editing of any object simple. It displays all the objects in the plot document in an easy-to-use hierarchical tree arrangement. Double click on objects in the object manager to easily edit them, check or uncheck the check boxes next to their name to show or hide them, drag and drop objects to rearrange the order in which they are drawn, and overlay maps by dragging and dropping map layers from one map frame into another! Select any object or map layer in the Object Manager for easy deletion.


Use the object manager to easily
access and edit all objects
in your plot window.


Additional Features

  • Export formats include: BLN, BMP, BNA, BW, CGM, 3D DXF, DXF, EMF, EPS, GIF, GSB, JPEG, JPG, MIF, PCX, PDF Raster, PDF Vector, PNG, PNM/PPM/PGM/PBM, RAS, RGB, RGBA, 3D SHP, SHP, SUN, TGA, TIF, TIFF, WMF, X, and XIMG.
  • Reload map data and grid files with a single command
  • Substitute a new grid or data file into an existing map without changing the map properties
  • Display the XYZ coordinates of the cursor location in the status bar
  • Windows Clipboard support for copying maps to other applications
  • Use the mouse to resize objects on the screen
  • Define Surfer’s default preferences
  • Easily find XY coordinates by digitizing point locations
  • Automatically save digitized coordinates as BLN or ASCII data files
  • Print to any Windows supported printer or plotter
  • Display and print subsets of completed maps, complete with subset axes
  • Adjust the number of Undo levels
  • Use the reshape tool to edit areas and curves
  • Click on a map and pinpoint the same XY location in a different map
  • Click on a map and highlight the nearest data point to that location in the worksheet
  • Create your own keyboard shortcuts for common functions
  • Customize the toolbars by adding or removing buttons
  • Floatable toolbars
  • Download free updates automatically


System Requirements

Windows XP SP2 or higher, Vista, 7 or higher
100MB of free hard disk space
512MB RAM minimum, 1GB RAM or higher recommended
1024x768x16-bit color minimum monitor resolution







































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