Surfer 9

Golden Software has upgraded its Surfer contouring and 3D mapping package with the ability to apply transparency to solid colours, map layers, fill patterns, and images. Users have full control over the opacity percentage. Surfer also boasts the ability to import and export georeferenced image files. Users can create fully-rendered 3D surfaces and overlay aerial photography, satellite imagery and other images on these 3D surfaces with real world coordinates. One can also apply transparency to the overlaid imagery to create photo-realistic 3D models containing both terrain and ground cover detail.

Two other powerful upgrades to Surfer 9 are: the ability to convert the projection of data in the worksheet and the ability to access individual items in a base map; and users can now project and convert their data from more than 1,500 predefined coordinate systems or define their own custom projection or datum with the push of a button. In addition, Surfer offers full customisation of base maps, by allowing users to interactively add, remove or edit individual items in their base maps.

Golden Software has also enhanced Surfer's capacity with the ability to calculate the length and area of lines and areas in a base map. Post maps have also been improved with the user now able to move individual post map labels with the mouse and the ability to save classes for a classed post map to a file for future use.

Surfer has been redesigned to make it easier and faster to use, allowing users to import all their data and performing all functions in a modern user-friendly interface. Surfer 9 is fully compatible with other software. It imports and exports data files in all popular formats, including new import formats such as LizardTech's MrSID format and ER Mapper's ECW format, new grid formats such as Arc/Info ADF, Banded Grid BIL, ER Mapper Grid ERS, and ZMAP, and new export formats including PDF, EPS and 3D SHP.

Surfer's functionality can be integrated with any ActiveX Automation-compatible software. Visual Basic, C++ and Perl scripts can be used to call Surfer to automate repetitive functions. In addition, final projects can easily be copied and pasted into other common programs, such as word processing or presentation software.

Analysis and opinion

Robert Roe investigates some of the European projects focusing on preparing today’s supercomputers and HPC programmers for exascale HPC


The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany has been operating supercomputers of the highest performance class since 1987. Tim Gillett talks to Norbert Attig and Thomas Eickermann


Gemma Church investigates how simulation and modelling de-risks the detection and extraction of geothermal energy resources


Robert Roe investigates the importance of upgrading legacy laboratory informatics systems and the benefits this provides to scientists