Overall Satisfaction with Surfer
Within our university, our department of Geological Sciences uses Surfer for various applications related to mapping geologic horizons, such as structural maps, reservoir thickness maps, and contouring of geological properties maps. The undergraduate students need to use it to complete projects for more than one course. Some graduate students, including those of my research group, use Surfer to contour data and generate maps related to our research, and publish in reports and articles.
- The interface is simple and easy/quick to learn, so that not much experience is needed to start generating maps.
- The map layouts are easy to manipulate, change colors, scale, labels, contour interval, etc...
- Simple but functional mathematical and logical functions allow for the calculation and manipulation of grids.
- It would be nice to establish the grid geometry graphically and/or copy it from an existing grid with only a couple of clicks.
- The profile tool is good for making cross sections, but there's no way, that I know of, that you can create a combined profile of two or more stacked maps.
- Surfer has allowed us to quickly create maps out of data imported from other software and GIS databases that either don't offer that function or have too cumbersome of mapping capabilities.
Surfer is very unique with respect to its capabilities. I am not aware of any other mapping software that is at the same time flexible, has a friendly interface, and creates such nice-looking maps.
Surfer is really handy for creating quick and nice looking geologic contour maps without too much knowledge of interpolation algorithms. It also allows for the integration of georeferenced routine polygons from a variety of sources, including shapefile. If you need to look at multiple maps in a GIS fashion, the graphic interface is not well suited to scroll through large data sets.