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Surfer primarily serves geospatial industries including environmental, mining, oil and gas, GIS, water resources, archaeology, and exploration.

Product Details

Surfer is a full-function 2D and 3D mapping, modeling, and analysis software package for scientists and engineers. Surfer's sophisticated interpolation engine quickly transforms XYZ data into publication-quality maps. Virtually every aspect of the map is customizable. Enhance maps with profiles, legends, titles and labels, faults and breaklines, or external maps from any web mapping service. Surfer is used extensively by scientists, consultants, engineers, and many others across the globe.

Contact Details

Golden Software

http://www.goldensoftware.com/

Founded in 1983

Located in United States

Surfer user interface
Surfer contour & post map
Surfer stacked maps
Surfer cross section
Surfer 3D surface map

Starting Price

  • Not provided by vendor

Free Trial

  • Yes

Platform

  • Installed - Mac
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed - Windows
  • Mobile - iOS Native
  • Mobile - Android Native

Training

  • In Person
  • Live Online
  • Webinars
  • Documentation

Support

  • Business Hours
  • Online

Surfer Features

3D Modeling
Cross Section Creation
Data Exchange
Data Storage
Exception Notification
Fence Diagrams
Log Map Creation
People Tracking
Pit Optimization Reporting
Risk Management
Volumetrics

Surfer Reviews

Overall
4.5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4.5/5

Showing Most Helpful

Showing 16 of 16 reviews

Showing Most Helpful

Showing 16 of 16 reviews

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Rating
Company Size
Reviewer's Role
Length of Use
Frequency of Use
Avatar Image
Manuel A.
Geophysical Analyst
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 1, 2018

“Greatest GIS for geoscientists”

OverallGreat georreferencing tool that I have been using since I was a student, using it in combination with other geoscientific tools generate beautiful maps. I strongly recomend that you pay for a tutorial though.
ProsIt's top notch for geoscientists. Other softwares that serve the same function such as Arcgis are much more complex than surfer. Using surfer can save a lot of time and it's results are as good as other GIS softwares: beautifullly rendered 2D and 3D maps for georreferencing. Plus the mathematics behind surfer are excellent so we have great correlations.
ConsWhen learning how to use surfer be prepared to be frustrated since there are not that many tutorials compared to other GIS softwares, but once you get to know how to work with it is just great.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 1, 2018
Nermin H.
Engineer
Civil Engineering, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 13, 2018

“When the maps come to life”

OverallI dealt a lot with geophysics, and when I had to present my plan for fieldwork and profile positions to investors, and the problems that I would encounter, only with the surfer, I could convey to them the complete situation. With ordinary maps, this did not work for me because the investors are mainly people who are not from this profession and do not have a clear picture of the issues of geophysical profiling
ProsThat fantastic feeling when a cold, flat map is turned into a 3D display where you can do whatever you want. Very precise coordinates and altitude. Of course, everything depends on how much data you supply to it; more points, better 3D display
ConsI do not know. Sometimes I have the feeling that the tools are insufficiently used, and that the software offers a lot more than I use. Perhaps the constant work on all kinds of tutorials would be of great help

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on September 27, 2018
Thank you for your kind words! Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We'd be glad to discuss ways you could further utilize Surfer's tools.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 13, 2018
Verified Reviewer
Environmental Services, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 23, 2019

“Fantastic Mapping Software”

OverallSurfer offers a wide range of functionality from creating very basic figures to complicated 3D visuals. I have had clients mention they were impressed with the mapping I have been able to produce for their properties.
ProsThe functionality of Surfer incredibly broad. I use Surfer as general mapping tool for site maps and contour figures but also for making 3D site models and visuals. Being able to incorporate LiDAR data into my visuals is a particularly helpful feature of Surfer. The figures I am able to produce with Surfer are visually appealing and allow me to present my data in an easily understandable way.
ConsI have no complaints with this software.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on April 25, 2019
Thank you very much for your review! We are glad to hear you're pleased with Surfer. Don't hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 23, 2019
Marcos M.
Researcher
Environmental Services, 1001-5000 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 15, 2019

“Making the best plots in science”

OverallI have been using Surfer for more than 15 years in oceanography and hydrology. The continuous updating of this software has provided the tools I need to face the ever-increasing demands of my work. I've tried similar software but none was up to the task as Surfer.
ProsSurfer provides an absolutely amazing range of tools to process and plot all kinds of data. From topography, geology, oceanography and even astronomy, a wide range of scientific disciplines can rely on Surfer to create amazing plot and graphs.
ConsSurfer offers a significant amount of tools, most of them with high freedom degrees in available options (e.g., formatting axis, kriging method options, etc.). A significant degree of complexity is obviously expected in the interface, and sometimes it is not intuitive for the user.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 15, 2019
Kurt T.
Unspecified
Used the software for: Unspecified
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Source: Capterra
January 20, 2017

“Surfer: A Softwaretool for Geographers”

OverallWith Surfer you can visualize and analyze data from multiple sources as Surfer is able to import a huge range of file-formats. Of course all Industry-standards like shape-file and xlsx ' to name only two ' are supported. Surfer also provides numerous interpolation methods to grid regularly or irregularly spaced data. With Surfer you can generate a lot of different high-quality map-types in a minimum of time. As a geographer I especially like 3D-maps. You can make two different kinds: 3D wireframes and 3D-Surface maps. You can even georeference rastermaps with just a few mouseclicks and add them to your 3D-map or add various features (e.g. rivers, boundaries') from vectorfiles. Surfers list of export formats is impressive: Various raster and vector formats, Google Earth KML/KMZ or PDF to name just the most popular. For presentation beside using for example png-files in powerpoint exporting from Surfer as html-imagemap-file comes handy. A nice to have in the future would be the possibility to use animation via threejs or something similar. Overall Surfer is an extremely well-designed Sofwaretool!
ProsExtremly powerful and good support (documentation and free support from staff at goldensoftware)
ConsI would like to have animation export, e.g. like fly over

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on January 20, 2017
Thank you, Kurt, for your review! We'll add your suggestion for a 3D flyover to our customer request database.
Source: Capterra
January 20, 2017
Verified Reviewer
Oil & Energy, 501-1000 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
7/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 13, 2018

“Very useful for engineers and geoscientists ”

OverallI discovered surfer when I was in a physics lab . I had to represent electric fields line and I didn't know how to do that. That is when I found a tutorial using this software to make it possible. Then, when I started to see more advanced subjects at my school . I found out that geoscientist use it a lot, that is where I started exploring all of its awesome features. I made a gravimetric study of all my school for a project and Surfer was really helpful for presenting the results of that study.
Proswith surfer we are able to create good quality 2D and 3D maps . It allows you to import an excel sheet and work based on that data. Also you can create different types of maps ( I have made gravimetric and topographic maps ).
ConsIt is hard to use some of the tools and is not easy to find some kind of tutorial on internet. I have only used in small areas because I've only made school projects.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on August 14, 2018
Thank you for the review! There is a self-paced tutorial within Surfer's help. You can access the Help directly within the program or online- http://surferhelp.goldensoftware.com/#t=tutorial%2Fusing_the_online_tutorial.htm. You're also welcome to contact our support team directly with any questions you may have - support.goldensoftware.com Hope this helps!
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 13, 2018
Avatar Image
Manuel G.
Geólogo
Unspecified
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 17, 2018

“Excellent for contouring maps.”

OverallI truly recommend surfer to anyone who would like a much more streamlined GIS software that produces beautiful maps and it's cheaper than other top notch GIS programs.
ProsAs a geoscientist you normally use lots of GIS softwares, and I can honestly tell that working with surfer for me produced the best results, it is a mix of easier than other GIS software with beautiful maps. Its correlation tools and color palettes allow you to create great contour maps to represent any type of geophysical, geological or geographical data, such as magnetic and gravimetric.
ConsAs many of the GIS softwares it can be difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it you shouldn't have any issues, just beware that there are not that many tutorials online.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 17, 2018
Avatar Image
Rafael B.
Jefe del departamento de Oceanografia
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 8, 2018

“Good option for fast data processing and generation of associated three-dimensional maps. ”

OverallAlmost all aspects of the map can be customized, so the final presentation is practically what I want, with few format restrictions. The most recent versions have incorporated improvements that allow me: Develop 3D views to visualize data in real 3D, with the ability to walk on the surface and fly through the visualizations. Now I can process and visualize the data more quickly on the surface that I have created. I have also noticed that aspects related to data import formats have improved.
ProsFor the mapping and modeling of small areas, I prefer it before more complex software such as Arcgis, simply for convenience and faster results. Almost all aspects of the map can be customized, so the final presentation is exactly as the user intended.
ConsI can not use it to model buildings and it also does not have video output format It does not allow me to do double visualization in the same interface, option that if they have other similar programs like the qGis, for example.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 8, 2018
Avatar Image
EYLENTH P.
Analista de Ambiente
Unspecified
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 23, 2018

“Great 2D and 3D mapping software”

OverallBeautiful maps and representations with nice contouring and excellent interpolation methods
ProsWhat I like the most about surfer is how detailed their maps can be, while working with gravimetric data or magnetic surfer's interpolations end up with beautiful and detailed maps whose outputs are much better than most mapping software. Plus is worth noting that it has excellent compatibility with excel which is a must since almost all data for mapping comes from excel databases.
ConsIt can be a bit non intuitive, so getting the hang of it can be a little bit overwhelming, but it's not a great issue compared to the benefits the software provides
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
March 23, 2018
Verified Reviewer
Higher Education, 5001-10,000 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 12, 2019

“Great to work with ”

ProsSurfer offers a very easy interface, lots of samples while designing to make your work look very real.
ConsI've experienced a couple of challenges while exploring files for use on other softwares.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on August 27, 2019
Thanks you for your review of Surfer! You mention experiencing a couple of challenges while exploring files for use in other software tools. We'd love to learn more about these challenges and see if there's a solution for you. Please email us at support@goldensoftware.com and we can dive into the details. Thanks!
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 12, 2019
Verified Reviewer
Environmental Services, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Features
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
February 2, 2019

“Excellent software for groundwater modeling and contouring”

OverallYou won't find a better contouring suite.
ProsPowerful suite of contouring software with many adjustments available for contour gridding methods (kriging, natural neighbor, minimum curvature, inverse distance, etc.). This software can handle most simple-to-complex contouring situations, as well as topographic relief and other XYZ data you may need to convert to visual formats. Support is also very helpful and knowledgeable when called on. Golden also offers very helpful web seminars.
ConsThere is a steep learning curve for this software. You will need to watch tutorials or take a few seminars.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on February 6, 2019
Thanks for your review! If you have any recommendations on how we can make the software easier to use, please let us know! You can email support@goldensoftware.com with feedback.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
February 2, 2019
Avatar Image
Francisco D.
Professor
Education Management, 5001-10,000 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 10, 2018

“A good choice to scientists ”

OverallI like it, but when I need a powerful functions I need user other program.
ProsToo easy interface with beginner user. Many options of math functions and import/export formats.
ConsThe too easy interface, turns the program some limited to high-end users due do not offers a personable options.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on October 15, 2018
Hello Professor Dourado: Thank you for your kind words! We now offer an educational site license that would grant access to an unlimited number of Surfer licenses for the University of Rio de Janeiro State. More information can be found here - http://www.goldensoftware.com/education Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 10, 2018
Avatar Image
Thehani P.
Civil Engineer
Civil Engineering, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 13, 2019

“Great Surface Mapping app”

OverallI am using Surfer to create geographical profiles for pile foundations.
ProsSurface is the best surface mapping app to create geographical profile of an area. It can include depths in different colour schemes which makes the presentation of details much easy. Surfer files can be saved as pdfs and can be converted onto autocad files. Time taken for creating a file is easy and software is also user friendly.
ConsWith so many details, sometimes app produces very complicated and dense mappings which are barely readable.

Vendor Response

By Golden Software on September 17, 2019
Thank you very much for your feedback! Please let us know if you have any specific feedback on how we can make your maps more readable. The majority of our software development comes directly from user feedback.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 13, 2019
Stephen M.
Staff Scientist
Environmental Services, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
July 10, 2018

“User of the software for environmental studies, agricultural studies, and engineering projects. ”

OverallEasy bridge from engineering/field data to map creation. Great compatibility with other mapping software.
ProsCustomer support is fantastic. Basic features are relatively easy to use and advanced features have interesting applications that I look forward to learning and utilizing.
ConsSome features are not exactly intuitive, would be nice to have more documentation on creating scripts to run batch processes.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
July 10, 2018
Avatar Image
Corey H.
Archaeologist
Environmental Services, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Features
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 1, 2019

“Great visualization software with many applications”

OverallGolden Software is used by my company to create artifact density contour maps for use in our analysis and also publication in technical reports.
ProsAbility to create visually appealing contour maps, high degree of customization, wide range of applications
ConsFairly large learning curve, earlier versions missed some key functions
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 1, 2019
Jefferson T.
Geophysical Engineer
Education Management, 1001-5000 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
December 4, 2018

“Only Surfer”

ProsIs great for mapping and is really easy to use
ConsIs almost only for mapping existing data o created by interpolation of this program.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
December 4, 2018