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I export to a KML/KMZ file from Surfer, but my file ends up in Africa instead of where it should be

There are two possible reasons why the KML or KMZ file exported from Surfer ends up in Africa when it is not supposed to:

  • The map doesn't have a coordinate system assigned to it.
  • The map was exported in page units (inches or cm) rather than map units (lat/long, UTM, etc.).

 

You can click on the Map in the Contents window and then click on the Coordinate System tab in the Properties window to see if the map has a coordinate system (the Name will show Unreferenced local system if it does not). If the map doesn't have a coordinate system assigned to it, you can follow the instructions here to assign a coordinate system to the map: https://support.goldensoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/226503247-How-can-I-make-the-axes-show-the-coordinates-I-want-in-Surfer-

 

If the Map does have a coordinate system assigned to it, it may be that the map was exported in page units instead of map units. This could happen if there are multiple maps in your SRF file, or if there are drawn objects (points, polygons, polylines, text, color scale or map scale). If either of these cases is applicable, then the default export will be in page units and not map units.

To work around this, choose the map as the scaling source in the export options.

  1. Open the SRF file.
  2. Click File | Export.
  3. Choose to export as a KML or KMZ file, give the file a name and click Save.
  4. In the Export Options dialog, on the Scaling page, set the Scaling source to your Map. This updates the File Rectangle coordinates to be in the units of the map (and different from the Source Rectangle coordinates).
  5. Click OK and the KML or KMZ file is created in map units.

For more information about exporting Google Earth KML/KMZ files, see the Surfer 13 webinar Exporting KML/KMZ files from Surfer for use in Google Earth.

 


 
In Surfer 11 or previous versions, it takes a few extra steps to export the map in map units:

  1. Open the SRF file, and select Map in the Object Manager.
  2. Click File | Export.
  3. We are going to export this to a dummy KML file, saving the map units. Choose to export as a KML file, check the Selected objects only check box, give the file a name (ie. Dummy.kml) and click Save.
  4. In the Export Options dialog, choose Scaling source to be Application, verify that the File Rectangle units are in map units, and check the Save scaling info check box.
  5. Click OK and the dummy KML file is created.
  6. Now we can export the entire project to a KML file in correct units. Go back to File | Export.
  7. Choose to export as a KML file, do not check (uncheck) Selected objects only, give the file a name (ie. Real.kml) and click Save.
  8. In the Export Options dialog, choose Scaling source to be Saved and the File Rectangle units will be converted to the ones saved previously (they will be converted from inches to real map units).
  9. Click OK and the real KML file is created. Use this file in GoogleEarth and it will be in the correct position.

 

Updated January 16, 2017

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