If your data file has XYZ data and you would like to create a contour map or other grid-based map type (like Color Relief or 3D Surface), follow these steps:
- Click Home | Grid Data | Grid Data, select the data file and click Open.
- In the Grid Data - Select Data dialog, select the X, Y and Z columns from the data file, and choose your desired gridding method (or accept the defaults). Click Finish (or, click Next or Skip to End to adjust other gridding parameters). That will create a grid file from your data. You can use this grid file to create maps.
- For example, click Home | New Map | Contour (or whichever map type you want to create), select the grid file and click Open. The map is created.
- Select the map layer in the Contents window and edit the properties of the map in the Properties window.
Post Maps/Base from Data Maps
If the Excel file contains point data (each XY coordinate pair in the data file is an individual point), you can create a Post map.
- Click Home | New Map | Post | Post (or Classed Post), select your data file, and click Open. A post map is created.
- Select the Post map layer in the Contents window and edit the properties of the map in the Properties window. For example, you can label the point with another column in the data file if you wish.
If the Excel file contains point data with attributes, you may wish to create a Base Map from the data file.
- Click Home | New Map | Base | Base from Data, select your data file and click Open.
- Specify the X and Y columns in the Base from XY Data dialog and click OK. A base map is created.
- Select the Base(vector) map layer in the Contents window and edit the properties of the map in the Properties window. For example, you can label the points with another column in the data file or apply a symbology to the points.
The base from data, post, and classed post layer types use XY data files to create map layers. Post and classed post layers are a single object, and therefore post and classed post maps use less memory and are faster to render. Post or classed post maps should be used for large data files. Post and classed post maps have more control over labels and can be included in legends. Base layers include each point as an object. These point objects can be edited and queried after creating the base layer. The points in the base layer also retain attribute information and a symbology can be applied to the base layer.
XY data for polylines/polygons
If the Excel file contains the XY coordinates of polylines or polygons and you want to load the data as a base map, we suggest converting the Excel file to BLN format. The BLN file format is a simple ASCII text data file, consisting of a one line header followed by point data.
For additional information about creating a BLN file see: How Can I Create A BLN File In Surfer?
Updated December 6, 2021
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