These days there are an abundant number of places where you can access free data from a variety of different sources. The best sources of data for creating base maps in Surfer are
- WMS, WFS, and OSM servers.
- Government agencies for your region such as the US Geological Survey, US Census Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.
- Public and private data providers some of whom we've outlined in our Useful links webpage.
How to create a Surfer base map using WMS, WFS, or OSM data
- Click Home | New Map | Base | Base from Server.
- In the Download Online Maps dialog,
- In the Select Data Source section, select the layer from your desired server. For example, expand OpenStreetMaps Imagery and select the OSM Mapnik layer.
- In the Select Area to Download section, select the location you wish to download the image for. For example, Specify Latitude/Longitude extents and then enter your extents (ex: West = -105.27, East = -105.17, South = 39.73, North = 39.79). If you were adding a base layer from a server to an existing georeferenced map, this section would automatically be filled in with the existing map extents.
- In the Select Image Resolution to Download section, move the slider to the right a couple notches. This increases the resolution for the image you are downloading. For example, you can select to download the image.
- Click OK. The image downloads from the server and is automatically loaded as a base map in Surfer. If that doesn't look quite what you want, you could look through some of the other servers, or browse through our WMS website for other server options.
Updated May 2023