How can I georeference (assign coordinates to) an image in Surfer?

When an unreferenced image is loaded into Surfer as a base map, the coordinates are in pixel units. These coordinates can be reset to real-world coordinates by georeferencing the image. You can georeference an image using three or more points anywhere on the image and assigning real world coordinates to those point locations.
This example will walk through the steps to georeference an image imported as a base layer, using the four corner point locations:
  1. Click Home | New Map | Base | Base select your image and click Open to import the image.
  2. Expand the Base layer in the Contents window and select the Image.
  3. Click Map Tools | Layer Tools | Georeference Image (or click the Georeference Image button in the Properties window).  The Georeference Image window appears.
  4. To calibrate the image using the corner point locations, click Edit | Add Corner Points. If you don't know the real world coordinates for the four corner points, click Tools | Add Mode and click on the image in the known point locations. A row will appear in the calibration points table for each location clicked.
  5. In the calibration points table below the image, enter the real-world X and Y coordinates of each calibration point in the Target X and Target Y columns.

Surfer's Georeference Image window with four calibration points at the image corners.

  1. If desired, change the warp method by clicking the Edit | Set Warp Method and then clicking the desired method.
  2. Click the Update Map button () in the toolbar.
  3. When you're done with the Georeference Image window, you can click File | Close to close it, though you can work in Surfer without closing this window.
  4. If the image should have a coordinate system assigned to it, select the Base layer in the Contents window and click the Coordinate System tab in the Properties window.
  5. Click the Set button.
  6. In the Assign Coordinate System dialog, select the coordinate system that corresponds to the Target X and Target Y coordinates you entered into the Georeference Image window.
  7. Click OK to apply the coordinate system to the base map layer.

For additional details on the georeference functionality and tools, review this knowledge base article, A detailed look at how to georeference (assign coordinates to) an image in Surfer


To georeference an image with corner coordinates in Surfer 13 and earlier versions, you can use these steps:

  1. In the Object Manager select the Base layer object.
  2. In the Property Manager click the General tab.
  3. Under the Image Coordinates section, enter the correct xMin, xMax, yMin, and yMax coordinate values in real world units.

For more information on the georeferencing tools, review the online help on georeferencing images 


If you do not know the real-world coordinates of the corners of your image, but instead know the coordinates of three or more points within the image, you can:


Updated October 18, 2018

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