Display 3D Base(vector) polygons and polylines in the 3D View in Surfer

The 3D View now supports 3D vector data, including polylines and polygons! Now your entire model can come to life in the 3D View with the ability to display your 3D DXF, SHP, GPX, and more formats in true 3D. Show how the fracture zones in the rock sequence relate to some nearby tunnels and vertical shafts, or visualize your pipeline network. Identify fault planes or other lines intersecting with your surfaces. 


Surfer displaying pipe network in 3D

See how below:

  1. Click Home | New Map | Base | Base to create a new map with the 3D polylines and/or polygons, or select an existing Map object and click Home | Add to Map | Layer | Base to overlay the vector data and spatially tie the new layer with the existing layer. 
    • If you're unsure if your data is 3D or not, you can verify by expanding the Base(vector) layer in the Contents and viewing the names of the objects listed under the Base layer. If they objects are 3D, you will see the name of the object starts with 3D. 
      3D polylines and 3D polygons in Surfer's Contents window
    • You can also select an object (a point, polyline or polygon) and then click the Coordinates tab in the Properties window. The X, Y and Z coordinates (if available) are displayed. If there is no data in the Z column (points), or there is no Z column at all displayed (polylines or polygons), then the object is not 3D. You can enter, edit or delete data directly from this window by clicking in any cell in the X, Y or Z column and changing it.
      XY and Z coordinates of a 3D polyline displayed in Surfer's Properties window
    • If your data isn't in 3D, you can convert the objects to 3D. See Work with 3D vector objects including polylines, polygons, and polymesh for additional information. 
  2. You can change the drawing properties of the objects in the base layer, if you wish.
    • To change specific properties for all objects in the base layer (e.g. all symbol, line, or fill properties) select the Base(vector) layer in the Contents window, then adjust the necessary properties in the Properties window.  
    • To change the properties of individual objects, simply select the specific object and change the properties for that object in the Properties window.
  3. When ready to view the data in 3D, click the Map object in the Contents then click Map Tools | View | 3D View in the ribbon. The 3D objects are displayed in 3D.


Updated November, 2021

Was this article helpful?
4 out of 5 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.