File Formats

A number of distinctions for different file types used by Surfer are compiled in the tables below. The tables are organized first by the type of content and then alphabetically by the abbreviation for the file format. The tables provide links to detailed information about the file formats. Some file types have more than one content type and this is noted in the tables. Beneath the table are remarks about the file formats that have drawing properties or text blocks.

Content Types

Files can contain raster (image) information, vector (lines) information, or both. There is no raster to vector conversion in Surfer. If you have an image on the screen and try to export it as a vector format, such as a DXF, the resulting file will be blank. If you have an image on the screen and have drawn polylines or polygons and export as a vector format, only the drawing objects are included in the file. In addition to the raster and vector content types, Surfer supports data, grid, and other file formats.

Coordinate Types

Different types of coordinate systems control how the coordinates are shown on the map. In the tables below, the coordinate systems for the file types are noted as one of these three:

  • Real world coordinates are those such as latitude/longitude, UTM, etc.,
  • Pixel coordinates,
  • Other coordinates such as page coordinates, metafile coordinates, etc.

Surfer automatically converts real world coordinate systems to the map's target coordinate system, so maps with different coordinate systems can be easily combined in Surfer.

Raster (image) Files

Unless otherwise noted in the table, use the File | Import command in the plot window, the Import dialog (i.e. Home | New Map | Base) or the Open Grid dialog (i.e. Home | New Map | Contour) to open the format.

To export most raster files, use the File | Export command in the plot window.

File Format

File Name

More Than One Content Type

Coordinate Type

Import

Export

AN?

ACR-NEMA Medical Image

 

Pixel

X

 

ASI

Amira Stacked Images

Raster and Vector

X

 

BMP

Windows Bitmap

Pixel

X

X

CLP

Windows Clipboard

Raster and Vector

Other

Paste

Copy

DCM

DICOM 3 Medical Image

Pixel

X

 

DIC

DICOM3 Medical Image

Raster and Vector

Pixel

X

 

ECW

ER Mapper

 

Real world

X

 

EMF

Windows Enhanced Metafile

Raster and Vector

Other

X

X

EPS

Encapsulated Postscript

 

Pixel

 

X

GIF

Image

 

Pixel

X

X

GSI

Golden Software Interchange

Raster and Vector

Real world

X

X

HDF

Hierarchical Data

 

X

X

IMG

Analyze 7.5 Medical Image

 

X

X

IMG

ERDAS Imagine Image

Raster and/or Grid

Pixel, Real world

X

 

IMG

Idrisi Raster Image

 

X

 

INFO

Leica Confocal Raw Slices

 

X

JP2

JPEG2000 Image

 

Real world

X

X

JPG

JPEG Compressed Bitmap

 

Pixel, Real world

X

X

PBM

Image

 

Pixel

X

 

PDF

Portable Document File (Raster)

 

Pixel

X

X

PGM

Image

Pixel

X

PNG

Portable Network Graphics

Pixel

X

X

PNM

Image

Pixel

X

X

PPM

Image

Pixel

X

RAS

Sun Raster Image

Raster and Vector

Pixel

X

X

RGB

SGI-RGB Image

Pixel

X

X

RGBA

SGI-RGB Image

Pixel

X

X

RST

Idrisi Raster Image

 

Pixel

X

SID

LizardTech MrSID Image

Pixel, Real world

X

STK

Metamorph

 

X

SUN

Sun Raster Image

 

Pixel

X

X

SVG

Scalable Vector Graphics

Raster and Vector

Real world

X

TGA

Targa (TrueVision)

Pixel

X

X

TIF

Tagged Image

Pixel, Real world

X

X

WMF

Windows Metafile

Raster and Vector

Other

X

X

Vector (lines) Files

Most vector files can be opened or imported using the Home | New Map | Base command and the Import dialog. A blank cell means the file cannot be imported.

Use the File | Export command in the plot window to export most vector files.

File Format

File Name

More Than One Content Type

Coordinate Type

Import

Export

000

S-57 Electronic Navigation Chart

 

Real world

X

ASI

Amira Stacked Images

Vector and Raster

X

BNA

Atlas Boundary

Vector, Data

Real world

X

X

CLP

Windows Clipboard

Vector and Raster

Other

Paste

Copy

DCM

DICOM 3 Medical Image

Pixel

 

DDF

SDTS Topological Vector Profile

 

Real world

X

DGN

Microstation Design v7

 

Other

X

DIC

DICOM3 Medical Image

Vector and Raster

Pixel

X

DLG

USGS Digital Line Graph

 

Real world

X

DXF

AutoCAD DXF

 

Real world, Other

X

X

E00

Esri ArcInfo Export Format*see note at bottom of page

 

Real world

X

EMF

Windows Enhanced Metafile

Vector and Raster

Other

X

X

GDB

Esri File Geodatabase

 

Real world

X

GEOJSON

GeoJSON Data Interchange

 

Real world

X

GML

Geography Markup Language

 

Real world

X

GPX

GPS Exchange File

 

Real world

X

X

GSB

Golden Software Boundary

 

Real world

X

X

GSI

Golden Software Interchange

Raster and Vector

Real world

X

X

HTM

HTML Image Map

 

Pixel

 

X

KML

Google Earth KML

 

Pixel, Real world

X

X

KMZ

Google Earth KMZ

 

Pixel, Real world

X

X

LGO

USGS Digital Line Graph

 

Real world

X

LGS

USGS Digital Line Graph

 

Real world

X

MDB

Esri Personal Geodatabase

 

Real world

X

MIF

MapInfo Interchange

 

Real world

X

X

PDF

Portable Document File (Vector)

 

Other, Real world

 

X

PLT

Golden Software PlotCall

 

Other

X

PLY

Stanford Polygon

 

Real world

X

RAS

Sun Raster Image

Raster and Vector

Real world

X

X

RT*

TIGER/Line File

 

Real world

X

SEG

SEG-P1 Exchange Format

Data and Vector

Real world

X

X

SHP

Esri Shapefile

 

Real world

X

X

SP1

SEG-P1 Exchange Format

Data and Vector

Real world

X

X

SVG

Scalable Vector Graphics

Vector and Raster

Real world

 

X

TAB

MapInfo Table

 

Real world

X

 

TAR

SDTS Topological Vector Profile

 

Real world

X

 

TAR.GZ

SDTS Topological Vector Profile

 

Real world

X

 

TGZ

SDTS Topological Vector Profile

 

Real world

X

 

VCT

IDRISI Binary Vector File

 

Real world

X

VTK

Visualization Toolkit

 

Pixel

 

X

WMF

Windows Metafile

Vector and Raster

Other

X

X

ZIP

SDTS Topological Vector Profile

Vector

Real world

X

 

Grid Files

Most grid files can be opened with the Open Grid dialog (i.e. Home | New Map | Contour).

The File | Save As command in the grid editor or one of the grid menu commands in the plot window can be used to save this format with the Save Grid As dialog.

File Format

File Name

More than One Content Type

Coordinate Type

Import

Export

?10G

Globe DEM

 

X

ADF

Esri ArcInfo Binary Grid

 

X

X

AGR

ArcInfo ASCII Grid

 

X

X

AIG

ArcInfo ASCII Grid

 

X

X

AM

Amira Mesh

 

X

 

ASC

ArcInfo ASCII Grid

 

X

X

ASC

CPS-3 Grid Format

 

X

X

ASC

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

BIL

Banded Interleave Grid By Line

   

X

X

BIN

Raw Binary Grid

   

X

X

BIP

Banded Interleave Grid By Pixel

   

 

X

BSQ

Banded Sequential Grid

 

X

X

BW

SGI-RGB Image

 

Pixel

 

COL

Amira Mesh

 

X

 

CPS

CPS-3 Grid

 

X

 

CPS3

CPS-3 Grid

   

X

X

CSV

Formatted Text Grid

   

X

 

DAT

ETOPO-5

 

X

DAT

Z-Map Plus Grid

 

X

DDF

SDTS Digital Elevation Model

 

X

DEM

USGS Digital Elevation Model

 

X

X

DOS

ETOPO-5

 

X

DTED

Digital Terrain Elevation Data

 

X

E008

Esri Grid Format

 

Real world

X

ERS

ER Mapper Grid

 

X

X

ERS

ER Mapper Grid

 

X

X

FLD

AVS Field

 

X

X

FLT

Esri Float Grid Format

 

X

X

FTG

Formatted Text Grid

   

X

 

GGF

Geosoft Binary Grid

 

X

GRB

World Meteorological Organization Grid

 

X

GRD

ArcInfo ASCII Grid

 

X

X

GRD

CPS-3 Grid Format

 

X

X

GRD

NetCDF Grid File

 

X

GRD

Surfer Grid

 

X

X

GRD

Geosoft Binary Grid

 

X

X

GRD

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

GXF

Grid Exchange

 

X

X

HDR

GTopo-30

 

Real world

X

HGT

SRTM Elevation Data

 

Real world

X

IMG

ERDAS Imagine Image

Raster and/or Grid

Pixel, Real world

X

 

LAT

Iris Explorer

 

X

X

NC

NetCDF Grid File

 

X

X

RAW

Binary Grid

X

X

TAR

SDTS Digital Elevation Model

   

X

 

TAR.GZ

SDTS Digital Elevation Model

   

X

 

TGZ

SDTS Digital Elevation Model

   

X

 

TXT

Text Data

Data and Grid

X

X

TXT

Formatted Text Grid

 

X

XYZ

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

ZIP

SDTS Digital Elevation Model

   

X

 

ZMAP

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

X

ZYC

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

X

ZYCOR

Z-Map Plus Grid Format

 

X

X

Data Files

The File | Open or Data | Merge command in the worksheet can be used to open data files or merge the contents of data files into an existing worksheet.

Use the File | Save As command to save data files or the File | Export command to export data files.

File Format

File Name

More than One Content Type

Coordinate Type

Import

Export

ACCDB

Microsoft Access

 

X

ASCII Data

ASCII Data Files

 

Real world

X

X

BNA

Atlas Boundary

Vector, Data

Real world

X

X

CSV

Comma Separated Variable

 

X

X

DAT

Data

 

X

X

DBF

Database

 

X

X

LAS

LiDAR LAS Binary Data

 

Real world

X

LAZ

LiDAR LAS Binary Data

 

Real world

X

 

MDB

Microsoft Access

   

MID

MapInfo Data

 

X

X

SLK

Sylk Spreadsheet

 

Real world

X

X

SP1

SEG-P1 Exchange Format

Data and Vector

Real world

X

X

TXT

Text Data

Data and Grid

X

X

XLS

Excel Spreadsheet

  Pixel

X

X

XLSM

Excel Spreadsheet 2007

   

X

XLSX

Excel Spreadsheet 2007

 

X

X

Other File Formats

Export STL files with the Save Grid As dialog. Convert an existing grid to STL with the Grids | Edit | Convert command, or save a grid in the grid editor with File | Save As.

File Format

File Name

Content Type

Coordinate Type

Import

Export

STL

Stereolithography 3D Mesh

 

 

X

Drawing Properties

The following file types have drawing properties such as line color, fill, etc.:

  • CLP Windows Clipboard, EMF Windows Enhanced Metafile,
  • Encapsulated Postscript,
  • KML Google Earth KML and
  • Google Earth KMZ,
  • MIF MapInfo Interchange,
  • SVG Scalable Vector Graphics,
  • TAB MapInfo Table,
  • WMF Windows Metafile

The DGN Microstation Design v7 and DXF AutoCAD DSF have some drawing properties.

Editable Text Blocks

The following file types have text blocks that are editable. Note that when the All text as lines option is chosen in the export options, the text is not editable.

  • CLP Windows Clipboard,
  • E00 Esri ArcInfo Export Format, ,
  • EMF Windows Enhanced Metafile,
  • GSI Golden Software Exchange,
  • PLT Golden Software PlotCall,
  • WMF Windows Metafile

The DXF AutoCAD DXF file format has some editable text block properties.

Remark about .E00 File Format

The .E00 file format is not publicly documented by Esri. Although Golden Software has tested this .E00 import filter software with a number of publicly available .E00 files, it may not be compatible with all .E00 files created by all versions of Esri application programs. Golden Software is not affiliated with Esri, and this import filter software is not a product of, nor endorsed by, Esri.

See Also

Import

Export

Save

Save As

Save Grid As

Data File Formats

ASCII Grid File Format

Color Spectrum File Format

Level File Format

Surfer Grid File Format