# Gridding Overview

### What is a grid?

A grid is a rectangular region comprised of evenly spaced rows and columns.
The intersection of a row and column is called a grid node. Rows contain
grid nodes with the same Y coordinate. Columns contain grid nodes with
the same X coordinate. Contour, color relief, shaded relief, grid values,
vector, viewshed, watershed, 3D surface, and 3D wireframe map layers all
require grids in Surfer.

### What is gridding?

Gridding is the process of taking irregularly spaced XYZ data and generating
a regularly spaced grid of Z values at each grid node by interpolating
or extrapolating the data values. In addition to gridding data, Surfer can also use a variety of
other grid files directly. For a list of these, refer to the File Format Chart
in the online help.

### Gridding Methods

Gridding the data produces a regularly spaced, rectangular array of
Z values from irregularly spaced XYZ data. The term "irregularly
spaced" means that the distance between data points varies in the
X or Y direction, or both. Irregularly spaced data often has many holes
where data are missing. Gridding fills in these holes by extrapolating
or interpolating Z values at those locations where no data exists. The
gridding method determines the mathematical algorithms used to compute
the Z value at each grid node. Each method results in a different representation
of your data. It is advantageous to test each method with a typical data
set to determine the gridding method that provides you with the most satisfying
interpretation of your data.

When your XYZ data is regularly spaced, meaning the distance between
data points does not change in the X and Y directions, you may produce
a grid file that uses the Z values directly and does not interpolate values
for the grid nodes. See the Producing
a grid file from a regular array of XYZ data topic for more
information.

### General Gridding Options

Each gridding method has its own set of gridding options. Some of the
options are the same or similar for the different gridding methods, while
other options are specific to particular gridding methods. Some options
that are available to multiple gridding methods include: Search,
Anisotropy, Breaklines,
and Faults.

See Also

A
Gridding Example

Grid Files

Introduction
to Gridding Methods

General
Gridding Recommendations

Grid
Data