QuikGrid Home Page

Some other programs which generate grids from scattered data and/or contour grids.

The following is a small sampling of the programs available in this area. See also the readings listed at the end of this page.

My understanding is that the richest availability of code exists for the UNIX operating system. Unless otherwise indicated I have not downloaded or tested any of the following.

UNIX/Linux/MS Windows

GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) For more information see . GMT has been released as free software under the GNU Public License. For information about the GNU project see This is a UNIX package but versions exist that run under Windows. By reputation a very large and powerful package but difficult to learn how to use.

GRASS GIS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is an open source, free software Geographical Information System (GIS) with raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphics production functionality that operates on various platforms through a graphical user interface and shell in X-Windows. It is released under GNU General Public License (GPL). For more information check their home page at

SURFIT (Gridding and Contouring Software) is open source, free software. SURFIT has been released under the GNU Public License.  SURFIT can do interpolation/approximation of points, contours and surfaces, can take fault lines and trend surfaces into account, can use inequalities and other conditions. It supports a lot of data types and formats. For more information see .

MS Windows/95//NT

Surfer from Golden Software. .($US699). You may download a demo version that inhibits any ability to print, save, copy, cut, or export. I have downloaded and tested the demo version of this program. It has a lot of capability. If you are generating grids from large numbers of data points it is much slower than QuikGrid.

3dField available at ($US99). 3dField is Shareware. I tested a version of 3D Field many years ago. For large numbers of data points it was much slower than QuikGrid.

Some Readings: Machine Contouring and Grid Generation.

For those who are new to the topic of machine contouring and grid generation the following readings may provide a starting point for explorations into this subject. The articles from Geobyte from 1991 to 1992 provide a good starting point and overview of the subject. Note that some of the references date back to the 60's. This is not a new field. I have not read all these articles. The inclusion of an article in this list may only mean that someone has passed the reference on to me or I have culled it from some other reading and noted it for future reference.

Geobyte, June 1992 - Issue on contouring including list of publicly available mapping programs.

Banks, R., Contouring Algorithms, Geobyte Oct. 91

Smith, W. H. F, and P. Wessel, Gridding with continuous curvature splines in tension, Geophysics, 3, 293-305, 1990.

Briggs, I.C., 1974, Machine Contouring using minimum curvature; Geophysics, 39, 39-48.

Crain, I.K. 1970, Computer Interpolation and contouring of 2 dimensional data. A review: Geoexplor v 8 p 71-86.

Crain, I.K. and Bhattchauyya, B. K. 1967, Treatment of non-equispaced, 2 dimensional data with a digital computer, Geoexplor v.5 p 173-194.

Barnhill, R.E. and Nileson, G.M., 1984 Surfaces (the foreward of the special issue) Rocky Mount J. Math, 14, 1-3;

Inoue, H., 1986, A least-squares smooth fitting for irregularly spaced data: Finite Element approach using the cubic B spline basis: Geophysics, 51, 2051-2066.

Lancaster, P., QNE wqlkquwkqw, K., 1986, Curve and surface fitting: Academic Press Inc.

Press, W. H., Flannery, B.P., Teukolsky, S. A., and Vetterling, W.T., 1986, Numerical Recipies: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Olea, R.A., 1974, Optimal contour mapping using universal kriging: J. Geophys. Res., 79, 696-702.

D. F. Watson 1992 'Contouring', Pergamon (Source code?)

Dec 06/09