Thursday, 19 February 2009

Software for stereographic projection. Stereonet

It is never a bad idea to refresh our memory about the software available online for free (freeware, GNU licenses, etc) in our profession. I have thought that it would be a good idea to dedicate some posts in our website to that topic. So we start today with...:

Software for stereographic projection

There are several pieces of software that you'd like to check out for that purposes. Basically all of them do the same job: project, display, analise and modify orientation data on a stereonet. More in detail, you can project in equal area, or you can choose to project in equeal projection. You can choose the hemisphere (high or low), you can choose to work with a pole or with a plane projection... And of course, rose diagramas, changes in directions for palaeocurrents, etc.

As we know, that is a basic procedure in structural geology, and therefore, my first recommendation is to masterise the stereonet by hand, using (oh, yes!) drafting paper, a pencil and a paper stereonet (And a flat pin, of course*). It is not difficult at all, and it can be fun. I loved it during my degree.

OpenStereo: Reviewed in one of my articles here: So far, I am really impressed by it!

(by Rick Allmendinger): In his website you can download not only Stereonet, but a fair amount of other useful tools. For non commercial purposes. It is my favourite one, as it works very well, and I haven't found any bugs in it. Go here:

StereoNett: German software produced in the University of Bochum. This is the old version, but perhaps it can be still useful in some old machine... anyway the new version is Stereo32, that you find in this article, below :-) :

Stereo32: Same software than the one mention above, but rewritten and designed for Windows 2000, XP and Vista:

If you know more software, please mention it in the comments of this article and I will add it to the list.

Soon, more software...

* That reminds me my lessons of "Structural Geology" in the second year of my degree. I studied Geology in Spain, where the basic degrees was, and still is, 5 years. Two of my classmates had exactly the same results during a test, and the lecturer knew perfectly who copied from who: one of them presented his drafting paper without a hole in the center for the pin!!


Anonymous said...

Here is an additional program:

Carlos Grohmann said...

Here is another one, which is Free (as in freedom), open-source, and runs on any operating system:

zapoteska said...

I installed this program under ubuntu linux. It's nice.

You need to install python 2.6,
python -wxtool, python-matplotlib and numpy.

Regards from Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Great ! thanks Zapoteska it work !

Jorge said...

If you are refering to OpenStereo, it works perfectly in Windows, without any complementary installation.



WENRONG said...

I am using both the openstereo and stereonet 6.3.3. It seems that the projection of poles of planes by openstereo is incorrect. The great circle projection is correct.

test the data :
strike/dip for planes
The result show that there are two poles near South but they should be at West instead.

I really like the contours in the openstereo with nice shading effect...

Anyone has the same problem?

WENRONG said...

try OSX Stereonet 1.1 (runs on Mac).

Jorge said...

Wenron, I cannot use Mac, so I cannot valorate this software. I will update the post anyway when I have a minute.

About your problem, same... I will test it when I am in front of my computer.

Thanks for the comment :)

Jorge said...

I have just checked it, and yes, you are right. The poles seem to be wrong, they don't make sense.

I will let Carlos know...

theodoric said...

Does it work with OSX 10.7 ?

Nestor Cardozo said...

OSXStereonet: A revamp version of Stereonet
OSXGeoCalc: Structural Geology Calculator
SSPX: Strain from displacement/velocity data
Trishear3D: 3D trishear modeling

All programs available at:

All programs run in Macintosh OSX 10.5 and above

Anonymous said...


This is an updated link to geologic software for spherical projections (Orient) and strain analysis (EllipseFit):

They are free and run on both Windows and Macintosh.

Anonymous said...

Updated Links for StereoNett and Stereo32:

Anonymous said...

Another site you might want to visit....

Anonymous said...

Is there any one of them able to rotate your data on small circles to get the pre-deformation plots?

Thanks in advance

Susan Grear said...

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jowdjbrown said...

Using this tool, I was able to open 200 putty sessions, start the application, and exercise virtual assistant

Anonymous said...

i cant download stereo32, the link does not allow me , Can somebody help me? I need the program