Here is a quick summary of contouring using Surfer (Golden Software)

Ramon Arrowsmith

I used a dataset from an offset stream channel along the San Andreas fault in the central Carrizo Plain, California.
Here are the data. Here is a 3D view of the site:
topo

Here is a view of the site on the ground.


 

I tried three methods so far:

Inverse distance

Here is the screen from surfer that has the parameters selected

Here is the map.  Note that it also shows the data in the yellow plus symbols.

 

Minimum curvature

Here is the screen from surfer that has the parameters selected

Here is the map:

 

Kriging

Here is the screen from surfer that has the parameters selected

Here is the map:

Here are two views of the dataset generated using the Triangular Irregular Network contouring capability of Deltagraph:
Site map
zoom