Manifold® System GIS

Full Featured, Low Cost GIS

By Rich Friedman GIS Supervisor City of Farmington

Manifold® System GIS Current Version 6.5

IS NOT:
– A GIS light – Basic GIS for beginners (although a good option for beginners) – A Novelty GIS package

IS:
– – – A full, very comprehensive GIS package A very valuable addition to ANY GIS tool set A scalable GIS solution from a stand alone GIS to a full Enterprise GIS – Different both in terminology and user interface from other GIS software

Manifold® System GIS

Manifold® System GIS Strengths:
– A very complete GIS solution – Robust feature set, powerful geoprocessing tools, dynamic feature labeling, view bots, “active” database columns, full SQL support, and scripting – “Basic” package includes full editing and analysis of points, lines, polygons, images, and surfaces – Integrated Internet Map Server (IMS) – 3D display including:
» » » » Vector overlay/extrusion Image overlay Surface overlay/shading Elevation contouring

– Support for import/export of a wide variety of geospatial, data formats – Superior ability to import, link, and relate to tabular data – Full .ecw image compression engine (unlimited image size) – Dynamic labeling support

Manifold® System GIS

Manifold® System GIS Weaknesses:
– Cartographic hardcopy output in not as “refined” as some competitors – Mr. Sid image support is “slow/weak” (uses the free Mr. Sid Image de-compressor which is “throttled-down”) – Geographic projection support is VERY good internally, but import/export of certain data types and projections can be confusing and slightly problematic – Large images can make project files very large, and increase load and save times dramatically (linking images with the Enterprise Edition solves this problem) – Very little 3rd party support for training and applications (but there is excellent user based list server user support)

Manifold System Products
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Manifold® System Professional Edition - $245 Manifold® System Professional Edition with Debugger - $295 Manifold® System Enterprise Edition - $395 Manifold® System Universal Edition - $495 Manifold® Business Tools - $95
– An optional extension to Manifold System that provides additional commands for working with drawings

Manifold® Surface Tools - $95
– Optional extension to Manifold System that provides additional commands for working with surfaces

Manifold® 2004 Geocoding Data - $100
– Optional US street address geocoding database that turns on (enables) street address geocoding functions
(currently upgrades for any level of license costs $50.00)

Professional Edition General Features
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The Professional Edition is the base product Full vector and image editing capabilities Full Data Base Editing 3D Visualization, DEM Support, and Elevation Contour Generation Full ECW and JPEG 2000 compression (unlimited file size) Image Registration, Image Mosaic, Image Fusion Unlimited Project Size

Professional Edition General Features (continued)
Integrated Internet Map Server  Integrated GPS Capability (with NEMA compliant GPS devices)  Statistical and Spatial Analysis  Spatial Overlays (over 27 different operators) and Buffers  Data transfer rules by individual column for spatial data manipulation

Professional Edition General Features (continued)

Spatial Editing including:
– Boolean unions, dissolves,and clips – Polygon islands and holes – Transfer selections from vector drawing layers to image layers or surface layers and vice versa

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Automatic Contouring of surfaces into areas or lines Chart Creation and Editing User interface Customization Geospatial SQL

Professional Edition

Supports:
– Vectors (points, lines, polygons) – Raster (image) Data – 2D and 3D Surfaces – Terrain Simulations – Multi-layered maps – User defined and auto generated labels – Wide Range of Data Base & Tabular Data Formats

Scripting (programming) support for:
– – – – – – – – – ActiveX OLE DB & ODBC MS Internet Information Server COM Visual Basic ASP & ASP.NET MS .NET Framework MS XML MS Jscript

Professional Edition

Wide variety of vector, raster, terrain, and database data import tools (over 80) including: HDF EOS, .shp, .mid/.mif, .e00, SDTS, TIGER/Line (through 2002), DLG, VMAP/VPF, NTF, TAB, DXF, TAIF, DGN, DEM, SDTS DEM, NITF, Space Shuttle SRTM 

Professional Edition

Data export includes: .shp, .mid/.mif, .dxf, mfd/mdb, SDTS and .e00 (Enterprise Edition required for .e00 export); image formats: .bmp, .ecw, JPEG 2000, .png, .gif, .jpg, .tga, .emf, .tif and GeoTiff; .bil surface format; database table formats such as Access .mdb, Excel .xls, Paradox .db, Dbase .dbf, Lotus Wkx, HTML and ASCII text .csv formats as well as to any OLE DB or ODBC database or to database providers such as Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 or MySQL if installed

Professional Edition Editing Tools

Copy and paste from and to drawings, images and data bases Standard Vector Editing Plus:
– Extend,trim, bearing, angle offset – Snapping – Image “tracing” – Shared Edit

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Topology Creation Move, Rotate, and Scale Vector Data Split (with) Spline

Vector Functions

Professional Edition: 3D Visualization
Animation from: www.manifold.net

Professional Edition with Debugger

Same features as the Professional Edition plus sophisticated Debugging tools for programmers

Enterprise Edition Features
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All the features of the Professional Edition PLUS: Integrated debugger system for scripting Export to ESRI .e00 format Storage in Centralized DBMS
– Any Manifold component can be stored within a database, on an “Enterprise Server” – Supported ODBC compliant database management systems include IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle (others such as MySQL are known to work)

Diagram from Manifold System Help

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Multi-user Coordination enforces access control and controlled editing of shared components Use One Component in Many Projects – Data links allow access by several projects to a single component kept within the Enterprise Server.

Advantages of Enterprise Edition Architecture

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Faster performance, at times by a factor of 100 or more in interactive GIS operations as compared to older architectures Reliable, conflict-free editing of complex data in a multi-user environment Freedom to choose almost any DBMS vendor Connect to multiple DBMS servers - within the same project Manifold can transparently include multiple components from different Enterprise servers hosted by different DBMS vendors

Advantages of Enterprise Edition Architecture (continued)
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DBMS safety. If the DBMS crashes while working on an Enterprise project the project is still safe and can be saved with no loss of data Network fault tolerance. If the network crashes while working on an Enterprise project the project is still safe. Ability to use Internet for remote DBMS connections Off-line working capability such as with laptops when traveling away from a direct connection to an Enterprise server

Manifold® Universal Edition
All of the features of Professional and Enterprise Editions  With two extensions included

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Business Tools Surface Tools

Universal Edition provides a Cost savings of $80.00 over purchasing the extensions separately

Manifold® Business Tools Extension
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Districts (Advanced) - Redistricting using a condensed, expert level dialog. Districts (Visual) - Redistricting via an easy-to-use visual, interactive dialog. Drive-Time Zones - Computation of drive-time zones via an easy-to-use, interactive dialog. Optimal Route - Finding an optimal route to designated locations using a condensed, expert level dialog.

Manifold® Business Tools Extension (continued)

Optimal Route (Visual) - Finding an optimal route to designated locations via an easy-to-use, interactive dialog. Send Email - Automatically send email to map objects. Used to send spatially-targeted email. Topology Factory - An interactive dialog to view and repair common topological errors in drawings. Expanded programmatic access to routing and other functions.

Manifold® Surface Tools

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New Surface Transform command dialog allows arbitrary transformation of surfaces, including computations that involve multiple surfaces such as subtracting one surface from another. A very rich collection of operators allows many different types of tasks to be accomplished. Transfer Heights command enables rapid transfer of surface values from surfaces to points. The Visible Area (View Shed) command shows areas that are visible from given points. The height of viewing points may be automatically adjusted from a height field.

Manifold® Surface Tools (continued)

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Options in surface generation include creating surfaces from drawings and tables using triangulation, Median-Polish Kriging, and Kriging interpolation (Linear, Power, Rational and automatic model choices). Interpolation of missing pixels and Interpolate Row. The ability to work with new Profiles and Elevations components that show cross-sectional cuts through a given path over a surface.

Manifold® Surface Tools (continued)

Sophisticated watershed capabilities and other hydrology functions includeing:
– Automatic computation of:
» streams, flow direction, flow accumulation, watersheds and upstream areas.

– Objects created by hydrology computations can be automatically ordered by data attributes giving their Strahler or Shreve ordering.

Expanded programmatic access to surface operations.

Surface Tools Image/Surface Functions

Only available in Surface Tools

Only available in Enterprise Edition

Pros
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Full featured GIS package with functions usually associated with very expensive programs Strong Development Cycle A scalable GIS solution from a stand alone GIS to a full Enterprise GIS Great set of training videos available at a very reasonable cost Volume purchase discounts available in addition to an already outstanding price/performance/feature ratio Runtime Editions available for developers and IMS servers

Cons
Unique interface and workflow makes transition from other GIS software more difficult  Small company means fewer users, and less third party support  The vast GIS tool set may be slightly overwhelming for new GIS users

Manifold Links and Resources
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Manifold Home Page
– http://www.manifold.net

Article on use of Manifold IMS in Hurricane Katrina research: Manifold Training Videos
– http://www.gisadvisor.com

– http://www.gismonitor.com/news/newsletter/archive/091505.p
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Procedure comparison of Manifold and ArcGIS 8
– http://dspace.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/165

List Servers/Forums
– www.Georeference.org – www.directionsmag.com