Jump to content

 
Photo

Manifold GIS?

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#16
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Erin,

They do offer a 30 day return policy. I know it's not really 'demo', but it's something.

Depending on what you actually want to do, Manifold may not be the best thing. However, for at least 90% of the GIS tasks, Manifold will work just as well as 'major name' GIS packages, at a fraction of the price.

It's a good product and there's an active online user group at Georeference.org, which I've always considered to be a pro for any product.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#17
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

If you want to go the ESRI route you can get a good deal on ARCmap with a year of support through a donation and membership to IMTA. It ends up being around $500. Manifold has some very good features, especially the price. However, the labelling engine in ArcMap, the basic cartography features, and the geoprocessing make it superior in my mind. I use both equally everyday. And probably would get Manifold as a basic first tool because of its ability to integrate data from many sources and the spatial analysis options and raster reprojection tools, but I certainly would not want to be without access to some of ESRI's tools for some of my work. If you want to do Web stuff get Manifold, from what I hear it is very easy to get its web mapping applications online quickly as oppose to ArcIMS.


mg

#18
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

If you want to go the ESRI route you can get a good deal on ARCmap with a year of support through a donation and membership to IMTA. It ends up being around $500.....

If you want to do Web stuff get Manifold, from what I hear it is very easy to get its web mapping applications online quickly as oppose to ArcIMS.


mg

Thanks for the tip on ArcMap. I would prefer to use ArcMap for several reasons. One, ArcMap is the GIS mapping standard. It's used in so many different fields and applications it seems like anyone interested in GIS needs to be proficient in ArcMap. ArcMap is almost a mandatory requirement, especially for users like me who are just starting out in the field and looking for a job.

I'm also a bit worried about the comments concerning the difficulty of Manifolds interface. A good piece of software should have an intuitive interface. That's one aspect of ESRI products I really like. They are easy to use and well integrated. Why fight the software when you dont need too?

Your comments concerning Manifolds ability to quickly and easily deploy web mapping applications has definitely sparked my interest. "Quick and Easy". And it almost seems like a good deal if that was all I used it for. I have no experience with ArcIMS because the program is to pricey for me and our department at the University feels the same way (unfortuneatly)....Maybe Manifold's my answer. Thanks. Erin



#19
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

Erin,

I'm probably sounding a bit inconsistent about Manifold, praising in one posting and beeing critical in another. I apologize. As with all software I enjoy a love/hate relationship with it. When it works I love it, when it doesnt and I have to look elsewhere to fullfill my needs...I hate it and feel love for the competitors. I have been singing its glories to fellow cartographers for a few years now but dont get me wrong it is far from perfect.

Manifold IS a bit clunky feeling, but it sort of makes up for it by letting you accomplish alot with cut and paste. Imagine the ease of cutting and pasting features of Photoshop and Illustrator but with spatial awareness...that's Manifold. It is a quite powerful piece of software, but not as mature as ESRI products, but probably a bit more stable, i.e. less crashing. There is a good document comparing it side by side with ArcMap floating around somewhere...

#20
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

I'm probably sounding a bit inconsistent about Manifold, praising in one posting and beeing critical in another. I apologize. As with all software I enjoy a love/hate relationship with it.

I understand the love/hate thing with software. I do the same thing. That's why I'm constantly shopping around, wondering if I put my money in the right place.



#21
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

The Arc***-Manifold comparison is here:
Cornell document

As far as being inconsistent, every product has its good and its bad sides. In fact, being inconsistent about it means you are actually aware of the bad sides. I'd prefer that over blind faith in the software.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#22
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

Thanks for the link, Hans. I've made my way through about half of the document . Very informative....It's funny, I've been talking to a lot of the GIS people here at the University and very few have heard of Manifold...
It's almost as if the low price keeps it from being taken seriously and discussed.



#23
Nick Springer

Nick Springer

    CartoTalk Founder Emeritus

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crosswicks, NJ
  • Interests:Cartographic Design, Print Maps, Graphic Design, Web Development, Ultimate Frisbee
  • United States

I started to look through it as well, and it was also a really good tutorial on how to do a lot of basic tasks in both applications.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#24
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Erin,

That and the fact that Manifold doesn't spend that much money on advertisements. In fact, there's been a heated discussion on the Manifold forum about this. The opinion was voiced that Manifold doesn't appear interesting because it's 'closed'. I.e. Manifold won't tell you how much money they made vs ESRI who does. Personally I think it doesn't make any difference and the actual capabilities of the product, combined with the price, make it worthwile. Anyway, you may want to read through that thread here:
Georeference.org discussion

"Dimitri" is an employee of Manifold ;)

For me the three most important things for a new product are:
- Can it do what I want it to do
- Does it have a good price/value ratio
- Is there an online user group
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#25
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

Manifold vs. ESRI for map layout & cartography

This is more info for you Erin, it just appeared today, appropriately enough. I'm looing forward to V. 6.5 & 7

mg

#26
Jason

Jason

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Cartography, Geography, and more Cartography. Oh, I also garden and golf in the summer.
  • United States

I have a question for you Manifold users, what is their upgrading pricing? Do you have to pay $245 for each major release. Are the SP releases free?

I wasn't too fond of the people in the article Georeference.org discussion that Hans brought up,
suggesting "just hang in there" the next release will have the features you want. I don't need to spend $245 dollars twice just to get want I want/need. I would just wait until the next release, and just be out $55. Especially if the product isn't suitable for your need.

I did manage to read through the very long but very interesting thread that "Alpine" had recommended. I am getting more interested in Manifold and might even give it a try this summer when they say 6.5 comes out. Labeling and layout are my two biggest complaints with ARC.

I really don't care about a company's marketing strategies as long as it is a strong product.
I like the fact that they seem to actually listen to their customers request and have about a 6 month interval of SP updates.

#27
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

Jason,

Service Packs are typically very substantive and FREE. The first service pack is usually minor (but with manifold that can mean anything) and released shortly (a few months) after an initial release. There is usually a second service pack several months down the line (6-8) that is more drastic, mostly introducing new features rather than fixing bugs. Manifold tends to be less buggy due to more extensive testing. One notable exception was the first iterations of the GPS console. The software does change alot from service pack to service pack. you may get used to certain desired features (labels along path V5) in one release to see that feature dissapear in the next but replaced with a more desirebale (but non exclusive) feature (V6.1 illustrator export).

Upgrades are not free, in the last two releases registered users were offered a CD version for usually ~50$ for the first 30 days following the release. Once the 30 days are up I think the upgrade is full cost, i.e. there is no upgrade price. the xplanation for this is that they want everyone to upgrade at once in order to find any bugs faster and be able to relase that first SP of fixes and requested features that did not make it into the full release but that everyone complains about right away. Thats why illustrator export appeared in 6.1. Many users (myself included) raised hell after 6.0 and within a few months we had what we wanted.

Manifold at this point is still challenged on the labels and layout front so if you dont like ESRI's approach (which is still far superior by their own admission) wait until 6.5 or 7. As for ESRI I think they have vastly improved over the days of Arc View 3.X and command line Arc info and have listened to their users, they just assume their users have endless financial resources to spend on plug-ins. Labelling with Maplex or the 3rd party label E-Z is very powerful and I have only seen it excelled by in-house custom applications at Federal level institutions ( The ICC comes to mind) that were vastly more costly to implement. But the cost of these plug-ins is prohibitive for small operators like me. It will be interesting to see if Manifold can meet or excel that standard and provide an affordable professional labelling engine.


mg

#28
Rob

Rob

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kailua, Hawaii
  • Interests:anything outside.
  • United States

A link to this article was posted on another list I monitor:

http://dspace.librar...eview_final.pdf

It's titled: How do I do that in ArcGIS/Manifold: Illustrating classic GIS tasks

If you are use to Arc's set up and terminology, then this could be a good place to start, full of illustrations too.

cheers,

rob

#29
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

Here is a review of the soon to be released 6.5

#30
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic & Kite Photography
  • United States

Manifold 6.5 is now available for both upgrades and new purchases here

mg




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->