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#1
Nick Springer

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I have been wondering about Manifold's GIS application and it is a useful product. Unfortunately they don't have any kind of demo or trial version.

Specifically I wonder how compatible it is with Shapefiles and how well it does visual design tasks? Does it export to Adobe Illustrator format?

Anybody have any opinions?

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#2
Kartograph

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Only hearsay.
During an Internship, one of the programmers of a GIS company said to me about Manifold: "Very complicated and counterintuitive user interface, bad programming, slow; but there is a strong customer base who support and love it."

What I can´t understand: All the references on their homepage are of dubious origin and the exact specifications aren´t there. No Demoversion does add to that point.

Regards,
Andreas

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Only hearsay.
During an Internship, one of the programmers of a GIS company said to me about Manifold: "Very complicated and counterintuitive user interface, bad programming, slow; but there is a strong customer base who support and love it."

What I can´t understand: All the references on their homepage are of dubious origin and the exact specifications aren´t there. No Demoversion does add to that point.

Regards,
Andreas

I've used it for a short while now. Haven't come across any problems with shapefiles yet and it's supposed to export to Illustrator. I wouldn't use it for any map design though, as I strongly feel Illustrator or Freehand are better tools for that.

So far I've found that the interface does take some getting used to, but there is a large online community (Georeference.org).

Also, in price it's unbeatable. I got it with all the extra's and only spent $750. With the low $ vs € at the moment, I had a very nice bargain on it. I'm glad I bought it.

They don't offer a demo-version, but they do offer a 30-day refund guarantee, for what it's worth.

As for the website, I found manifold.net to be very informative.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#4
Kartograph

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As I said, my information was only from hearsay, not first hand experience. So your opinion is of much higher value here.

Regards,

Andreas

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Last week I exported a layout from Manifold to Illustrator format and I'm happy to report some results.

The AI file looks okay, but the canvas size is too large. Could be due to the fact that I really didn't pay attention to scale in Manifold, I just wanted to get the shapes into Illustrator.

- All objects from a 'layer' in Manifold are grouped together and it's pretty difficult to get rid of this grouping.
- Export was pretty fast
- Colors and linestyles were exported properly
- File itself was still editable, though the grouping made things difficult

In short, and keep in mind that this is just based on one attempt, I would not recommend doing a lot of additional design work in Illustrator, but it certainly is possible.
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#6
Martin Gamache

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MAnifold is my primary GIS, mostly because of the price to feature ratio. I still use ARCmap for numerous geoprocessing functions where it is much faster and also for interpolating raster from vector data using the TOPOGRID module.

Manifold's illustrator export is very good but you need to follow a few steps to insure good export:

1. Only export vector data in a file and export from a Layout. This will ensure your canvas is set to the same size as your layout page size.
2. leave your raster resolution setting at 72dpi and vector resolution at 300
3. When you first open the file delet all the unamed layers
4. Select all and release clipping paths. Delet all clipping paths except for one ( save one in case you need to register future exports)
5. Save As new file.


By following these steps I've gotten very clean files into Illustrator out of Manifold. It does not deal well with any rotated text however and I find I am more successful exporting those to PDF format and combining the files in Illy at a later stage. It also prefers TT fonts, I usually leave the default as Tahoma.

I've been working with Manifold since 2001, so feel free to PM for specifics.

#7
ELeFevre

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I'm thinking seriously about buying this program. From what I've read it seems like an incredible package at a fraction of the cost of other programs. $245 for the loaded basic edition?. wow.



#8
Lui

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We just ordered the copy of Manifold Universal edition to try out a see what it can do for us. I'm very interested in IMS capabilites, so if any of you (Martin?) has some IMS experience, I would be glad to hear. Oh Martin sorry, I've overlooked your PM note.

Lui

#9
Martin Gamache

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Thats OK since I've never used the IMS function.

Manifold has a great user community that can be found at georeference.org

They can probably direct you to numerous sites using Manifold IMS technology.

#10
Nick Springer

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I think I'm going to order a copy as well, based on this input.

Nick Springer

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


#11
Hans van der Maarel

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I've briefly ran a test of the IMS capabilities, but haven't had time to look at it in detail. It's really meant to run on IIS and use Javascript or .NET, whereas I personally prefer Apache and PHP...

However, publishing a map to the IMS is, at least for a very basic view, a matter of seconds.
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#12
Nick Springer

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Well, I got my copy of Manifold 6.0 on Friday and have been playing around with it over the weekend. I have to say it seems pretty powerful, but the UI is not as intuitive for previous GIS users. It just took getting a little used to.

I love the georegistration tools.

Nick Springer

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


#13
Hans van der Maarel

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I agree, the interface takes some getting used to.

The geocoding options are pretty impressive too, not only for those of us who are in the US. If you want to geocode non-US addresses, Manifold can use Microsoft MapPoint as a geocoding engine. Used that one once and got pretty decent results.
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#14
Nick Springer

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The MapPoint geocoding feature is nice because I don;t have to pay extra for Manifold's geocoding engine.

Plus, since I helped create MapPoint, I like to see it put to good use :)

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#15
ELeFevre

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Since all of you are giving Manifold what appears to be a thumbs up, would you recommend it over the more expensive products being offered on the market? I'm sure this is a bit tricky to answer because every program has it's pros and cons, but for the price, is the best "deal"? I really wish they had a demo version that you didnt have to pay for. I'm dying to give it try. The price is sooo tempting. Erin






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