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How do they compare? QGIS and Manifold

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#1
woneil

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    Will O'Neil

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I wonder whether anyone feels familiar enough with both to comment on comparison of the capabilities of QGIS and Manifold.

My own use is for maps for reports, articles, and books that I write -- meaning that the GIS features per se are not of much interest to me (although they no doubt are to many users). I have used Manifold in the past and gotten results I felt reasonably satisfied with. Dealing with the company has been rather irksome, however.

I do gather that QGIS lacks the graphics tools of Manifold, but even with Manifold I tended to do the graphics work elsewhere.

One important difference from what I can tell from very little investigation of QGIS is that its repertoire of projections lacks many that are valuable for small-scale maps -- Robinson or orthographic, for instance. For me this is a pretty significant problem.
Will O'Neil
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http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#2
matt

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Hi Will,

Not sure about the projection issue, but I would definitely recommend QGIS. Although I was a big time Manifold user for years, I began using QGIS and haven't looked back. The beauty of QGIS as I see it is that you can use it to bring in your GIS data, compose a map in rough form, then export it as a PDF or SVG, allowing you to do your final tweaks / map composition in something else (Illustrator, in Design, InkScape, etc.)

It costs you $0 to download it - so if you haven't already I'd suggest getting it and testing it out, especially the projections.

Hope that helps,

Matt

#3
eli

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One important difference from what I can tell from very little investigation of QGIS is that its repertoire of projections lacks many that are valuable for small-scale maps -- Robinson or orthographic, for instance. For me this is a pretty significant problem.


I do not think QGIS lacks any projections - you are always free to any projection your little heart desires! See, for example, this blog post.

#4
woneil

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    Will O'Neil

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Thanks, Matt. I suppose that in principle it is possible to add a script for any arbitrary projection, but it might not be too attractive a proposition for something like the Robinson projection (which I find a good deal of use for).
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#5
matt

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No problem, Will.

I haven't tried it yet - but you should be able to define your custom CRS within Quantum GIS using the Proj4 standard.

You can get most (if not all) projections from spatialreference.org, which will provide the Proj4 for you.

Check this out: http://spatialrefere...search=robinson


Good luck!

- Matt

#6
Steven Gordon

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I'm not sure about QGIS's repertoire of world map projections such as Robinson. But I've used it to reproject data in a number of "mainstream" projections, from Van der Grintens to State Planes.

 

I used to use Manifold, too. "Irksome" is a fitting description. The software was good, but the company and its rules for installing it was nerve-wracking. Especially for a newbie like me who was unfamiliar with Windows Administrator accounts.

 

QGIS is a good vehicle for quick map composition as Matt suggested above. You can load a lot of data quickly, style it, and pump out a PDF that can be handed off to a client for review.

 

I use QGIS when my Mac is tied up with Illustrator and MAPublisher or when I confront very large data sets. QGIS is stable importing and manipulating layers filled with hundreds of thousands of data objects. I'll use QGIS to compile, sort, and refine data, in order to make smaller, more easily handled data sets that I end up importing into Illustrator using MAPublisher.

 

So I don't miss the hoops Manifold put me through installing and registering their excellent GIS software. And I enjoy having software that plays on multiple platforms.


Steven Gordon
Cartagram, LLC




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