Business Tools

Options for Manifold System Release 8

Accomplish Even More

Visual Districts tool

All Manifold System editions include very strong capabilities for working with vector data (drawings) by default. The optional Business Tools extension provides provides additional commands for working with drawings, like the visual redistricting dialog seen at right. The Business Tools extension adds the following features:

  • Districts and Territory Balancing - Combining smaller regions into larger districts or territories is a frequent task in business, whether we would like to allocate different zip code regions to sales territories or to balance voting precints to assign to different canvassing teams. The redistricting commands in the Business Tools extension make it easy to do so.
  • Drive-Time Zones - Also called "drive-time polygons" this feature allows us to see how far one can drive through a given road network in a given time, reckoning for the length of roads and speed limits assigned. Drive time zones have many uses, such as finding out how large a population resides within a given driving distance of a possible new store location.
  • Optimal Routes - Routing through road networks, complete with driving directions, is a frequent task of GIS. The routing capabilities of Business Tools can be used interactively or through the programmatic interface to provide routing solutions either for personal use or for web or programmatic applications.
  • Sending Email - The Business Tools extension provides the revolutionary ability to send email directly based upon map objects. For example, an email could be sent to all emergency coordinators in the path of a storm, or a notification email could be sent to all of a company's dealers located within a 50 mile buffer zone of a planned demonstration tour.
  • Fast and Easy Repair of Drawing Errors - Drawings imported from CAD and other legacy sources often have a variety of errors such as dangles, overshoots and other problems. The Topology Factory tool provides a fast and handy way of locating and correcting a wide variety of errors.
  • Programmatic Extensions - Adding the Business Tools extension automatically expands the Manifold System API to include many new programmatic capabilities exposed by Business Tools commands.

Districts (Advanced)

Redistricting using a condensed, expert level dialog. The Districts (Advanced) command takes a set of areas and automatically assigns each area into as many districts are desired. For example, if four districts are desired each area in the set will be assigned to one of the districts. Areas will be assigned so districts will be made up of areas that are grouped together into the district as reasonably as possible. The districts commands in Manifold are used to create districts that represent sales territories, voting districts or other groupings of areas, which might be states, postal code areas, voting precincts or other regions.

The Districts (Advanced) command will also assign areas based on the content of a numeric data field so districts can be balanced by the sum total of that field. For example, areas can be assigned into districts based on the content of a Population field so that the resultant districts all have approximately the same population. Options allow balancing not only so that each district has the same total value of the balancing field but that some districts can have proportionately more or less. For example, the command may be used to create four districts, one of which has twice the population of all the rest. For details, see the User Manual topic: Districts (Advanced)


Districts (Visual)

Redistricting similar to the Districts (Advanced) command but via an easy-to-use visual, interactive dialog. The Districts (Visual) command provides an interactive dialog that allows specifying districts using a point and click visual user interface. In the main display pane the dialog shows a visual preview of the drawing in which districts are assigned. The dialog also lists the districts and relevant data for each district in a districts list pane. Toolbar buttons simplify display and functioning. For details, see the User Manual topic: Districts (Visual)


Drive-Time Zones

Drive time zones

Computation of drive-time zones via an easy-to-use, interactive dialog. The Drive-Time Zones command can find zones from one or more points, called Centers from which travel occurs through a given road network. A drive-time zone is the distance that can be traveled through the road network (and possibly off road as well) in the given time. The command will automatically compute the drive-time zone distance using attribute-driven lengths of roads as well as attribute-driven speed per road. This enables the command to be used for abstract "distance" calculations in which length or speed are used as proxies for other parameters, such as costs. Multiple zones can be found, using buffer or convex hull or zone computations. For details, see the User Manual topic: Drive-Time Zones


Optimal Route

Finding an optimal route to designated locations using a condensed, expert level dialog. The Optimal Route tool is a less-interactive version of the Optimal Route (Visual) tool. It simply finds the best route through a given set of locations (the selection or a saved selection), taking the locations in free order.

The Optimal Route tool is provided for expert use as a specialized shortcut. In almost all cases for interactive work it is better to use the Optimal Route (Visual) dialog. However, the parameters used in Optimal Route are directly analogous to those used in the programming model when scripting optimal routes. The Optimal Route dialog is therefore especially useful to programmers who are learning to work with Manifold's optimal route capabilities via the scripting interface. For details, see the User Manual topic: Optimal Route


Optimal Route (Visual)

Finding an optimal route to designated locations via an easy-to-use, interactive dialog. The Optimal Route (Visual) command provides an interactive dialog that allows choosing one or more locations within a road network so that an optimal route between the locations may be found through the road network, taking into account the length of the roads and speed limits on the roads. In the main display pane the dialog shows a visual preview of the drawing in which locations are selected and routes are found. The dialog also lists the locations to be traversed and relevant options for the road network.

By default, the Optimal Route (Visual) command will find an optimal path through all of the locations from the first location to the last location regardless of the order in which locations between the first and the last appear in the list. The command can also find an optimal path through the locations in the order in which they appear in the locations list.

The Optimal Route (Visual) command can also provide driving directions for the route in text form, showing the total time, total distance and average speed over the route. Driving directions may use either "absolute" (compass directions) or "relative" (turn left, etc.) or a combination turns directions style. For details, see the User Manual topic: Optimal Route (Visual)


Send Email

Automatically send email

Automatically send email to map objects. Used to send spatially-targeted email. Manifold's Send Email command adds direct email capability to Manifold System. If you have data that contains an email address in some data attribute field, you can automatically email to objects using those email addresses. Send Email works by sending email through the Windows MAPI email layer. Because many pagers have email portals, the Send Email command can also be used for paging and other communications gateways.

The Send Email dialog enables specification of From and automatically filled-in To fields, the ability to skip duplicates and a message body and subject field with automatically-filled in text taken from column attributes. For details, see the User Manual topic: Send Email


Topology Factory

Topology factory dialog

A powerful, interactive dialog to view and repair common topological errors in drawings. The Drawing - Topology Factory command provides an interactive dialog to view and repair common topological errors in drawings, including drawings that simultaneously contain points, lines and areas, even those with pathological metrics. The Topology Factory command automatically scans a drawing for topological problems (called "incidents"), displaying the drawing in an interactive dialog window and reporting all incidents found in a list, grouping incidents of the same type together. If a selection is present, the dialog works only on the selected objects.

Selecting a particular type of incident, such as Lines intersecting other lines will choose that set of incidents for repair. If there is more than one such incident of that type, the system will choose the first incident of that type the current incident and will make one of the lines involved in the incident red and the other line blue, allowing users to step through the various incidents and clicking to automatically fix the problem with a preference for red or blue lines.

Unambiguous visualization is often the key to correctly solving a problem: For example, when areas overlap, it's not always clear in complex situations exactly how they overlap. Topology Factory can show how they are actually shaped and what the true area of overlap is. It can then resolve the overlap by creating new area objects or by assigning the area of overlap to one area or the other.

Self overlap topology pathology

Manifold algorithms provide unprecedented convenience and power. For example, self-overlaps in areas, Often called "bow ties" from the classic illustration, are topologically difficult to identify and treat in pathological cases. Topology Factory handles even the worst cases with ease by splitting them into separate objects through the use of special algorithms.

The Drawing - Topology Factory command recognizes and can automatically repair dozens of different types of common problems. For details, see the User Manual topic: Topology Factory


Business Tools Product Options

Manifold provides a variety of options to acquire Business Tools, either as part of a licensing bundle or an extension to an existing Manifold System license. Universal Edition and Ultimate Edition include Business Tools. Business Tools also may be acquired in the Option Pack bundle or as a separate Business Tools extension product. See the Products page for details.

  • $45 - Manifold 8.00 Business Tools - Enables Business Tools functionality in an existing Manifold 8.00 license.
  • $125 - Manifold 8.00 Option Pack - Provides Manifold 8.00 Business Tools, Geocoding Tools and Surface Tools extensions at a discount. This product provides three serial numbers that enable Business Tools, Business Tools and Surface Tools functionality in an existing Manifold 8.00 license.

When licensed via the Option Pack or as a separate Business Tools extension product, there is no separate 32-bit or 64-bit option because the "bitness" of the Business Tools capabilities will be determined by the main Manifold license. For example, if you license Manifold Professional x64 and then later license the Business Tools extension, your new Business Tools capabilities will automatically run 64-bit when activated within your Professional x64 license.

Manifold System Editions with Business Tools Built In

These specially discounted marketing bundles provide two advantages: first, they provide a substantial discount over the cost of the same products procured separately, and second, they provide the convenience of using a single serial number to turn on the licensed products within the Manifold installation. These bundles deliver the main Manifold System edition plus all three optional extensions (Business Tools, Geocoding Tools and Surface Tools).

  • $295 - Manifold 8.00 Universal x64
  • $395 - Manifold 8.00 Ultimate x64
  • $50 - Manifold 8.00 Universal Runtime x64

Universal Edition and Ultimate Edition already include all extensions. Extensions automatically function in 32-bits or 64-bits to match the functionality of the Manifold System license in use.

The Universal Runtime license provides runtime access to Universal Edition features, including Business Tools, Geocoding Tools and Surface Tools, in both 32-bit and 64-bit form.


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