Manifold Capabilities

Release 8 Universal x64 Edition

The Most Powerful GIS Ever

Manifold Release 8 Universal x64 Edition Provides the greatest power, quality, depth and breadth of features ever delivered by any GIS at any price, all in a single, perfectly integrated package for one low price of $295. Most of these capabilities are in Personal x64 Edition as well, for even less, a mere $145. The following is a partial list of Manifold capabilities:

(Image, right): Click on the image for a larger image of the Manifold desktop in action. Manifold can simultaneously layer surfaces, images (either local or from remote image servers) and drawings, while creating contours from surfaces. Only Personal Edition is required for the capabilities seen.

True 64-bit Power

A single package installs true, 64-bit software for use wtihin 64-bit Windows operating systems as well as a 32-bit version for use in Windows 32-bit operating systems and for backwards compatibility with older, 32-bit software.

Vector Drawings

Most digital maps are "vector" drawings like those used to create blueprints in Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs such as AutoCAD. To deal with these, Manifold includes a vast array of display and editing features. These are so extensive that people will often use Manifold as a general purpose vector or CAD editor. Specialized features such as tracing ("vectorization") of images provide special CAD capabilities that are required in a mapping environment.

Neurofuzzy Inferencing

Manifold is the only GIS to include "fuzzy logic" query capabilities that deliver "More Like This" results with a single click or with full specification of fuzzy logic queries. Manifold allows you to slice and dice your data faster and better than most dedicated DBMS packages can do, and all in the geographic context required by GIS.

Linked Drawings

Manifold can create linked drawings "on the fly" from data within databases and can show those linked drawings within Manifold projects just like regular drawings. There are many applications where data that has a fundamentally geographic character is stored within centralized databases. An example might be a list of a bank's ATM locations that are maintained in a geocoded database in one of the bank's DBMS servers. It's convenient for the bank to keep that data in some centralized database where other applications, such as archival storage of ATM machine maintenance records, can work with it, but it is also very convenient that Manifold can dynamically create drawings from that data for purposes such as displaying a map of the nearest ATM locations in a Manifold IMS web site. It's also very convenient that any changes made to that centralized ATM database will automatically be incorporated into linked drawings created from that database.

Linked drawings can also be used as a visual user interface to edit data by multiple users within centralized databases. For example, a town might maintain tax parcel information in a database and use Manifold via linked drawings as the user interface to that data to display parcels, to allow people to find parcel information, edit the shapes of parcels, add or delete parcels or edit the database information associated with each parcel.

Database Management

Modern maps will link the objects in drawings with records from database management systems. One can then use the map as a visual interface to the data. Manifold includes a full-power database management system complete with SQL and numerous other capabilities to make it easy to work with databases and maps simultaneously. The system includes sophisticated data exploration tools and decision support using variable views, fuzzy logic and Manifold's patent-pending "more like this" technology. Manifold's database facilities are so strong that people will often use Manifold to explore and manage databases having nothing to do with maps. Manifold includes the most powerful and sophisticated spatial SQL engine ever introduced in GIS.

Direct Connection to Spatial DBMS

Manifold can connect to almost any DBMS for attribute storage and in addition Manifold can connect directly to spatial DBMS products like Oracle, Oracle Spatial, SQL Server, IBM DB2 with Spatial Extender and PostgreSQL / PostGIS. No middleware is required to achieve simultaneous access by potentially thousands of Manifold users to potentially terabytes of data stored on enterprise class spatial DBMS. In fact, Manifold provides generic spatial DBMS capability that can confer spatial DBMS capability onto virtually any DBMS product, including MySQL and even Access. See the Spatial DBMS topic in the User Manual for an introduction to this amazing capability.

Simultaneous Editing in the Enterprise

Manifold provides a sophisticated Enterprise storage model that enables storage of drawings, maps and other components within common Enterprise database systems and which allow Manifold users to simultaneously edit those common components using a convenient and easy "check out / check in" model. In case of any conflicts should multiple users try to edit the same features in different ways, Manifold provides an instantly-understandable visual console to resolve conflicts.


Images in various formats are used throughout mapping. We use images as backgrounds, as semitransparent layers within maps, as sources for creating new digital maps, as graphics arts embellishments for a better presentation and for many other purposes. Manifold includes full capabilities for importing, editing and manipulating images, including alpha transparency capability on a per pixel basis, georegistration for use in geographic contexts and transformation to any geographic projection. The roster of image editing effects is rivaled only by professional graphics editors such as Adobe PhotoShop. Compressed images allow very rapid display of even multi-gigabyte images when used as backgrounds in maps.

Linked Images

Just as with linked drawings, Manifold can create linked images that are created "on the fly" from data stored in external databases or fetched on demand from image servers of various kinds. For example, Manifold can automatically fetch and mosaic images from TerraServer or other types of image servers, such as Google Earth, to automatically provide photographic images that cover a particular region of interest.

Surfaces and Terrains

Manifold can import terrain elevation data from almost any format known and incorporate surfaces into maps as shaded 2D images showing relief, slope, aspect or visualized as realistic 3D terrain views. Terrains may be overlaid with any combination of vector drawings or raster images. Surfaces are also used to provide continuous gradient displays of data such as population, temperature or other variables. Manifold can automatically create surfaces from scattered data points and compute contours, aspect, slope and other features.

3D Synthetic Scene overlaid on real scene

The image at right was created using expert-level manipulation of Manifold. The central part of the image is a Manifold-generated terrain view of the terrain in the area draped with an overhead photograph. The 3D terrain image is placed on top of an ordinary photograph of the same shoreline shot from a boat. Because the terrain is shown from a camera viewpoint that is the same as the location of the boat when the photograph was taken, both the terrain image and the photograph line up. This illustration shows the uncanny realism possible through expert usage of Manifold. (Image created by Andrew Mitchell)

Multi-User Editing of Linked Drawings

Manifold supports concurrent, multi-user editing of linked drawings that are created from geometry columns in tables. A drawing can be edited by more than one person at the same time by storing that drawing as a table in a database and then working with it in Manifold as a linked drawing. Each user who needs to edit the drawing can link it into his or her project. It may then be edited by multiple users simultaneously, whether the drawing appears in a drawing window or as a layer in a map window.

Raster Data and Images

Many data sets such as satellite sensor scans of the Earth’s surface are published as raster data. These can be used as Manifold "images" for analysis and presentation. There are many names for such data used in GIS, such as "Grid" data, depending on the context of usage. In Manifold, such data sets are either raster images or surfaces. Manifold provides numerous analytic and image processing capabilities to get the most out of raster data.

Image Server Modules

These are snippets of code provided by Manifold and by users via the open image server model that enable Manifold to connect to providers like Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps and Google Earth to automatically pull down georegistered satellite photography, street maps or other imagery to fill whatever map window you want. As you zoom in or out, or pan or scroll around the right imagery is automatically fetched from the provider at the right resolution, completely and perfectly georegistered to whatever other layers you want.

The thumbnails at right show the use of image servers in Manifold to map the locations of French chateaus in the Loire Valley. The green diamonds show the locations of over 850 chateaus in a Manifold drawing that was imported from a Google KMZ file posted by a French chateau enthusiast. The bright red squares and labels show several of the most famous historical chateaus. These were marked by zooming in to the satellite imagery in Manifold and clicking to create and label points. To provide context a background layer of satellite imagery is from Virtual Earth. Roads are a middle layer taken from Yahoo! Streets, with the "white space" between roads and road labels made transparent so the background satellite imagery shows through. This display can be created in only a few minutes!

The entire presentation is "live action" in Manifold, so we can zoom far in to see each individual chateau in the satellite imagery at high resolution. Clicking on the second thumbnail at right opens the high resolution display seen when zooming in to the region about the icon for the famous chateau at Chambord.

Statistics and Analysis

Manifold’s solvers and analytic subsystems include hundreds of analytic capabilities in statistics, general purpose mathematics, network analysis, graph theory, database logic, topology and computational geometry. Active Columns™ and ViewBots™ provide a new style of interactive analysis that's easy to use.

Charting and Data Mining

Manifold’s chart windows provide 2D charts for data exploration of information in maps and databases as well as minicharts that appear in drawings and maps for each object. Manifold Charts are a straightforward visual interface for exploring and understanding data. Other data exploration tools include ViewBots™ and the Manifold Decision Support System.

Spatial Analytics

Manifold provides a wealth of spatial analytic capabilities embedded throughout the entire system. Relief effects in 2D images are automatically computed based on terrain elevations from their associated 3D terrains, for example. Manifold SQL includes dozens of spatial extensions, which apply throughout raster images as well as within vector maps. Buffer zones, spatial statistics and numerous other functions provide sophisticated spatial analytics within every system.


Manifold System includes a full programming environment using Microsoft languages at no additional cost. The power of Manifold System may be extended by writing scripts in Microsoft .NET scripting languages or Microsoft ActiveX scripting languages like Visual Basic Scripting (VBScript) or JavaScript. Free downloads from various sources allow ActiveX scripting in other languages as well, such as PERL and Python. Manifold’s programming environment includes full editing capabilities as well as "drag and drop" creation of programming forms using a wide variety of Windows controls. Manifold also may be programmed from external applications written in Microsoft standard languages such as Visual Basic or Visual C++ to create custom mapping applications based on Manifold. For casual customization, Manifold includes Active Columns and ViewBots for "ad hoc" programming.

Manifold script windows automatically color script source code by syntax and support advanced editing "power moves."


The Manifold Debugger provides a sophisticated debugging environment. The Debugger allows stepping through multiple scripts with automatic stops at breakpoints, paused execution and stepping into, over and out of routines. The Call Stack, Variables and Watches panes provide dynamic, editable displays of variables, functions, computed values and contexts.

Spatial Editing and Selection Transfer

Manifold System can transfer selections from vector drawing layers in a map to image layers or surface layers and vice versa. This technique allows "cookie-cutting" of images using drawing areas as a guide. The thumbnails at left show an image of Afghanistan that has been cookie-cut out of the NASA "Blue Marble" image of the Earth as seen from space. The Afghanistan image has been exactly trimmed to the borders of Afghanistan shown in a countries drawing. One screenshot shows just the Afghanistan image alone in Latitude / Longitude projection. The other screenshot shows the Afghanistan image in Orthographic projection (a view as the Earth appears from space) overlaid upon a background of the original NASA Blue Marble image. Image effects include use of transparency to de-emphasize the background and Gaussian Blur to create a drop shadow. Manifold can easily re-project drawings, images, surfaces or anything else seen in maps. The maps shown consist ofseveral image, drawing, and label layers. For details, see the User Manual Topic on creating this image.

Spatial SQL for Vectors and DBMS

SELECT TOP 5 PowerPlants.* FROM PowerPlants, States WHERE
(States.Name = "California" Or States.Name = "Nevada") AND
Contains(States.ID, PowerPlants.ID) ORDER BY PowerPlants.Power;

Manifold provides the world's most sophisticated spatial SQL to create, analyze, modify and display raster data within drawings and databases. New vector drawings can be linked dynamically from data in a Manifold project, from data stored in external DBMS providers using almost any leading DBMS product or from queries within the project or using external servers.

Internet Map Server

Manifold includes a built-in, enterprise-class, powerful Internet Map Server, Manifold IMS , which can publish your maps to Internet for people worldwide to view. The map server allows browsing, panning, and zooming within maps that you choose to publish as well as support for queries, geocoding, hyperlinks, information tools and layer selection if desired. Advanced users can customize the map server to create spectacular Internet pages. Manifold IMS is easy to use with no programming required. Use IMS to create web pages for your organization's internal network so that other people within your organization can see or themselves the value of what you do in GIS without the need to drag them one by one to your computer to see a demo. Manifold IMS works with any Windows HTTP server and provides pre-built templates for use in ASP and ASP.NET Windows IIS environments. Manifold IMS provides not only a classic HTTP style internet map server but also an OGC WMS server, an OGC WFS-T (WFS with transactions) server, and a Manifold Image Server for a complete range of GIS-enabled web technologies.

Sophisticated Web Server Linking and Serving

Manifold can create linked images from ECWP servers to provide high-speed, multi-resolution imaging, and Manifold can link images from OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) WMS servers, operating as a client. In addition to operating as a client, Manifold IMS can also function as an OGC WMS server, generating on the fly WMS images to be served to other clients that can operate using OGC WMS protocols.

Image Libraries

Manifold can automatically tile together collections of images from a wide variety of formats to form a single image mosaic. Image libraries make it easy to utilize collections of images covering broad regions as a single background image. Automated creating of index drawings provides the infrastructure for easy navigation and utilization of image libraries in applications such as IMS web sites.

Dynamic Geometry using Industry Standards

Manifold can read and write object geometry in connections to external database systems to create linked drawings from tables or queries. Manifold can use ESRI-style "geodatabase" geospatial geometry, OGC-style "well-known binary" WKB geometry as occurs within Oracle Spatial and other DBMS products Manifold's own high performance Geometry data type that can be stored in any leading DBMS product such as SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2 or MySQL. Manifold Enterprise Edition and above also supports the Oracle Call Interface for geometry storage using Oracle native technology in Oracle Spatial and Locator technologies as well as image storage using Oracle's GeoRaster technology.

Spatial SQL for Images and Surfaces

Manifold's Raster Extensions to spatial SQL enables use of "virtual tables" to create, analyze, modify and display raster data within images and surfaces. Images and surfaces can be linked from data stored in external DBMS providers using almost any leading DBMS product.

Import and Export

Manifold System can read data from a seemingly endless number of different vector, raster, terrain elevation and database formats including specialty formats such as grids and the very latest government formats such as HDF EOS used with ASTER Earth observation satellite data. This allows users to access terabytes of free GIS data by Internet directly from the source, and to use data from every GIS system known as well as from numerous specialty software packages.

(Image, right): When exporting to Google KML/KMZ Manifold can "extrude" points, lines or areas to create 3D effects as seen in Google Earth, automatically taking the altitude from any desired database field. Cool!

Enterprise Server Storage

Manifold provides centralized storage of components within databases such as Oracle, IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Desktop Engine. In addition, Enterprise Edition provides a coordinated framework within which many users can share the same components, allowing editing of shared components without fear of simultaneous, incompatible edits by different users. Enterprise Edition also enables direct use of Oracle technologies such as Oracle Spatial, Locator and GeoRaster technologies.

Multiuser Editing

Manifold provides concurrent, multi-user editing of linked drawings that are stored in databases. A drawing can be edited by more than one person at the same time with automatic resolution of editing conflicts via the Review pane, whether the drawing appears in a drawing window or as a layer in a map window.

Specialized Business Tools

The Business Tools package that is built into Universal Edition provide advanceds districts and visual districting commands, drive-time zone analysis, optimal routes and the ability to send email directly from Manifold for geo-targeted emailing.

Specialized Geocoding Tools

The Geocoding Tools package built into Universal Edition includes a powerful geocoding engine to find the geographic location for street addresses within a variety of geocoding data sources. Use the geocoder to automatically plot the locations of addresses, to find distances and to execute spatial queries using the geocoding functions in Manifold SQL. The Manifold geocoding engine can be used from within IMS applications to address-enable web sites created with Manifold IMS. The Geocoding Tools package also adds the ability for fast and easy import of drawings from the Geocoding Database provided by download.

Specialized Surface Tools

The Surface Tools package built into Universal Edition gives the ability to work with new Profiles and Elevations components as well as new commands and other capabilities. These include a sophisticated surface transform dialog, a transfer heights command and greatly extended surface interpolation capabilities for triangulation, Kriging, and Median-Polish Kriging. Surface Tools also adds sophisticated watersheds capability to enable computation of water sheds, streams, flow accumulation and other hydrological features.

Database Administrator Features

Ultimate Edition includes additional capabilities for setting up and managing GIS data storage in DBMS systems such as Oracle Spatial. Database administrator tools include Batch Export and an Administrator Console that allow DBMS storage to be configured with capabilities like friendly names, support for formatting and pre-configured import and link options that will thereafter make life easier for other Manifold users in the organization using the DBMS for GIS storage.

Supercomputer Speed with Massively Parallel GPU Computation

Manifold is the first and only GIS to provide true, supercomputer speed on a selected set of functions that may be called within the Surface Transform dialog, by using massively parallel computations on potentially thousands of GPU cores.

See the Manifold / GPGPU demo video to see Manifold in action using NVIDIA. See a one minute task get done in two seconds! Amazing! Manifold is the only GIS in the world that can use GPGPU for supercomputer performance.

The $295 prices of Manifold Universal x64 is a fully paid licenses and is not just an annual rental.

  • Manifold includes full Internet Map Server (IMS) capability.
  • Manifold includes full development capabilities - no need to buy some extra "developers edition."
  • Manifold runs in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, providing full 64-bit power in 64-bit Windows.
  • Buy Manifold System using a Visa, MasterCard or EuroCard credit card on the Online Store.
  • All prices are in US Dollars. Prices are subject to change without notice.


Under some circumstances discounts of up to 50% are available on prepaid orders. Please see the Discounts page for details.

For Google Earth Users

Manifold is the world's finest tool for creating KML / KMZ for display in Google Earth. This is such a popular use of Manifold there's a web page just for Google Earth users! Visit the Manifold Tools for Google Earth page to learn more.

Buy Now via the Online Store

Buy Manifold products on the Online Store. The store is open 24 hours / seven days a week / every day of the year. Orders are processed immediately with serial number email sent out in seconds. Use Manifold products today!

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Suggestions to improve Manifold are always welcome. Please see the Suggestions page for tips on making effective suggestions.

No other GIS comes close to Manifold for applications development.

Click to watch the user-contributed video: How forms in Manifold System GIS allow creating applications like this in an hour or two.

About Manifold

Manifold products deliver quality, performance and value in the world's most sophisticated, most modern and most powerful spatial engineering products. Total integration ensures unbeatably low cost of ownership.