Faster than ESRI

Do in Seconds what takes ESRI Minutes or Hours

Faster · Easier · Lower Cost

Manifold often is 50 times faster than Spatial Analyst

This page provides videos comparing ESRI products to Manifold Release 9 and Manifold Viewer, the fastest desktop GIS packages on the planet. Fully parallel Manifold usually runs fifty times faster than comparable ESRI Spatial Analyst tools for a total price of only $95 for a fully-paid license. Faster GIS is Better GIS.

"To process even one modest piece of down sampled LiDAR within my region in ArcMap took ~60 hours to produce the 30 inundation layers. As I mentioned previously, this may then require fixing and a re-run of the process. The same process on the same DEM using Manifold 9's distance toolset takes around 40 seconds per layer or 20 minutes for the 30 intervals." - Government user, computing flood levels (emphasis added)

See the Faster ESRI Workflow page to learn how to use Manifold to speed up your ESRI workflow. See the Videos page for the full collection of Manifold videos.

Image at right: A least cost, closest path analysis on an abstract slope surface, created by Manifold in $95 in nine seconds but requiring ten minutes in ESRI's ArcGIS Pro with Spatial Analyst, costing over $5000. Save thousands and run far faster with Manifold.

Viewer is Free

Manifold Viewer is a read-only subset of Manifold Release 9. Viewer provides phenomenal capability to view and to analyze almost all possible different types of data. Manifold Viewer is built on the Manifold engine so Viewer retains Manifold parallel CPU speed and Manifold parallel SQL. Viewer is free to download and use: Many of the videos on this page use Manifold Viewer to demonstrate Manifold technology so you can try them for free using a free Viewer download.


Manifold vs Arc - Contour Lines - 11 seconds vs 20 minutes

See Manifold do in 11 seconds what takes ESRI's ArcGIS Pro over 20 minutes. Manifold creates contour lines in 11 seconds for a 26000 x 38000 terrain elevation raster, with ArcGIS Pro taking 20 minutes and 46 seconds for the same thing. Amazing! The video uses ArcGIS Pro because ArcMap crashed every time this data set was tried. The video also shows how Manifold will preview what it's about to do, so you can be sure the contour job is set up the way you want, avoiding any errors. It's quicker for ESRI users to export their data to Manifold, create contours in a few seconds, and then import back into ArcGIS Pro than it is to wait around for 20 minutes for Arc to do the job. New! - In addition to this video, check out the updated video showing use of the new Transform pane user interface, for even more convenient contours.

Download the montana_map.zip (3444148 KB) Manifold project file used in this video and try it out in the free Viewer on your own computer, to see how Manifold really is way faster than Arc + Spatial Analyst.

Have a taste for really slow Arc operations? Download the montana_grd.zip (5648826 KB) original .grd file imported into Arc in the video, as a 5.5 GB zip file that unzips into a 14+ GB .grd file. Download the file overnight, unzip, import into Arc and then confirm Arc really does take over 20 minutes to create contours that Manifold creates in a few seconds.


Manifold Viewer - Speed demo with 1280 GPU cores - 2 Minutes vs 5 Days

Watch the free Manifold Viewer run CPU parallel and GPU parallel with 8 CPU cores and 1280 GPU cores to absolutely crush a job, doing in 2 minutes what would take non-GPU-parallel software 5 days. The video shows Viewer instantly pop open a 4 GB project that contains a huge, multi-gigabyte terrain elevation surface for Crater Lake, Oregon. With a point and click - no parallel code required - we compute the mean curvature at each pixel of the surface using a 7x7 matrix in under two minutes. We combine that with the original surface for enhanced hill shaded effects to better see details. Using an 11x11 matrix takes just over two minutes, a huge computation that takes days in non-GPU-parallel GIS packages. For large, detailed screenshots, see the Eleven Views of Crater Lake examples in the Gallery page.


Speed Demo - 22 Million Roads

See the phenomenal speed of Manifold, popping open a project with 22 million vector roads at once with instantaneous opens and instantaneous, no-delay panning and zooming, even when reprojecting 22 million vector objects on the fly. Amazing! This demo opens a 10GB project of all roads in the continental US, over 22 million of them, in 1/10th of a second and then pans and zooms instantly. Everything goes super-fast, not just viewing but editing too: We open a second project with over 842,000 roads in Pennsylvania and copy and paste those into the 22 million line project in seconds. Find and display entire counties of roads by FIPS number instantly. You get all this speed using Manifold alone on a typical desktop machine, doing tasks that are impossibly slow in other GIS packages.


Manifold vs Arc - Euclidean Barriers - 7 seconds vs 1 minute

Calculating Euclidean Distances around barriers is a brand new feature in ESRI's Spatial Analyst, so cool and useful that Manifold has implemented Euclidean computations around barriers as well, but in fully parallelized form that runs significantly faster than Spatial Analyst, typically taking 7 seconds for what requires a full minute with ESRI. The video shows Euclidean Allocation, Euclidean Distance, and Euclidean Back Direction compared to Manifold Release 9, with all calculations working around barriers in both cases. Works in the free Viewer, too! Download Viewer and see the incredible speed of Manifold on your own computer!


Manifold vs Arc - Paths around Barriers - 7 seconds vs 8 minutes

Computing Path Distances and Costs around barriers in rasters is a complex task for any high-end GIS. We compare Manifold System Release 9 to ESRI's Spatial Analyst running in ArcMap, using the geoprocessing tools Cost Back Link, Cost Distance, and Path Direction using Vertical Factor. Manifold is fully parallel and runs all 48 threads in the machine at 100% utilization, while the ESRI toolset is only partially parallel, running a maximum of 9 instances with less than 30% utilization. The result is Manifold can do in 3 seconds what takes Arc 25 seconds, with Path Distance taking 7 seconds in Manifold but 8 minutes in Spatial Analyst. Whoa! That's 70 times faster for Manifold. Everything shown in the video works in the free Manifold Viewer, too!


Manifold vs Arc - Costs and Paths - 9 seconds vs 12 minutes

An ambitious video comparing four Spatial Analyst geoprocessing tools - Cost Back Link, Cost Distance, Cost Allocation, and Path Distance with Vertical Factor - to equivalent tools in Manifold using a 5300 x 5300 terrain elevation raster. Works in the free Viewer, too! Manifold takes only three or four seconds to produce what requires two minutes in ArcMap with Spatial Analyst to produce using the first three tools. The big surprise is how Manifold takes less than 9 seconds for the Path Distance computation, while Spatial Analyst takes over twelve minutes. Arc users will often use Manifold as a power processor for big data crunching that takes too long in Spatial Analyst: it is far quicker to export data to Manifold, do the job in seconds and then import it back into Arc, than it is to wait for long jobs in Arc.

Seen above: 100% utilization of all 48 threads of a 24 core, 48 thread AMD Threadripper CPU. The vertical bar at the right edge of each box shows how Manifold launched 100% of that thread to calculate Path Distance. Wow! Running fully parallel is how Manifold can do in 9 seconds what takes Spatial Analyst 12 minutes. Spatial Analyst on the same machine runs Path Distance with only nine instances at less than 30% utilization, taking 12 minutes. Add Manifold to your ESRI toolset for faster geoprocessing.


Manifold vs Arc - 100x Faster on an Affordable Desktop

Watch Manifold do in 0.9 seconds what takes ArcMap plus Spatial Analyst over a minute and a half. That's over 100 times faster! Some comments on previous comparisons have stated that Manifold was so super fast compared to ESRI because tests were run on a high-end, Threadripper machine that could run 48 threads. This video shows Manifold is faster even with fewer cores on an affordable desktop system. We re-run Manifold trials on a Ryzen 9 3900x computer, with three different tasks taking only 0.9 seconds, 5.4 seconds and 3 seconds. AMD's 3900x CPU now retails for as low as $400, setting a new baseline for affordable GIS desktop computing. Everything shown in the video works in the free Viewer, too!


Manifold vs Arc - Seven Seconds vs Four Minutes

Finding basins in a 5300 x 5300 terrain elevation raster, we compare Manifold workflow speed and ease of workflow to ESRI's ArcMap with Spatial Analyst. ArcMap Standard plus Spatial Analyst costs a total of $5250 so it should work better than a Manifold package that sells for only $95, right? No way! Manifold absolutely crushes the comparison, taking only a single click and seven seconds to do what takes the $5000+ package three geoprocessing operations and four minutes, not counting the time to setup and launch three operations. Works in the free Viewer, too!


Manifold vs Arc - Watersheds Sixty Five times Faster than Arc

Another video comparing Manifold speed to ESRI ArcMap with Spatial Analyst, this time computing upstream watersheds on a 5300 x 5300 terrain elevation raster for a few dozen locations. ArcMap requires three geoprocessing tool operations calculating intermediate steps, taking a minute and a half. Manifold does the same job in a single click in less than 1.4 seconds, over 65 times faster than ESRI. The larger and more complex the geoprocessing, the greater Manifold's speed advantage. ArcMap plus Spatial Analyst cost over $5000 per seat while Manifold costs only $95. Works in the free Viewer, too!


Manifold vs Arc - Fifty times Faster than Spatial Analyst

New! Updated Video: The first video in a series of comparisons. We compare Manifold Release 9 to ESRI's ArcMap with Spatial Analyst. ArcMap instead of ArcGIS Pro is used to ensure maximum possible speed with no slowdowns from AGOL connections. Starting with a terrain 5300 x 5300 elevation raster we compare Manifold workflow and speed creating streams (watershed lines) with ESRI ArcMap and Spatial Analyst doing the same task. ArcMap requires four operations calculating intermediate steps, taking a total of three minutes and 30 seconds to compute streams. Manifold does the same job in a single operation in under four seconds, over fifty times faster than Arc, and with the convenience of a single click. ArcMap plus Spatial Analyst cost over $5000 per seat while Manifold costs only $95. As data sizes scale up, Manifold gets even faster than Arc. Works in the free Viewer, too!


Closest Rasters - Paths

See how Manifold's new "Closest" tools compare to ESRI's "Distance" tools in Spatial Analyst. Starting with a map that has a terrain elevation raster and a drawing with eight point objects, in a mere five minutes of actual GIS work we create a slope surface from a terrain elevation surface, and we create a least cost path from every pixel to the closest point counting slope values as costs. Next we create watershed lines we can use to visualize those paths. We then generate a least cost source raster, from which we create a drawing of area borders that delineate each source point's region. Wow! All that in five minutes! Add a few minutes of tips and explanations and you can see how Manifold can do in minutes what takes hours in other packages. Works in the free Viewer, too! This is a video version of the Transform: Closest Rasters topic.


48 Thread Parallel Watershed Areas

Life is fun with 48 parallel threads cutting through big GIS tasks! In this video we use a 24 core / 48 thread processor to compute watershed areas on a 1 GB terrain elevation raster in 22 seconds, using Windows Task Manager to show how Manifold Release 9 automatically utilizes all 48 threads in parallel for faster computation and virtually instantaneous previews. The machine used is an inexpensive, second generation AMD Threadripper, perhaps the least expensive way to run 48 threads on a desktop. Manifold does a super job of effectively using many threads, automatically parallelizing and dispatching to four dozen threads without the many threads interfering with each other. Try this at home for free using the free Manifold Viewer, which is also fully CPU and GPU parallel.


Manifold Viewer - Tangent and Non-Tangent Circle Arcs

Got Traverses? Maybe not with ArcGIS Pro. Get them with Manifold! A quick video showing the difference between tangent and non-tangent circle arcs in a traverse. Traverses are not just for US-style surveying, but are useful anywhere we need to define a line, a boundary, or a course by direction and distance. The video shows how dynamic previews in Manifold automatically update displays in the Record pane to different ESRI formats for traverses and tangent or non-tangent circle arc segments. That makes it really easy to see what is going on in a traverse, especially for ESRI users working with ESRI traverse files.


Create Parcels from Traverse Files

Manifold's ability to handle curves and sophisticated geometry makes it easy to create parcels from plat maps and survey documents that describe traverses, using industry-standard ESRI traverse files. Also called "metes and bounds" descriptions, traverses are widely used in surveying in the US to define parcels and lines by describing a sequence of directions, distances and curves from a starting point. Manifold automatically handles both tangent and non-tangent curves and the full variety of options used to specify angles, distances and curves. This video shows how it's easy to create a parcel from a traverse file. This works in the free Viewer, too, so anyone can visualize a traverse. Release 9 and Viewer can create ESRI-standard traverse files as well! This is a video version of the Example: Create Parcels from Traverse Files topic.


Create Terrain Elevation from a NASA PDS Table

Do in six minutes what can take hours in other GIS packages! We import terrain elevation raster data from a NASA PDS archive and style the images with an elevation palette and hillshading. One of the images was wrongly georegistered by NASA, so we import the original LiDAR point data from a table in the PDS archive. We transform the imported table from 0 to 360 degree longitudes into +/-180 longitudes, construct a geometry field, and then we create a drawing from the table that shows the LiDAR point data in the table. Next, we use Kriging to create a terrain elevation raster from the LiDAR point drawing, and then we style that and hillshade it so it can be exactly overlaid on a Bing satellite layer to enhance the satellite photography with terrain relief. See how Manifold's wonderfully efficient user interface and blisteringly fast parallel performance makes GIS work fast and easy! This is a video version of the Example: Create Terrain Elevation Raster from a NASA PDS Table topic.


Manifold Viewer - Introducing Viewer

Not a speed comparison, but a great intro to a free tool: Introducing Manifold Viewer, the free, no-strings-attached, viewer from Manifold. We import a shapefile, overlay on a web served map, create buffers, and do a triangulation in seconds that takes minutes or hours in other software. We show how Viewer can import multiple terrain elevation tiles and merge them into a single 100MB+ data set with beautiful formatting and hillshading. We then blend the synthetic, hill-shaded terrain with Bing satellite imagery and Google transparent labels to create a spectacular, enhanced view of Mt Rainier. Viewer is read-only, but we show how to create a screenshot image that we can edit in Paint to save custom images for use on websites and in publications. Amazing! All this in free, automatically CPU parallel and GPU parallel software from Manifold.    (Version 2 video)

"I didn't expect wms datasources to work with this rotated coordinate system but they do and speed is absolutely astonishing." - Forum post in the above thread.

Manifold Viewer - Blend SRTM and Enhanced Bing Satellite

A fast-paced video using the Eye of the Sahara (Richat Structure) to show how to use a free, read-only product to create great images and illustrations for use in web sites, documents and other publications. In a matter of seconds we import a 1 GB terrain elevation TIFF, add a Bing satellite image instantly, on-the-fly edit the Bing server feed to add contrast, in seconds compute a 7x7 matrix curvature profile - point and click! - and then instantly blend 2 GB worth of layers and inbound Bing web-served imagery to create a fully custom, enhanced display. Includes tricks like saving Styles and queries in Notepad so we can use them later in a read-only, free product. Viewer is fully CPU parallel and GPU parallel, so what takes hours or days in non-parallel systems we can do in seconds or minutes. For Viewer and Release 9. For large, detailed screenshots, see the Five Views of the Richat Structure examples in the Gallery page.


Manifold Viewer - Create Custom GPU Accelerated Filters in Seconds

A technical video using the free Viewer showing how to create your own, fully custom, fully GPU-parallel, convolution matrix filters, including Emboss, Sobel, Prewitt, and Kirsch edge detection and many more, for use in Viewer or Release 9. Modify the spatial SQL examples in the downloadable example project to specify a custom matrix and in seconds your custom filter can do image processing at GPU-parallel speeds. Viewer is read-only, but you can copy and paste the query text for custom filters to and from Notepad or any other text editor. Download the Custom_Filter_Examples.mxb sample project to try out the video in Viewer or Release 9. For large, detailed screenshots, see the Image Processing using Convolution Matrix Filters examples in the Gallery page.


Manifold Viewer - GPU Parallel Computation with Viewer

NEW! Viewer now gains automatic, massively parallel GPU computation just like Release 9! This video shows examples running GPU parallel computations - no programming required, just point and click dialogs! - using the Mt_Hood_DEM.mxb sample project we can download from the Manifold website. It includes a speed comparison with a classic, non-parallel GIS, QGIS, and shows how computations can be scaled up to massively demanding jobs that still get done in a few seconds. Amazing, and totally free!


Manifold Viewer - View GDB Faster than ArcGIS Explorer

ESRI's ArcGIS Explorer product is a free viewer that allows ESRI people to view ESRI GDB Geodatabases, along with other data. Unfortunately, ESRI has stopped producing Explorer and has replaced it with ArcGIS Earth, which cannot connect to and display ESRI GDB Geodatabases. Manifold Viewer is a free Viewer that connects to ESRI GDB Geodatabases and using ESRI's own format can display and work with geodatabases even faster than ArcGIS Explorer. The video compares Explorer to Viewer side-by-side so ESRI users can see that if they need to continue viewing GDB Geodatabases for free they can reliably use Viewer for fast, high quality GDB viewing. Download Manifold Viewer for free. Related topics for Viewer and Manifold 9: Example: Connect to an ESRI GDB File Geodatabase and Example: Convert an ESRI File Geodatabase into a .map Project and Example: Connect LibreOffice Through Manifold to an ESRI GDB.


Manifold Viewer - Install and Run

For Manifold Viewer and Manifold Release 9 - Shows how to unzip and run a "portable" installation used for Viewer Edge, the latest and greatest build of the free Manifold Viewer. The same instructions for using "portable" installations work for portable installations of Manifold Release 9. The video also shows how to open a pre-made project, using the Manifold_World_Volcanoes.mxb (47 KB) project as an example, and how to import a shapefile and view it in Viewer, changing the styling of points and adding labels. We finish by adding an OpenStreetMaps web server layer. Download Manifold Viewer for free!


Manifold Viewer - Volcanoes

For Manifold Viewer and Manifold Release 9 - How to use the Manifold_World_Volcanoes.mxb (47 KB) project for Manifold Viewer Edge or Release 9, a project that is pre-configured with over 430 point-and-click locations to view major volcanoes all over the world. Includes a map with Bing and Google satellite layers, Google Terrain layer, Street layers from both Microsoft and Bing, all of which make it easy to explore volcanoes even in remote locations where cloud cover or snow prevents a clear view of volcano details in either Google or Bing. Download Manifold Viewer for free!


Manifold 9 - Famous Google Sights

Locations are a great way to publish lists of sights to view in Google, Bing or other web servers. The server_sights.mxb (4 KB) project published on Manifold's web site provides a list of locations often cited on Internet as interesting things to see on Google Maps. View this in the free Manifold Viewer using a project that contains Bing and Google image layers to provide the best possible view for each.


Manifold 9 - Contour a 300 MB DEM in Five Seconds

Watch Manifold Release 9 or Manifold Viewer create vector contours in seconds for a terrain elevation raster data set that is almost 300 MB in size. Both Release 9 and Viewer running fully parallel, to create contours using all the cores in computer simultaneously. That can run dozens of times faster than non-parallel GIS. Try for yourself using Viewer!


Speed Demo - Open 110 GB of Images Instantly

Manifold Release 9 can handle enormous amounts of data on a desktop. This demonstration shows Manifold opening 110 GB of images together in the same map, showing several world cities in high resolution imagery. The demo uses layers from Bing and Google to show how Manifold can combine images from different sources to enhance comprehension. Works with the free Viewer, too!    (Version 2 video)


Speed Demo - Triangulate 300K Points in 8 Seconds

Manifold does in 8 seconds what takes 8 hours in other software. This video shows Manifold parallel technology running amazingly faster than non-parallel GIS. We use Manifold Viewer, the free read-only version of Manifold Release 9, to do a triangulation of 300,000 points. We use Viewer so anyone can try this at home with a free Viewer download. The triangulation takes just over 8 seconds while the same triangulation in some other non-parallel GIS packages using the same data set takes 8 hours. Wow!    (Version 2 video)


Speed Demo - Triangulate 5 Million Points in 3 Minutes

Using a larger data set than the 300,000 point triangulation, this video shows how Manifold parallel technology accomplishes in under three minutes what what takes non-parallel GIS hours or even days. We use Manifold Viewer, the free read-only subset of Release 9, to do a triangulation of 5 million points. We use Viewer so anyone can try this at home with a free Viewer download. What is really impressive is that Manifold is so fast that a preview of the triangulation happens in less than a second. We show illustrations why parallel processing is way faster than single-core processing.    (Version 2 video)


Speed Demo - Do in 1/10th Second what takes others 30 minutes

See Manifold technology in action in an epic and visually beautiful video: Viewer opens a project file in 1/10th second that the US Government providing the data warns will take ESRI software 30 minutes to open in the equivalent ESRI native format. That's thousands of times faster for Manifold technology. Viewer effortlessly hill shades and styles on the fly 7.5 GB of new, high resolution bathymetry data for the Gulf of Mexico. We also see how Viewer instantly re-projects on the fly over 7 gigabytes of data to match different data sets using different projections for instantaneous panning and zooming. Re-projection can take hours in other packages but Viewer and Manifold do it on the fly, instantly.


ArcGIS REST servers

Learn how to use the example project file containing many web servers that automatically provide imagery and data in a wide variety of themes for almost anywhere in the world. We also see how we can launch multiple sessions of Manifold Viewer and copy and paste items between the two sessions.


Use Your Native Language

This video shows how to launch Manifold Viewer or Manifold Release 9 in German language, an example that shows how easy it is to use localization files that change the user interface to different languages. We also learn how to create our own translation with an example showing how to translate the Viewer interface into a different language. Download and use language files for Chinese, French, German, Estonian, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese or create your own for other languages. Language files made for either Manifold or Viewer will work with either system.


Speed Demo with Big Vectors - Australian Lakes and Rivers

A wildly popular set of printed maps and posters emerged a year or so ago from Reddit that showed every lake, river and stream in Australia in incredible detail. The author of that project said his biggest problem was that the GIS he used kept crashing all the time and was so terribly slow at displaying and working with the data. This video shows exactly that same data set in Manifold Viewer, demonstrating the incredible speed of Manifold technology at displaying millions of complex vector objects.    (Version 2 video)


Speed Demo with PostgreSQL - Australian Lakes and Rivers

Following on to the speed demo showing native Manifold speed with over 1.4 million complex vector objects, this demo shows exactly the same data set stored in PostgreSQL and visualized with Manifold, using either Release 9 or the free Manifold Viewer. PostgreSQL is a fast and reliable DBMS so when used for back end storage for a super-fast client like Manifold or Viewer the resulting performance is both reliable and fast. It is not as fast as native, parallel Manifold storage but it is plenty fast enough for many applications while delivering the many interoperability benefits of storage within a standardized DBMS. Manifold is agnostic about data sources so it is happy to apply parallel client speed to PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, GPKG or any other DBMS.    (Version 2 video)


LiDAR data from ArcGIS REST server with palette by Manifold

Above: LiDAR terrain elevation data for Charles County, Maryland, from an ArcGIS REST server. Palette and hill shading done on-the-fly by Manifold using discrete palette stepping.


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Suggestions

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Curvature enhanced image

Videos demonstrate the speed and incredible ease of use of Manifold: The Speed Demo with 1280 GPU Cores video shows how Manifold can enhance terrain elevation surfaces with complex curvature calculations, accomplishing in 2 minutes using GPU parallelism what takes non-parallel code five days. The image above shows enhanced detail in the rim of Crater Lake, showing terraces in the rim and flow patterns downhill.

About Manifold

Manifold products deliver quality, performance and value in the world's most sophisticated, most modern and most powerful spatial products for GIS, ETL, DBMS, and Data Science. Total integration ensures ease of use, amazing speed, and unbeatably low cost of ownership, for only $95. Tell your friends!

Questions? Contact sales@manifold.net. We're happy to help!