All Manifold System editions include very strong spatial geocoding capability by default. The Geocoding Tools extension provides additional street address geocoding capabilities utilizing a variety of databases, either the free geocoding database provided by Manifold or alternatives.
Spatial geocoding is the plotting of points that already have latitude and longitude values for their locations. Street address geocoding takes a list of addresses, like those in the table at right, and adds a latitude and longitude value for each address so that it can be plotted as a point in a drawing, like the illustration at lower right.
Street address geocoding software works by using a database that contains the locations of street segments together with information like the name of the street, the city and zip code with which it is associated and the range of addresses found on that street.
To geocode a street address in a table, the software looks up the street and estimates where on that street the address is located to find a latitude and longitude. For example, for an address of "125 Main Street" the software will find the street segment in the database that covers the range of addresses from 100 to 200 for Main Street and will interpolate about 25% of the distanced on that street segment to locate a position for 125 Main Street.
Street address geocoding therefore tends to be as accurate as the geocoding data source used by the software to find address locations. Manifold's Geocoding Tools are unique in providing a very wide range of geocoding data sources, more than one of which may be used together at the same time, so that users can always get the best accuracy and the most hits for the lowest possible cost.
The Geocoding Tools extension provides a staggering amount of capability for a $25 product. Geocoding Tools adds the following features:
- Street address geocoding - A fast, full-featured geocoder that provides estimated latitude/longitude locations for street addresses, allowing GIS packages like Manifold to show their locations on maps. Works with any of the geocoding data sources supported by Manifold: local, accessory, user custom or web-based. Have a list of customer addresses or other addresses? Geocoding Tools lets you see them on a map.
- Multiple geocoding data sources - The Manifold street address geocoder can work with multiple different geocoding data sources at once, with automatic fall-through. This makes it easy to optimize your geocoding work so that, for example, most records get geocoded via the fastest (but less complete) geocoding data source and only a reduced number of records need be coded using a slower (but more complete) source.
- Manifold US Geocoding Database - A starter geocoding data set available for free: The US Geocoding Database provides complete coverage for the United States using US Government TIGER/Line 2004 data. Provides a fast, free, local geocoding option.
- Integration with Microsoft MapPoint® - Microsoft's legacy MapPoint product is a high quality consumer mapping program that continues in use in many installations. If MapPoint is installed on the same computer, Manifold can utilize MapPoint as a geocoding data source to geocode street addresses within the region covered by the edition of MapPoint in use. The North American edition of MapPoint can geocode street addresses in Canada and the United States. The European edition of MapPoint can geocode street addresses in eleven European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom). Because MapPoint is much less expensive than buying proprietary geocoding data sets for Canada or European countries, using MapPoint as a geocoding data source for Manifold is the least expensive way of getting Canadian or European street address geocoding within a true GIS like Manifold.
- Integration with Oracle Spatial geocoding data sources - When Oracle Spatial with geocoding is available Manifold can utilize the geocoding data sources within the Oracle Spatial package as a geocoding data source for Manifold's street address geocoding engine. This enables consistent geocoding results for Oracle Spatial users whether Oracle or Manifold is used for street address geocoding.
- Customization for world-wide use via geocoding data extensions - Users may customize geocoding operation by providing their own data to be used as a geocoding data source. Manifold can use user-provided data without any other geocoding data source required. User-provided data may be in a simple and easy "Points of Interest" format (which is often used in 911 addressing) or in a more complex format giving a range of addresses per street segment.
- Automatic use of web-based geocoding servers - Manifold can use web-based services for street address geocoding. Two geocoding server modules are provided as free downloads in the Product Downloads page as examples: geocoder.us and Microsoft Virtual Earth. Others may be implemented using the open Manifold Geocoding Server interface. The Microsoft Virtual Earth geocoding server provides street address geocoding in many parts of the world, such as Australia, where otherwise street address geocoding data sources may be difficult to obtain.
- Open Manifold Geocoding Server (MGS) interface - MGS provides an open, well-documented interface that enables anyone to write a.NET object for utilization of a generic geocoding data source. Although such generic geocoding data sources are often web-based geocoding servers, they could be any geocoding service. For example, the Oracle Spatial geocoding server is implemented using MGS.
- Geocoding extensions within Spatial SQL - Installing the Geocoding Tools package extends spatial SQL within Manifold with a variety of street address geocoding functions. These include CloseToAddress, CloseToZip, DistanceToAddress, DistanceToZip, LocateAddress, LocateAddressLat, LocateAddressLon, LocateZip, LocateZipLat and LocateZipLon. These make it easy to write spatial SQL to do jobs like finding all objects within a given distance of an address, for example, as a real estate property locator might wish to do.
- Geocoding programming objects - Manifold also exposes street address geocoding capabilities through objects like the Geocoder object, so that programmers can utilize street address geocoding within scripts and programs.
- Enable GoTo addresses and zip codes - When Geocoding Tools have been installed, the GoTo user interface acquires the ability to GoTo a given address or zip code. These user interface commands are very handy when working with image server backgrounds showing satellite images to jump directly to a desired address.
- Easy creation of US county base maps - With the free Manifold US Geocoding Database on hand the Geocoding Tools extension allows rapid creation of a map of any county in the US showing all streets recorded as of the date of the database by the Census Bureau plus water features like rivers, lakes and streams. This makes it very easy to create background maps, such as the one at right. Click on the image to see the example topic on how to create such maps.
The Manifold User Manual covers Geocoding Tools features in detail. See the following topics for complete information:
- Complete User Manual - The web edition of the Manifold User Manual complete with full table of contents and index.
- About Geocoding - Introductory topic on spatial geocoding and street address geocoding.
- Geocoding Tools - Introduction and summary of Geocoding Tools capabilities.
- Street Address Geocoding
- All about street address geocoding features.
- Gecoding Data Sources - Introduction to different geocoding data sources, including the Manifold geocoding database available for free download, MapPont, geocoding data extensions and Manifold Geocoding Servers.
- Geocoding with MapPoint - Covers use of North American and European editions of MapPoint as a geocoding data source for Geocoding Tools.
- Geocoding Data Extensions - Introduction to writing your own geocoding data sources.
- Manifold Geocoding Servers - Introduction covering geocoder.us, Oracle and Virtual Earth, with links to topics documenting the open MGS interface.
- Import a Drawing from the Geocoding Database - An example topic showing the step-by-step procedure for creating a county drawing from the geocoding database.
- Spatial Geocoding with Match
- Not a part of Geocoding Tools, but a useful topic to read to see the incredible power of spatial geocoding built into every Manifold edition.
- Geocoding Extensions - Manifold SQL Reference Guide discussion of extensions to spatial SQL that provide geocoding functions.
Geocoding Tools Product Options
Manifold provides a variety of options to acquire Geocoding Tools, either as part of a licensing bundle or an extension to an existing Manifold System license. Universal Edition and Ultimate Edition include Geocoding Tools. Geocoding Tools also may be acquired in the Option Pack bundle or as a separate Geocoding Tools extension product. See the Products page for details.
- $25 - Manifold 8.00 Geocoding Tools - Enables Geocoding 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, Geocoding Tools and Surface Tools functionality in an existing Manifold 8.00 license.
When licensed via the Option Pack or as a separate Software Tools extension product, there is no separate 32-bit or 64-bit option because the "bitness" of the Geocoding Tools capabilities will be determined by the main Manifold license. For example, if you license Manifold Professional x64 and then later license the Geocoding Tools extension, your new Geocoding Tools capabilities will automatically run 64-bit when activated within your Professional x64 license.
Manifold System Editions with Geocoding 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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