Release 9 for Fast GIS

Release 9


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What's New

News + New Features in the Latest Build

Even Faster, Easier, and More Powerful Editing

split an area with a path line

New in Release 9 - Every two weeks the latest Release 9 build adds dozens of new features. This page presents highlights from the latest build. New builds are free updates.

Image at right: Use mouse moves or enter precise coordinates on the fly or a mix of both to draw a path that exactly splits an area on the 17th parallel. Easy!

Build 173.5 adds yet more enhancements to georeferencing, editing, and LiDAR work with LAS and LAZ files:

  • Enhanced georeferencing error reports - Error values for individual control points in the Register pane are automatically translated into the units of measure used in the target coordinate system, like feet or meters or other units.
  • Total Error RMS readout - The Register pane automatically reports total RMS error at the bottom of the pane for the proposed georeferencing.
  • Dynamic snap options for placing control points - Enjoy the full roster of rich snapping capability when placing control points. Combined with the use of multi-layer targets, snapping to any vector layer in the map or to grids for any layer allows precise placement of control points even when the target layer doesn't have the visible features desired.
  • Edit Path coordinates on the fly - When using the Path tool to split areas and lines or to make measurements, coordinates automatically appear in the Info pane coordinates list, allowing precise cutting with on the fly specification of coordinates for the cutting path.
  • Limitless triangulation - Georeferencing using triangulation has always been a popular choice from the many georeferencing methods Manifold provides, but now is no longer limited to within the bounds of control points: Manifold's new triangulation method can georefernce an entire image, even when control points cover only part of the image. Super!
  • Automatic layout updates - Print layouts make it easy to compose sophisticated presentations, using frames that can be populated from many maps with many layers. Layouts now automatically update when changing layers within maps, like adding or removing layers, reordering them, turning them off and on, and changing transparency.
  • LiDAR data enhancements to LAS and LAZ - Manifold is a great tool for manipulating LiDAR data and then exporting to LAS and LAZ. New enhancments automatically embed coordinate system information into the LAS or LAZ file, and automatically use WKT or WKT2 with automatic conversion from other coordinate system specifications into WKT.
  • Export data shortcut - A new, single-click Export Selected command makes it easy to export only selected records from tables. That's a great way to use point and click interactive Selection tools to refine a selection and then instantly export to popular formats like CSV, ESRI GDB, GPKG, JSON, LAS or LAZ, XLS, MDB, and others.

Build 173.4 adds spectacular new editing commands for interactive editing, making it even better as the fastest and easiest way to edit vector layers.

Create Areas and Lines with Automatic Clipping

The new Clip interactive editing command makes it easy to create areas that automatically follow boundaries of existing polygons, to create complex new areas. It's also easy to create new lines that are clipped to complex boundaries.

Suppose we would like to draw a single polygonal area that automatically fills in the regions between building footprint polygons in a neighborhood.

draw an areaChoose Clip

Choose Create Area and in the usual way draw a polygonal area that outlines the neighborhood. Right-click and choose Clip from the pop-up edit menu, and choose OK. Instantly, the provisional area outlines are automatically redrawn to follow the boundaries of building polygons within. We can further edit those if we like, or proceed with a single click to create the new area.

Clipped provisional arearesulting area

Commit the edit (a single click) and Manifold auto-completes the new polygonal area, with open regions that exactly fit the building polygons. We can Cut that new area and Paste it into a new layer to see it without the building polygons, to see the fantastic complexity of polygon we created in just a few seconds and a single Clip command click. The new area is perfectly aligned to the boundaries of the building polygons. Super!

High Speed, One Click Merge

The new Merge interactive editing command provides a super fast, one-click merge to combine areas or lines in place with sophisticated merging of attributes. Merge multiple area, line or point records into one. Merge pops open a dialog which allows switching between merging all objects or just selected objects (the default).

three areasmerged into one area

Transfer rules are automatically remembered to make repetitive edits fast:
  • (none) - Keep the value in the picked record, any field type.
  • copy - Keep the value in the picked record if it is not NULL, otherwise use a first encountered non-NULL value from one of the merged records, any field type.
  • minimum / maximum - Use the minimum or maximum value, any field type except binary.
  • average / sum - Use the average value or the sum of all values, any numeric field type.

Fast and Easy Interactive Split

The new Split interactive editing command uses an interactive cutting line to split areas or lines into separate parts, producing new objects in place for each part and automatically splitting attributes as desired. Split pops open a dialog which allows switching between splitting all objects cut by the line or just selected objects (the default).

three areasmerged into one area

Images above: Draw a cutting line with the tracker, right-click and choose Split. The result at right above has been shifted slightly to show where the split happened.

Transfer rules are automatically remembered to make repetitive edits fast:
  • (none) - Use a NULL value, any field type.
  • copy - Keep the original value, any field type
  • split - Split the original value equally between parts, any numeric field type.
  • split proportional - Split the original value between parts proportionally to their area (for areas) or length (for lines), any numeric field type.
transfer rules

Image above: Transfer rules specify how to allocate attributes into the split results. Population of states, for example, can be split proportionally into the resulting parts, while the name of each of the resulting parts stays the same as the original.

New Interpolation Methods

The latest build introduces two major new interpolation methods, along with various enhancements to existing interpolation methods.

  • Natural neighbors - A new spatial interpolation method originally developed by Roger Sibson. The method is based on Voronoi tessellation of a discrete set of spatial points. This has advantages over simpler methods of interpolation, such as nearest-neighbor interpolation, in that it provides a smoother approximation to the underlying "true" function. Manifold's implementation uses Sibson weights to match the approach taken in ESRI's multi-thousand dollar Spatial Analyst option.
  • Thin-plate spline - A new interpolation method analogous to thin-plate spline algorithms used in georeferencing interpolation.
  • Even more parallelization - All interpolation methods are fully parallel, with parallel SQL functions introduced to enable fully parallel SQL interpolation as well.

New Videos

Wow! Lots of new videos to make it easy to learn and apply the wonderful new georeferencing capabilities in Manifold. See the Videos page for the full collection of Manifold videos.

5 Minute Tutorial - Editing with Clip - Spectacular new editing commands in Manifold Release 9 provide super easy, fast, and powerful interactive editing, the fastest and easiest way to edit vector layers in any data source.

The new Clip interactive editing command makes it easy to create areas that automatically follow boundaries of existing polygons, to create complex new areas. It's also easy to create new lines that are clipped to complex boundaries. See how in this short video.

Also see how to combine the Clip command with the new Merge editing command to edit polygons "in place" in whatever data source we want, including ESRI geodatabases, PostGIS, data sources, GPKG, shapefiles or any of hundreds of other data sources. Super! Works in the free Manifold Viewer too.

Newsflash - Merge, Clip, and Split - See a three minute, temporary video showing how to use fast and easy, new editing commands.

  • Merge - Instantly combine multiple areas, lines, or points into a single area, line, or point with fast choice of how attributes should be merged.
  • Clip - Create a new area or a new line and in the same step clip the area or line precisely to the boundaries of overlapping areas, either inside the overlapping areas or outside.
  • Split - Draw a line and instantly split existing areas and lines, with fast choice of how to split attribute values.

5 Minute Tutorial - Create a Multiband Landsat Image -

Landsat data provides images in individual bands, such as Bands 4, 5, and 6, for visual red, near infrared and shortwave infrared. Creating large, multiband Landsat images using many Landsat tiles can involve combining dozens of individual band images.

Manifold Release 9 is perfect for the job, because it can handle many large rasters effortlessly, merging them instantly, and then combining bands into false color RGB multiband images. Manifold does all that with easy to use, point and click dialogs. No need for programming.

This fast-paced video shows how in under five minutes of workflow, including importing the original Landsat data downloaded from USGS. All this works in the free Manifold Viewer too.

5 Minute Tutorial - Scrape an ESRI Feature Server - Working with web-based ESRI feature servers? If you want your own copy all the vector features (points, polylines, polygons) those servers provide that's easy to do with Manifold Release 9.

This video shows how to connect to a typical ESRI feature server, how to drill down and open the feature layer desired, how to copy all the features and to paste them into the local project. It's all a simple matter of point and click, copy and paste. All this works in the free Manifold Viewer too.

5 Minute Tutorial - LAS Point Statistics by Area - Save thousands by using Manifold Release 9: The "LAS Point Statistics by Area" tool in Spatial Analyst for ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro adds attribute fields to polygon features for LiDAR points that fall within those polygons, adding the minimum, maximum, and mean Z values in each polygon, as well as the point count of LiDAR points in each polygon, and also the standard deviation of Z values in each polygon.

The video shows how to do the same thing in just a few clicks in Manifold's point-and-click Join dialog. No need to buy Spatial Analyst. Manifold includes the Join dialog and thousands of other capabilities, all for only $95. Save thousands of dollars and enjoy easier workflow too!

Manifold also is much easier than using expensive products like LAStools, and costs far less in labor than writing your own code in Python, PDAL, or other lower level tools. All this works in the free Manifold Viewer too.

5 minute Tutorial - Georeference Many CAD Layers - Georeferencing CAD layers is a common task in any GIS. Manifold Release 9 makes it a lot easier with fast, simple workflow that avoids extra effort and lets us recycle what we've already done.

This video shows how we can add a few control points just once and then georeference an entire stack of CAD layers imported from a DWG without adding more control points or repeating any work. If the DWG contained a hundred layers we could do them all!

This is much easier than the complicated, more labor intensive procedures in ESRI or other GIS packages. All this works in the free Manifold Viewer too.

Georeference a Scanned Paper Map - In only five minutes of actual work we use Manifold Release 9 to georeference a 157 MB scanned paper map so it can be used as a layer in GIS. The scanned map is a historic map showing Davy Crockett National Forest in Texas, downloaded from the Library of Congress website.

Compare Manifold workflow to ESRI workflow and you'll agree it's a lot easier, quicker, and less confusing in Manifold. Fast GIS is fun GIS!

Georeference a Whole World Image - We see a map we like on a web site so we make a screenshot. How to use that map in GIS? Easy! We georeference it using Manifold. The video shows how to georeference an image scraped from the web that shows the geology of continents as they were 200 million years ago.

We mark four control points in the image, then we roughly mark four corresponding control in a Manifold map using Bing as a background layer. In the Register pane we edit the coordinates of those control points to be even +/- 90 and +/- 180 degrees, and then we press Register. Done!

The video also shows how we can import and georeference a second image similar to the first, without needing to add any control points, just re-cycling the ones we created before. Less work is great!

Previous What's New Pages: See the previous What's New page for prior news.


Manifold runs parallel on all cores

Faster by Design

Manifold is 64-bit and fully parallel throughout, automatically unleashing the incredible power of all of the CPU cores in your system. Four cores or sixty four, Manifold uses them all. Even faster, Manifold automatically launches massively parallel computations using thousands of available GPU cores for supercomputer speed. Running on a 24 core processor? Manifold will use all 48 threads.

Image at right: Manifold running 48 threads with 100% utilization on an inexpensive 24 core / 48 thread AMD Threadripper. Running 48 threads with 100% utilization Manifold takes only 9 seconds to compute Path Distance. ESRI's Spatial Analyst on the same machine takes 12 minutes, using only nine threads with poor utilization. Add Manifold to your ESRI toolset for faster geoprocessing.


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Georegistration preview

A georegistration preview menu when previewing the georegistration of a drone photo. Starting with the same nadir drone photograph as in ESRI's ArcUser example the illustration shows a preview in blue color of georegistering that photo to a known good target layer, a Google satellite layer. Right clicking on the preview bar calls up a menu that controls the display of the preview, allowing it to be seen with partial transparency or with a split screen effect to the left or right side of the display window, with the dividing line between the preview and the rest of the window draggable to the left or right. The preview shows what a simple affine georegistration using six control points will do.

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!