Introductory Examples

Example: Project Pane Tutorial

In this example we take an extended tour of the Project pane, engaging in a variety of simple but typical moves that are illustrated step by step.

Example: Import a Shapefile

ESRI shapefiles are a very popular format for publishing GIS and other spatial data.  Unfortunately, shapefiles often will not specify what projection should be used.  This example shows how to deal with that quickly and easily.

Example: Import Shapefile and Create a Map

Step by step process to import a shapefile and to create a map.


Example: Reproject a Drawing

An essential example on changing the projection of a drawing, either within the drawing itself, or by changing the projection of a map window that shows the drawing and on the fly reprojects the drawing for display.

Example: Change the Pixel Size of a Terrain Elevation Image

Use the Reproject Component dialog to change the pixel size of a terrain elevation image, reducing the total number of pixels used.  This process is also called resampling.

Example: Layers Tutorial

We take a tour of the Layers pane, learning how to manage layer display order, select layers, turn several layers on and off at the same time, alter opacity settings for one or more layers and how to change background color.

Example: Create Maps

Maps are used to show layers that can be drawings, images, and labels.  This topic shows how to create new, blank maps, how to create maps from existing components, and how to create maps from other maps.

Example: Add Labels to a Map

How to manually add labels to a map.

Example: Closing without Saving

An example that shows how File - Close without saving the project can affect local tables and components differently from those saved already into a data source, such as an .mdb file database.

Example: Spectacular Images and Data from Web Servers

A must see topic providing a gallery of views illustrating how Manifold can use web servers such as image servers and other free resources to provide a seemingly endless selection of spectacular background maps, satellite images and GIS data with nearly zero effort.

Example: An Imageserver Tutorial

An extensive tutorial showing step by step how to add new data sources that are image servers, how to show them as layers in a map, how to create a new drawing that matches the projection of the map and how to trace over what is seen in an image server layer to create an area object in the drawing.

Example: Edit a Shapefile In Place

How to edit a shapefile "in place," that is, leaving the data in the shapefile and only linking it into a project and not importing it into the project.

Example: Style Pane Quickstart

A tutorial introduction to using the Style pane to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.

Example: Change Point Style

Using new Style pane controls to change point style, either very rapidly one property at a time, or using the total Style button to compose a new style with changes to several properties at once.

Example: Multiuser Sharing of .map Projects

By adding a .map project to another project as a read-only data source, we can share a single .map project for simultaneous use by multiple users on different machines.  That's very easy to do and it allows us to keep frequently used data in archived .map files.  This short topic shows how.

Example: Bounded Areas

Given line objects, the Bounded Areas transform template creates areas in regions entirely enclosed by overlapping or otherwise touching lines.  A quick look at how the Transform pane helps create new drawings.

Example: Locations

Save Locations and use saved Locations to quickly navigate to desired views in windows.


Example: Create Many Locations from a Drawing

Given a drawing of points, we quickly create a folder with Locations for all of the points, allowing us to quickly pan and zoom to a local view around each point.

Example: Trace an Area in a Map over an Image Background

In a map with a drawing layer above an image layer (served dynamically by an image server), create an area object in the drawing by tracing over the outlines of something seen in the image layer below

Example: Transfer DEM Terrain Heights to Areas in a Drawing

Given a map with an image layer that shows terrain heights taken from a DEM, and a drawing layer that contains areas, using a small SQL query we transfer the average terrain height within each area to that area as a Height attribute for the area. Easy!

Example: Create a Drawing from a Geocoded Table

A partner example to Example: Create a Geocoded Table from a Drawing   A geocoded table has records with a latitude and longitude for each record.   This example starts with a table containing a list of cities with a latitude and longitude field for the location of each city.   We create a geom from the latitude and longitude fields using a template in the Transform pane  and then we create a drawing that shows the cities as points.  This example shows all the infrastructure steps involved.

Example: Create a Drawing Dynamically from a Geocoded Table

A more general, cooler way to create a drawing from a geocoded table, without adding any fields to the table.   We create a small query that generates geometry on the fly, and then we create a drawing from the query.   This is how more advanced users often do it, using a technique that is perfect for creating drawings from tables in remote DBMS packages or read-only files.

Example: Use Edit - Join to Map a Pandemic

Creating a data source for a CSV web server, we acquire current data on cases and deaths worldwide for the Covid-19 pandemic.  We then use the point and click Edit - Join dialog to rapidly join that data, automatically aggregated as we desire, into a world map for visualization.

Example: Find Percentages of Open Space in ZIP Code Areas

Given a drawing showing ZIP codes as areas (polygons) and another drawing showing open spaces like parks and nature preserves, we add a field to each ZIP code area that gives the percentage of open space in that ZIP code area.  The workflow we show handles situations where some open space regions overlap multiple ZIP code areas, correctly reckoning only that part of the open space within each ZIP code area.

Example: Create a Map Showing OSM Use by Country

A start-to-finish real life example of map creation that combines various Manifold capabilities.  Copying a table of numbers from a web site, we create a map that is thematically colored to show usage of OpenStreetMap by country in proportion to the population of that country.

Example: Compare Sizes of Countries

An example that combines multiple facilities within Manifold to create a presentation that allows comparison of the relative sizes of different countries.

Example: Convert a 0 to 360 Degree Projection

We often encounter data, both images and drawings, using latitude and longitude degrees that appears to be in Latitude / Longitude projection but which has longitude values from 0 degrees to 360 degrees and latitude values from 0 degrees to 180 degrees, instead of the usual arrangement of -180 degrees to 180 degrees for longitude centered on the Prime Meridian, and -90 degrees to 90 degrees for latitude centered on the Equator.  This example shows how to utilize such data by assigning the correct projection.

Example: Split Highways by States

We use the Split template cut operation to split interstate highways in the US by boundaries of US states, and then we transfer a state name to highway lines within that state by using the Join dialog.

Example: Join Districts to Building Footprints

Given a map of a city with a drawing layer containing the footprints of buildings as polygonal areas, and a second drawing layer containing districts in the city as polygonal areas, we use the Join dialog to add a new attribute field to each building giving the district in which it is located.   We consider first the simple case where district boundaries always fall between buildings, so buildings are always only in one district.  Next, we deal with the case where buildings can straddle district boundaries, so parts of the same building can be in different districts.  In that case we use the Transform pane to quickly build centroids for building footprints, and then we use the centroids to guide the spatial join.

Example: Vector Layers from an ArcGIS REST Feature Server

Visit an ESRI web site, copy a URL, and then use that URL to connect to an ArcGIS REST web server that shows petroleum fields in Kansas, getting the data as a vector drawing layer. Style the layer as if it were local.  ESRI refers to ArcGIS REST servers that provide vector data as feature servers.  

Example: Connect to a WMS Server for National Map Layers

Visit the National Map services web page, copy a URL for a shaded relief layer from USGS, and then use Style to enhance that shaded relief data for combination with other layers and really spectacular effects.

Example: Create USGS File Names with Transform

NAIP images cover almost all of the United States with aerial photography in 4 bands at 1 meter or 0.6 meter resolution.  We would like to download NAIP images for our areas of interest via direct download from the USGS archives on Amazon AWS.  We can create our own indices for NAIP imagery by using the Transform pane to extract and transform the data we want from generic USGS indices for quads and quarter-quads.

Example: Georegister a Drone Photo

We take a raster image, a drone photograph in Everson, Washington, that was imported from an ordinary .jpg file, and we georegister it using a map that shows a Google Satellite view of the same region, casting the drone photo into Pseudo-Mercator projection.   We use previews to see how well the control points we have added will work, before creating a georegistered image.

Example: Georegister a Vector Drawing

We take a vector drawing with an unknown coordinate system that shows the provinces of Mexico and we georeference it to a map containing a Bing Streets web-served layer, casting the Mexico drawing into Pseudo-Mercator coordinate system.  We begin the process using only two coordinate points and then we do a preview to see where accuracy of the proposed georeferencing result should be improved by adding more control points.  We add more control points and then georeference the Mexico drawing with good accuracy.

Example: Georegister a Whole World Image

We make a screenshot of a map we see on the web that covers the whole world, from +/- 90 degrees of latitude and +/- 180 degrees of longitude.  The image shows the position and geology of continents as they were 200 million years ago.  We georeference the image using four control points placed at the  +/- 90 degrees and +/- 180 degrees corners, using a target map with a Bing streets background layer.  We use the Show Coordinates option in the Register pane to quickly set exact target control point locations.  As a bonus, we show how to knock out "background" pixels if our image is a palette image.

Example: Edit Tables with the Transform Pane

This topic shows how fast and easy it is to edit tables using the Transform pane.  Repetitive edits applying similar changes to different fields can be done rapidly with highly efficient workflow.  Best of all, on the fly previews make it easy to use sophisticated editing techniques like regular expressions without fear of getting something wrong.

Example: Unique Names using Regular Expressions

We have a table with a text field that contains a list of names, separated by commas.  Some of the names are repeated.   We would like to transform the list of names into a similar list, but without any repetitions of names.   This topic shows how using a regular expression.   It shows the power and speed of a concise regular expression, and the flexibility with which regular expressions can be used in SQL queries as well as in the Transform pane.

Example: Create and Use a Survey Form

Create a new survey form on the KoBoToolbox site, and then modify the form to provide a starting view for map widgets used to collect locations.  Use the form to collect data in the field, automatically syncing collected data into our KoBo account on the KoBo servers.

Example: Connect to Data Collected in the Field

Use the Web Server: kobo dataport to connect to KoBo servers, using your KoBo account's API key to automatically authenticate your connection to your KoBo projects on the server, with automatic linking of data from those servers as tables and drawings in the Manifold project.  Use KoBo data to create a map of restaurants surveyed in Chartres, France.   Add new data and refresh to see new locations appear in the Manifold map.