Data Sources

Connect to Everything - Get it All for only $145

Manifold Release 9 for Spatial Engineering

Manifold Release 9 · Viewer

Manifold® Release 9 and Manifold Viewer work with hundreds of different vector, raster and database sources, including Enterprise and personal databases, file databases, file formats and web servers, including all popular open and commercial Enterprise DBMS products as well as proprietary servers. Many of the sources listed in this page exist in significantly different subtypes and so constitute more than one format or protocol. Manifold will automatically detect such subtypes and will use the correct Manifold dataport to access, link to or import from the source as desired.

Doing data science or other serious work with spatial data? See the SQL: Manifold vs. Arc page for why Manifold's superb spatial SQL is a better choice than ESRI's subset of SQL.

Image at right: A view of Monaco in Release 9. Layer transparency allows setting the buildings layer to 50% opacity so the Google satellite photo web server layer can shine through data layers imported from OpenStreetMap PBF format. Release 9 can compose maps using hundreds of different data sources from many millions of sources.

Only $145, fully paid. The GIS with the world's greatest range of formats and data sources is only $145. Amazing! That's the fully paid price for Manifold System Release 9. The fastest and most powerful GIS ever created now also has the world's lowest cost of ownership.

Everything is Included - No need to buy or to install anything extra. All of these data sources and formats are built in to both Manifold Release 9 and the free Manifold Viewer. Install Manifold and you get it all.

See the User Video showing how Manifold can not only connect to ESRI gdb file geodatabases but slice and dice layers using Manifold SQL as well.
Click on thumbnail for large image: Mount St. Helens volcano crater using 1 meter resolution DEM.

In addition to explicit connections to database servers, file databases and file formats, flexible Manifold connectivity to web servers using protocols such as OSM, TMS, WFS, WMS, WMTS, ECWP and ArcGIS REST provides connectivity to many thousands of data sources.

Image at right: click on the thumbnail for a large image of a Manifold map showing the Mount St. Helens volcano crater in a one meter resolution Digital Elevation Model in ESRI grid format, colored by Manifold and shown against a web server background of Google terrain and overlaid with labels taken from Google transparent street web server.

Do in 1/10th Second what takes others 30 minutes. See Manifold technology in action Watch the Gulf Bathymetry YouTube video of Manifold Viewer opening a project file in 1/10th second that the US Government website providing the data warned will take ESRI software 30 minutes to open in the equivalent ESRI native format. That's thousands of times faster for Manifold. Viewer effortlessly hill shades and styles and re-projects on the fly 7.5 GB of ultra-high resolution bathymetry data for the Gulf of Mexico. Re-projection can take hours in other packages but Viewer and Manifold do it on the fly, instantly.

Database Servers

"There is not much GIS in what I am doing, however there is a great deal of relational database work. [...] Using Manifold, I can import tables from both Ms-Access and from Postgres and write queries that use data from both backends. I cannot do this in pgAdmin or in dBeaver [...] In Manifold, I can also drag data from gpkg files into postgres..." - Forum post

Always on connectivity built into every Manifold Release 9 installation:

IBM DB2 Direct connection.
MySQL Direct connection.
Oracle Direct connection.
PostgreSQL Direct connection.
Microsoft SQL Server Direct connection.
SQLite Direct connection. (Also listed as a File Database source.)
ESRI Geodatabase ESRI Geodatabases using SDE style storage on database servers such as Oracle and other database servers. See listings under File Databases for ESRI File Geodatabases and ESRI Personal Geodatabases.
ODBC Any ODBC driver.
OLE DB Any OLE DB Provider.
ADO.NET Generic ADO.NET data source.
ADO.NET Oracle ADO.NET built in connection to Oracle.
ADO.NET SQL Server ADO.NET built in connection to SQL Server

Easy Favorites

The Favorites list makes it easy to reach your favorite data sources out of hundreds that Manifold knows. The video shows the new Favorites management system in Manifold Future, the open beta for Manifold Release 9. Part 1 of the tour shows the Contents, pane, layers and layer opacity, one click use of data source favorites, using your own archival favorite and getting record values instantly.

Many popular database servers use variations of the above, such as ODBC, to connect. Search the vendor's website for the latest versions of required drivers. Some vendors require downloads or licensing to connect to their packages or to obtain their client drivers. Typical examples suggested by Manifold users include:

Actian Matrix Connects using Actian Matrix ODBC drivers.
Actian Vector / Ingres Connects using Actian Ingres ODBC drivers.
ALTIBASE DSN connection requires ALTIBASE HDB Client.
Amazon Aurora Connects using MySQL dialogs, built into Manifold.
Amazon EMR Connects using Amazon Hive or Impala ODBC drivers.
Cisco Information Server 7.0 Connects using Cisco Client Installation Package with ODBC.
Cisco Information Server 6.2.6 Connects using Cisco Client Installation Package with ODBC.
Google Cloud SQL Connects using MySQL dialogs, built into Manifold.
HP Vertica Connects using HPE Vertica ODBC drivers.
MariaDB Connects using MySQL dialogs, built into Manifold.
MemSQL Connects using MySQL dialogs, built into Manifold.
MapR Hadoop Hive Connects using MapR Hive ODBC drivers.
MonetDB Connects using MonetDB ODBC drivers.
Microsoft Azure Connects using SQL Server dialogs, built into Manifold.
IBM Netezza Connects using Netezza ODBC driver.
Pivotal Greenplum Database Connects using Pivotal Greenplum ODBC drivers.
SAP HANA Connects using SAP HANA ODBC driver.
Snowflake Connects via ODBC. Sign on to your Snowflake instance and use Help - Download to get the ODBC driver.
Splunk Connects using Splunk ODBC drivers.
Teradata Connects using Teradata ODBC driver.

The above servers may require ODBC or other vendor-supplied drivers for connectivity. All other data sources on this page are built into Manifold.

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.

Try LiDAR in Manifold Now. See Manifold technology in action Watch the Maryland LiDAR REST Server YouTube video showing the LiDAR data set illustrated above. Try it yourself with Manifold Viewer.

Web Servers

Built into every Manifold Release 9 installation, the following web server connections provide access to many petabytes of data:

ArcGIS REST Servers

Connects to REST servers using ESRI ArcGIS protocols.

CSV Servers Web servers providing data in CSV (comma separated values) format, using typical variations on the format. Link to data in CSV (comma separated values) format files provided by web URLs. The CSV web dataport allows refreshing tables to re-read the latest data from the web.
Custom Servers Generic image servers.
Document Servers Google Sheets spreadsheets served by Google.   The dataport is named generically since other document servers, such as Microsoft's Office 365 or other options, may be added in the future.
ECWP Servers Acquire streamed imagery layered over standard HTTP from ERDAS Compressed Wavelet Protocol (ECWP) servers
Geocoding Servers Provides access to popular web-based geocoders.  Some geocoding servers may require licensing or a key for access. Geocoders built into the dataport include Bing, Google, Here, MapBox, MapQuest, OpenCage, and Yandex, with geocoding, reverse geocoding, search by attribute filter, search within radius, and search within bounding rectangle for many geocoders.
GeoJSON Servers Web servers providing spatial data using GeoJSON, a "geographic" format using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). Manifold automatically reads TopoJSON when a GeoJSON Server provides TopoJSON. Geometry collections are expanded automatically. Link to data in GeoJSON format files provided by web URLs. The GeoJSON web dataport allows refreshing tables to re-read the latest data from the web.
Imageserver Servers Image servers, often written in concatenated form as imageservers, are a subset of web servers that serve imagery in a form supported by dedicated modules specific to each such image server.  Many image server modules are already built into Manifold, providing a choice of popular image servers providing street maps and satellite views, like Bing, Google, Here, MapBox, MapQuest, NearMap, OpenStreetMap, WikiMapia, Yandex, and custom servers.    Pre-built image servers provide options for both free access as well as paid access requiring API or other credentials.
JSON Servers Web servers providing data in generic JSON text files, written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), often used to convey metadata or table data. Link to data in JSON format files provided by web URLs. The JSON web dataport allows refreshing tables to re-read the latest data from the web.
KML Servers Web servers providing data in KML or KMZ format.   Connect using the New Data Source dialog to KML files provided by web URLs.  
KoBo Servers KoBo Toolbox servers storing data collected in the field using survey forms.  
OSM Servers OpenStreetMap servers.
TMS Servers Tile Map Service (TMS) servers.
WFS Servers OpenGIS Web Feature Service (WFS) servers.
WMS Servers OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) servers.
WMTS Servers OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) servers. The illustration shows a connection to the ESRI World Imagery Service using WMTS, with an OpenStreetMap layer drawn over the map. ESRI allows use of the World Imagery Service to create vector data for contribution to OSM by tracing over their imagery and using it to guide edits. Cool!

Pre-Packaged Web Servers

Download and open the following projects for immediate access to over 100 pre-configured web servers you can use as layers in your Release 9 or Viewer projects.

  • (1024 KB) - A Release 9 format .map project providing a collection of ArcGIS REST web server data sources. Useful for ESRI people and others, and provides an outstanding example of the very wide range of free data available online that Viewer can see.
  • JOSM (1088 KB) - A Release 9 format .map project providing approximately 60 web server data sources using various protocols, including TMS, that are available for immediate use in 9. Data sources come from a list of openly available and usable web servers for creating new features for OpenStreetMap, and are pre-configured to include a JOSM API key, when required, for such uses. Also includes Amazon free elevation tile servers. Provides an outstanding example of the very wide range of free data available online that Viewer can see.

Geocoding Servers

The geocoding server module interface is an open interface for which anyone can write a module. The following modules are built into Manifold. Any user-provided modules will also appear as choices. Some geocoding services may require licensing or a key for access:

Bing Geocoder Street address geocoding using Bing.
Google Geocoder Street address geocoding using Google.
Here Geocoder Street address geocoding using Here.
Here Landmark Geocoder Landmark geocoding using Here.
Here Reverse Geocoder Reverse street address geocoding using Here.
MapBox Geocoder Street address geocoding using MapBox.
MapQuest Geocoder Street address geocoding using MapQuest.
OpenCage Geocoder Street address geocoding using OpenCage.
Yandex Geocoder Street address geocoding using Yandex.

Image Servers

The image server module interface is an open interface for which anyone can write a module. For spectacular visual examples, see the Manifold User Manual Example topic. The following modules are built into Manifold. Any user-provided modules will also appear as choices. Some image servers may require licensing or a key for access:

Bing Maps Hybrid Bing Maps showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
Bing Maps Satellite Bing Maps showing satellite imagery. The image shows a Bing satellite layer used as a background for a map layer showing streets in Palo Alto and Menlo Park taken from an SDTS file. The white horizontal line in the middle left of the display is the Stanford Linear Accelerator.
Bing Maps Street Map

Bing Maps showing streets and features.

Google Maps Satellite

Google Maps showing satellite imagery.

Click on the image at right to open up a full size view of a typical Google satellite high resolution display seen when zooming in to the famous chateau at Chambord, in the valley of the Loire in France.

The other thumbnails show the same view as the street map scene of Munich shown below by the Google street map image server plus a zoomed in view. The satellite imagery and street map imagery layers in a map automatically align with each other and with other imageserver layers.

Google Maps Street Map

Google Maps showing streets and features.

Google Maps Street Map (Transparent) Google Maps showing streets with transparency between, to allow lower layers to show through. A transparent Google street maps layer appears in the accompanying image, showing USGS LULC 100K data imported from CTG raster format for the San Franciso Bay region, colored on the fly by Manifold and overlaid in a map on a Google Satellite layer for context, with a Google transparent streets layer above for labels.
Google Maps Terrain Google Maps showing hill shaded terrain elevation. The images at right show a Google Maps Terrain layer as a background to the synthetic, hill shaded terrain created by Manifold from an SDTS DEM.
Google Maps v2 Hybrid Google Maps version 2 showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
Google Maps v2 Satellite Google Maps version 2 showing satellite imagery.
Google Maps v2 Street Map Google Maps version 2 showing streets and features.
Google Maps v2 Terrain Google Maps version 2 showing hill shaded terrain elevation.
Here Maps Base Here Maps showing streets and features.
Here Maps Hybrid Here Maps showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
Here Maps Satellite Here Maps showing satellite imagery.
Here Maps Terrain Here Maps showing hill shaded terrain elevation.
MapBox Maps Hybrid MapBox Maps showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
MapBox Maps Satellite MapBox Maps showing satellite imagery.
MapBox Maps Street Map MapBox Maps showing streets and features.
MapQuest Maps Hybrid MapQuest Maps showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
MapQuest Maps Satellite MapQuest Maps showing satellite imagery.
MapQuest Maps Street Map MapQuest Maps showing streets and features.
NearMap Maps Street Map NearMap Maps showing streets and features.
NearMap Maps Street Map (Direct) NearMap Maps showing streets and features.
OpenStreet Maps Base

OpenStreet Maps showing streets and features.

OpenStreet Maps Migurski's Terrain OpenStreet Maps showing Migurski styled hill shaded terrain elevation.
OpenStreet Maps OpenCycleMap OpenStreet Maps showing streets and features with terrain elevations of interest to cyclists.
OpenStreet Maps OpenCycleMap Transport

OpenStreet Maps OpenCycleMap with public transportation added.

WikiMapia Street Map

WikiMapia data showing streets and features.

WikiMapia Street Map (Transparent) WikiMapia data showing streets with transparency between, to allow lower layers to show through.
Yandex Maps Satellite Yandex Maps showing satellite imagery.
Yandex Maps Street Map

Yandex Maps showing streets and features.

Yandex Maps v2 Hybrid Yandex Maps version 2 showing streets overlaid on satellite imagery.
Yandex Maps v2 Satellite Yandex Maps version 2 showing satellite imagery.
Yandex Maps v2 Street Map Yandex Maps version 2 showing streets and features.

File Databases

The following connections are built into Manifold. No third party software is required for these connections.

CSV .asc, .csv, .tab, .txt, etc... Text formats. The image shows a map created from Uber Movement data downloaded as a .csv file. Manifold on the fly transforms text coordinates in the .csv into geometry for display. The polygons show drive time from downtown Boston colored by the time required. The Latitude / Longitude Uber data is re-projected on the fly by Manifold to match the Pseudo-Mercator coordinate system used by the Google background layer and the Google Transparent Streets layer used as the uppermost layer in the map. See the Uber Movement YouTube Video that shows the process.
DB .db Borland Paradox
DBF .dbf dBase, FoxPro
DSN .dsn Microsoft Data Source files 
HTML .htm, .html Tables in HTML pages
ESRI File Geodatabase

ESRI File Geodatabases using ESRI GDB files for storage. See the User Video on using ESRI file geodatabases. The images show ESRI's "Naperville" tutorial example GDB data set with tax parcels layer and pipes layer (in green), overlaid on a Bing streetmap web server layer for context. The larger image is zoomed in to show detail on parcels, which have been colored on the fly by Manifold to better distinguish different classes of tax parcels. The larger image spreads across multiple monitors. All data resides within the ESRI geodatabase.

ESRI Personal Geodatabase ESRI Geodatabases using MDB files for storage.
MDB .mdb Microsoft Access 2000 and Access 97 .mdb format
SQLite SQLite database engine files.
UDL .udl Microsoft Universal Data Link
WKx .wj, .wk Lotus
XLS .xls Microsoft Excel
XLSX .xlsx Microsoft XLSX files (Microsoft Office 2007 and later), .xlsx
Various palette combinations applied to the same terrain data.

Above: The Style pane for rasters enables instant application of colors to surfaces. Palettes can be applied to multiple different windows showing the same data from the same table, as seen above in an illustration from this topic in the User Manual.

File Formats

Dataports for the following file formats are built into Manifold. No third party software is required to access these formats. There is no need to install extra libraries or to perform any additional installations. Manifold works with all of these automatically.

"." dot files (GIRAS) Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System (GIRAS) files. See the GIRAS, LULC Vector Format entry below.
"." dot files (GLOBE) ECC GLOBE format dot files.
"." dot files (GRASS) Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) format dot files.
000 S57 ENC (Electronic Navigation Chart) vector format.
ADRG THF .thf NGA ARC Digitized Raster Graphics, loaded from .thf files
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Level 1 B, .l1b

ESRI .adf format, also sometimes called ArcGrid format. ADF files can contain either raster or vector data.

The first thumbnail at right expands to a view of the Yosemite National Park region, a terrain elevation data set colored on the fly by Manifold with a quantized palette showing elevations. The second thumbnail shows a zoomed-in view to the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Village area famous to millions of tourists and uses a smooth interpolation palette to show terrain elevations.

Larger thumbnails expand to multi-monitor sized images using either a more natural palette or a false color palette to show elevations.

The thumbnails below show the GLC2000 land use data set for India, a raster data set color-coded by land use type and imported from an ESRI .adf format file. It imports with perfect georegistration as seen in the overall image, which uses an NOAA world shaded relief WMS layer for background and a Google transparent streets layer on top for context.

The detailed image shows use of ESRI ArcGIS REST server layers, with a hill shading layer at 50% opacity blended with the land use data to provide relief and a boundaries and place name layer above for context. The GLC2000 data set shows land use at 1 km per pixel resolution on the Equator. Manifold is automatically re-projecting the Latitude / Longitude GLC2000 layer on the fly into Pseudo-Mercator projection as used by the map and the web server layers.

BIL ESRI Band Interleaved by Line (BIL) format. The image shows a BIL file that codes different types of Alaskan vegetation zones as raster color values, using a false color palette colored on the fly by Manifold and displayed in a map with a Bing layer for background and context.
BMP Windows bitmap, .bmp
BNA BNA vector format used in Atlas GIS.
BWx BWx is a legacy US Census Bureau TIGER file format. The image shows 1995 Census data for the District of Columbia, colored on the fly with the Style dialog.
CS .cs C# scripts
CSV Comma-separated or other text file tables.
CTG, LULC Grid Cell USGS LULC (Land Use Land Cover) data in CTG (Composite Theme Grid) raster format, also known as Grid Cell files. The illustration shows USGS LULC 100K data imported from CTG raster format for the San Franciso Bay region, colored on the fly by Manifold and overlaid in a map on a Google Satellite layer for context, with a Google transparent streets layer above for labels.
CUR CUR is an image format used for saving images that will be used for icons.  Using images from CUR files is basically identical to using ICO files.
DAT SPOT file format.
DAT GCDB Geographic Coordinate Data Base (GCDB) DAT file format.
DB Tables in Borland Paradox files
DBF Tables in dBase, FoxPro files

US government SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer Standard) files ending in DDF extension. SDTS format stores rasters (terrain elevation data such as DEM, or images) and vectors (such as data sets converted from USGS DLG). The upper image shows the Palo Alto roads data set from the USGS 1:24K series, with road lines extracted, colored on the fly in orange-yellow and shown overlaid in a map on a Bing satellite layer. The Stanford Linear Accelerator is the white horizontal line a middle left.

Images below show terrain elevation data from USGS published in SDTS raster format, with a Google terrain background and Google streets overlaid. The terrain has been colored and hill shaded on the fly by Manifold, using a more natural palette for one image and a false color palette for greater contrast in the other image.


DDR files as used with Log ASCII Standard (LAS) format used for well logging data. This is a legacy format different from the LAS format used for LiDAR data. Images show DDR LAS data providing Channel 1 of a five-band AVHRR instrument flown on an earth observation satellite, overlaid on a base map with transparent labels above for reference. Manifold automatically re-projects layers in a map to conform to the map.


USGS GTOPO30 DEM files: The GTOPO30 project created a worldwide terrain elevation data set at approximately 1 km resolution. Manifold Release 9 can display the complete GTOPO30 data set for the entire world at once, panning and zooming instantly. Thumbnails above show a three-monitor wide display zoomed in to show terrain elevation from Spain to the Caspian Sea, with one image showing use of Google transparent labels and the other without Google labels. The terrain has been colored using Style in discrete intervalus and hill shading has been applied. Click on the thumbnail for a full size image (be patient - these are big images) and then click again in the image that opens to zoom in to full resolution, using scroll bars in the browser to view the image if you do not have three monitors.

DGN .dgn Intergraph DGN format, a CAD-oriented format.
DHT Cataloging entry for many military formats
DLG .dlg, .opt USGS Digital Line Graph Optional
DNG An Adobe variation of TIFF used in digital photography. The images show a market in Salzburg, Austria, including a zoomed in view at native resolution, one image pixel per screen pixel. (Yes, the photographer did snap the photo off horizontal.)
DOQ USGS Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle, .doq, .coq, .jpg
DRG USGS Digital Raster graphics (scanned maps) in .tif format.
DSN Microsoft Data Source files, .dsn
DTx, DTED Digital Terrain Elevation Data (US Military / NGA), DTED Level 0 (dt0), Level 1 (dt1), Level 2 (dt2)
DWG .dwg AutoCAD
DXF .dxf AutoCAD
E00 ESRI .e00 files. The image shows a geologic map of Arizona, overlaid on a background map generated by a web server. Manifold has colored the different geologic areas on the fly and has automatically re-projected the Lambert Conformal Conic projection used by the .e00 into the Pseudo Mercator web projection used by the background Bing web server.
ECW / JPEG2000 ERMapper / ERDAS / Hexagon .ecw Wavelet compressed or JPEG2000 compressed format. The screenshot shows a 1.32 billion pixel image of Cornell University in Ithaca, Nw York, imported from an ECW file and overlaid in a map on a Google streets layer with an upper layer of labels marking points of interest in the ECW image. The 1.32 billion pixel image is in Transverse Mercator projection and is being re-projected on the fly into the Pseudo-Mercator projection used by Google and the map. Manifold re-projects the image so fast for display that pans and zooms in the map remain instantaneous with zero delay.
EMF, WMF Windows Meta File and Extended Meta File, .emf, .wmf
ERS ERMapper .ers files.
FLT .flt ESRI ArcINFO Floating-Point Grid
FS .fs F# scripts
GDF Geographic Data Format (GDF) as used in TeleAtlas MultiNet and generic European GDF use.
GeoJSON Files providing spatial data using GeoJSON, a "geographic" format using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). Manifold automatically reads TopoJSON when a GeoJSON file contains TopoJSON.  Geometry collections are expanded automatically.
GIF A well-known image format, .gif
GIRAS, LULC Vector Format USGS LULC (Land Use Land Cover) data in GIRAS (Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System) vector format. The illustration shows USGS LULC 100K data imported from GIRAS vector format for the San Franciso Bay region, colored on the fly by Manifold and overlaid in a map on a Bing streets layer for context. Images below show the vector data set with water areas removed, overlaid on Google satellite imagery, plus close up with transparent street layers.
GIS .gis .lan ERDAS .lan and .gis format files.
GLOBE ECC GLOBE format files.
GML OGC Geography Markup Language.
GPKG OGC GeoPackage. Manifold can either import or link read/write in place GPKG databases. GPKG is an open source spatial format that utilizes SQLite / Spatialite files to store spatial data, either rasters or vectors. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), a government organization, publishes numerous free data sets for New Zealand in GPKG format as well as other formats. This image shows real estate parcels in a section of Auckland, New Zealand, a small part of the nearly 1.4 GB vector data set in GPKG format that shows all real estate parcels in New Zealand. The information box open at left shows attribute data for the parcel nearby that was alt-clicked. Every parcel in the view and in all of New Zealand contains such info. Manifold has colored the parcels on the fly and has re-projected the parcels layer from the New Zeland local coordinate system into the same Pseudo Mercator projection used by the Google background layer in the map.

The image at left shows an example GPKG file from the samples collection that shows a vector drawing of vegetation counts in Washington, DC. It is colored on the fly by Manifold and displayed together with a Google Satellite layer for background, being re-projected on the fly into the same pseudo-Mercator coordinate system used by Google.

GPX GPS Exchange Format.
GRASS US Army Corps of Engineers raster-based package.
GRD Northwood Northwood / Vertical Mapper Grid Format
GRD Surfer Golden Software Surfer Grid Format
GXF Geosoft Grid Exchange File, an ASCII grid format mainly used for terrain elevation data.
HDF SeaWiFS, EOS, NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) Hierarchical Data Format (HDF). Used mostly for images. Used widely in Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) projects.
HEIF, HEIC .heic High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) files storing images and sequences of images.  Manifold works with HEIF as implemented using Microsoft modules, reading and writing files with an .heic extension. HEIF capability requires downloading and installing optional, free packages from Microsoft.
HGT Space Shuttle SRTM data in .hgt, .inc,.mag, .pol and .err files.
HTML Tables in HTML files.
IMG ENVI, ERDAS, IDRISI and IMDISP.img formats. Manifold autoselects.
JPEG A well-known image format, .jpg, .jpeg.
JPEG 2000 JPEG format using wavelet compression encoding. Manifold Release 9 and Manifold read/write/link JPEG 2000 format. The image shows a view of the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls on the border between Canada and the United States. Spread over multiple monitors, the image is a Manifold map that displays images from six, separate, linked JPEG 2000 images seamlessly joined (an edge line runs down the middle of the falls and is completely invisible due to the perfection of the join). The display shows a small part of an immense image that Manifold technology can pan and zoom instantaneously.
JS .js JavaScript scripts
JSON Generic JSON text files, written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), often used to convey metadata or table data.
KML KMZ Google Earth KML and KMZ
L1B .l1b NOAA Polar Orbiter Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Level 1 B

Format for storing LiDAR data (LAS) or LiDAR data in zipped form (LAZ). The images show the discovery of a cabin hidden under the trees by using LiDAR data to hunt for returns from objects below the tree canopy.

"THIS IS SO COOL. [...] With Manifold Release 9 I will finally be able do what I need to do with the LiDAR data I have been sitting on for 2 years. See attached pix." - Forum post with the above images.
LBL LAS Log ASCII Standard (LAS) format.
LPK ESRI ESRI ArcGIS layer package .lpk files. LPK files are a zipped form of an ESRI file GDB plus layer information for ArcGIS.
Manifold MAP All Manifold and Radian® .map project files.
MBS .mbs, .xbs ETAK / TeleAtlas MapBase
Manifold MFD 4.50 and earlier Manifold .mfd drawing files.
MIF .mif MapInfo mid/mif, an interchange format for vectors. The illustration shows parcels in Riddells Creek, Australia.
Manifold MML Manifold Markup Language for generic storage.
MVT MVT files, an intermediate format for vector tiles used by some web servers.
Manifold MWS Manifold 4.50 workspace files
NC .nc NetCDF files
NDE TAIF .nde, .edg, .fac Tele Atlas Interchange Format, Street Net, Multi Net
NTF .ntf UK Ordnance Survey including various NTF subformats.
NITF NGA .ntf image format (different than UK Ordance Survey .ntf)
PBF .pbf, OSM, O5M OpenStreetMap (OSM) native Protocol Binary Format (PBF) for total, native access to every detail of OSM data using OSM's recommended format. The illustrations show OSM data for Boston, including line and area layers extracted with Manifold, a process that takes two clicks and a few seconds given direct import of native OSM data using the PBF dataport. The brighter image shows new styling that allows intricate overpasses and underpasses with lines. The darker image shows a typical desktop and project. Manifold also reads OpenStreetMap OSM and O5M formats. See also the PBF .pbf, OSM, O5M topic.
PCX PC Paintbrush format by ZSoft, .pcx
PDS, XML NASA Planetary Data System files. NASA's PDS4 version of PDS has adopted XML as a standard way of describing the data in a PDS file set. The Manifold PDS dataport currently imports tables and images within PDS file sets that are provided with an .xml file. Choosing the XML file will import the images and tables it describes. Note that older PDS file sets often do not include an XML file. In many cases, the formats used for images and tables in such older "PDS" file sets can be imported into Manifold using direct import of files. For example, .img files containing images are often in ENVI .img format and can be directly imported. using Manifold's IMG dataport. The image above shows a NASA terrain elevation image with synthetic coloring and hillshading, overlaid on a Bing satellite layer, to bring out terrain features. The image was taken from a PDS data set showing the Sedan 370 meter nuclear crater, the largest and freshest explosion crater on Earth, used by NASA as a model to investigate hypervelocity impact cratering. Images below show craters on Buckboard Mesa and the large Schooner explosion crater, with and without enhancement by overlaying hill-shaded, LiDAR-derived PDS terrain with 50% transparency on Bing satellite views. Note how overlaying partially transparent hillshaded synthetic terrain brings out relief that can be difficult to see in unenhanced satellite photography. The Buckboard Mesa crater terrain was computed by Manifold, using LiDAR data in PDS table format to generate approximately 1 meter resolution raster terrain elevation data using Kriging. Manifold computes Kriging using a fully parallel mix of all CPU cores and GPU cores in the system for astounding speed, calculating a large terrain elevation surface in seconds or just a few minutes instead of many hours.
PIX PCIDISK, Silicon Graphics Alias / Wavefront .pix format
PL .pl Perl scripts
PNG .png Portable Network Graphics (pronounced "Ping").
PPM Portable PixMap (PPM) format.  Intended as a "lowest common denominator" color image file format.  Used in UNIX systems, .ppm
PY .py Python scripts
RB .rb Ruby scripts
RST IDRISI .rst format files
RWB Raw Binary format files
RWT Raw Text format files
SGI Silicon Graphics .sgi format files
SHP .shp ESRI Shapefiles. The images show an extraction into ESRI shapefile format from OpenStreetMap buildings for Monaco, overlaid on a Bing Streets layer and also on a Canvas Dark theme ESRI ArcGIS REST web server. Changing to a different background map creates a completely different feel to exactly the same data. Manifold has colored the building polygons on the fly using the Color Brewer Spectral palette for a more visually interesting display.
SID .sid LizardTech MrSID raster files. The image shows a UK Ordnance Survey sample image showing Exeter, England, in a map that uses a Google Streets image server background layer with a layer of transparent streets and labels above the image imported from MrSID format. Manifold re-projects on the fly the image brought in from MrSid from the original British National Grid projection to the Pseudo-Mercator projection used by the map and by Google layers. Note the perfect alignment between the image and Google layers.
SQL Files containing SQL.
SQLite SQLite database files.
SUN Sun Microsystems .sun files

MapInfo TAB files. MapInfo table format consists of multiple files, usually five files, referenced by a controlling .tab file. Can result in vector drawings, tables and raster images. The first illustration shows parcels in Riddells Creek, Australia, imported from a vector TAB file. The larger image shows a raster image imported from TAB storage that is a scan of a paper map. The screenshot below shows a Manifold image that spans three monitors.

TGA Targa .tga files
THF .thf, .toc NGA ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (ADRG) and Compressed ADRG (CADRG).
TIF, TIFF, GeoTIFF, Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF TIF and variations such as GeoTIFF. Manifold reads virtually all known variations of TIF/TIFF and will extract projection information from GeoTIFF or older TIF files accompanied by TFW "world" files. Manifold automatically writes projection information when exporting to TIFF to create GeoTIFF files. Manifold also always stores intermediate levels within the TIF from smallest to largest, so every TIF file Manifold writes is also a cloud optimized GeoTIFF as well.  Manifold also reads cloud optimized GeoTIFF, taking advantage of stored intermediate levels for faster display when linking cloud optimized GeoTIFFs. The attached images show the DigitalGlobe GeoTIFF sample image for a suburb near Madrid airport in 30cm resolution. Images are seen in a map with a Google layer below and a transparent Google Streets layer above to provide context and to illustrate the perfect georegistration Manifold attains. Seen at less than full resolution spread over multiple monitors this view is a fraction of the full 1 GB+ image that pans and zooms instantly in Manifold, even while being re-projected on the fly into Google Pseudo-Mercator projection.
TOC .toc, .thf NGA ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (ADRG) and Compressed ADRG (CADRG).
TXT Text files.
VB Visual Basic files.
VBS VBScript files.
VCT .vct IDRISI Vector format
VDF .vdf SeaWiFS Satellite CEOS VDF format
WEBP .webp Google .webp image format. The sample image shows a desktop with Google's example .webp format images showing alpha transparency.
WKx .wj, .wk Lotus
XLS .xls Microsoft Excel
XYZ Generic XYZ

Terrain elevations in Charles County, Maryland, from an ESRI ArcGIS REST web server operated by Salisbury University on behalf of Maryland government. Colored on the fly with an elevation palette and hill shaded by Manifold.

GDAL Raster Formats

Manifold includes all of the above many formats and data sources within Manifold as fully parallelized, thread safe, native Manifold capabilities. In addition, Manifold can connect to yet more formats using the popular GDAL open source library. The Manifold GDAL dataport automatically connects to the selected format using GDAL, if GDAL has been installed on the system. GDAL supports some niche formats that Manifold does not within Manifold's own code, so being able to use GDAL extends Manifold's connectivity to even the most obscure formats. GDAL is easy to download and install for those users who wish to use GDAL. The links on format names below jump to GDAL web pages either describing that specific GDAL capability or to the general GDAL formats page.

AAIGridArc/Info ASCII Grid
ADRGADRG/ARC Digitilized Raster Graphics (.gen/.thf)
AIGArc/Info Binary Grid (.adf)
ARGAzavea Raster Grid
BLXMagellan BLX Topo (.blx, .xlb)
BAGBathymetry Attributed Grid (.bag)
BMPMicrosoft Windows Device Independent Bitmap (.bmp)
BPGBPG (Better Portable Graphics)
BSBBSB Nautical Chart Format (.kap)
BTVTP Binary Terrain Format (.bt)
CADAutoCAD DWG Raster layer
CEOSCEOS (Spot for instance)
COSARTerraSAR-X Complex SAR Data Product
CPGConvair PolGASP data
CTGUSGS LULC Composite Theme Grid
DDSDirectDraw Surface
DIMAPSpot DIMAP (metadata.dim)
DOQ1First Generation USGS DOQ (.doq)
DOQ2New Labelled USGS DOQ (.doq)
DTEDMilitary Elevation Data (.dt0, .dt1, .dt2)
E00GRIDArc/Info Export E00 GRID
ECRGTOCECRG Table Of Contents (TOC.xml)
ECWERDAS Compressed Wavelets (.ecw)
EHdrESRI .hdr Labelled
EIRErdas Imagine Raw
ENVIENVI .hdr Labelled Raster
EPSILONEpsilon - Wavelet compressed images
ERSERMapper (.ers)
ESATEnvisat Image Product (.n1)
FITSFITS (.fits)
FujiBASFuji BAS Scanner Image
GENBINGeneric Binary (.hdr Labelled)
GEORASTEROracle Spatial GeoRaster
GFFGSat File Format
GIFGraphics Interchange Format (.gif)
GMTGMT Compatible netCDF
GRASSGRASS Raster Format
GSAGGolden Software ASCII Grid
GSBGGolden Software Binary Grid
GS7BGGolden Software Surfer 7 Binary Grid
GSCGSC Geogrid
GTAGeneric Tagged Arrays (.gta)
GTiffTIFF / BigTIFF / GeoTIFF (.tif)
GTXNOAA .gtx vertical datum shift
GXFGXF - Grid eXchange File
HDF4Hierarchical Data Format Release 4 (HDF4)
HDF5Hierarchical Data Format Release 5 (HDF5)
HF2HF2/HFZ heightfield raster
HFAErdas Imagine (.img)
IDAImage Display and Analysis (WinDisp)
ILWISILWIS Raster Map (.mpr,.mpl)
INGRIntergraph Raster
ISIS2USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 2)
ISIS3USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 3)
JAXAPALSARJAXA PALSAR Product Reader (Level 1.1/1.5)
JDEMJapanese DEM (.mem)
JPEG2000JPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JP2ECWJPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JP2KAKJPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JP2LuraJPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JP2MrSIDJPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JP2OpenJPEGJPEG2000 (.jp2, .j2k)
JPIPKAKJPIP (based on Kakadu)
L1BNOAA Polar Orbiter Level 1b Data Set (AVHRR)
LANErdas 7.x .LAN and .GIS
LevellerDaylon Leveller Heightfield
LOSLASNADCON .los/.las Datum Grid Shift
MAPOziExplorer .MAP
MEMIn Memory Raster
MFF2 (HKV)Vexcel MFF2
MG4LidarMG4 Encoded Lidar
MRFMeta Raster Format
MrSIDMulti-resolution Seamless Image Database
MSGMeteosat Second Generation
MSGNEUMETSAT Archive native (.nat)
NDFNLAPS Data Format
NITFNITF (.ntf, .nsf, .gn?, .hr?, .ja?, .jg?, .jn?, .lf?, .on?, .tl?, .tp?, etc.)
NTv2NTv2 Datum Grid Shift
NWT_GRCNorthwood/VerticalMapper Classified Grid Format .grc/.tab
NWT_GRDNorthwood/VerticalMapper Numeric Grid Format .grd/.tab
PAuxPCI .aux Labelled
PCIDSKPCI Geomatics Database File
PDFGeospatial PDF
PDSNASA Planetary Data System
PLMosaicPlanet Labs Mosaics API
PNGPortable Network Graphics (.png)
PostGISRasterPostGIS Raster (previously WKTRaster)
PNMNetpbm (.ppm,.pgm)
PRFPHOTOMOD raster file (.prf,.x-dem)
RR Object Data Store
RasterliteRasterlite - Rasters in SQLite DB
SQLiteRasterlite2 - Rasters in SQLite DB
RIKSwedish Grid RIK (.rik)
RMFRaster Matrix Format (*.rsw, .mtw)
RPFTOCRaster Product Format/RPF (CADRG, CIB)
RS2RadarSat2 XML (product.xml)
RRASTERR Raster (.grd)
RSTIdrisi Raster
SAFESentinel 1 SAR SAFE (
SENTINEL2Sentinel 2
SAGASAGA GIS Binary format
SDEArcSDE Raster
SGISGI Image Format
SNODASSnow Data Assimilation System
SRPStandard Raster Product (ASRP/USRP)
TERRAGENTerragen Heightfield (.ter)
TILEarthWatch/DigitalGlobe .TIL
TSXTerraSAR-X Product
VRTGDAL Virtual (.vrt)
WCSOGC Web Coverage Service
WMSOGC Web Map Service, and TMS, WorldWind, On Earth tiled, VirtualEarth, ArcGIS REST, IIP)
WMTSOGC Web Map Tile Service
XPMX11 Pixmap (.xpm)
ZMapZMap Plus Grid
Various channel Combinations for an RGB image

Above: The Style pane for rasters enables instant combinations and recombinations of channel data, as seen above in an RGB image from this topic in the User Manual.

OGR Vector Formats

In addition to all GDAL raster formats, the Manifold GDAL dataport also can connect to all OGR vector formats using the GDAL / OGR library. OGR is a popular open source library that can connect to many vector formats, including some niche formats that Manifold does not support within Manifold's native code. OGR is part of GDAL installations.

AeronavFAAAeronav FAA files
AmigoCloudAmigoCloud API
ArcObjectsESRI ArcObjects
AVCBinArc/Info Binary Coverage
AVCE00Arc/Info .E00 (ASCII) Coverage
ARCGENArc/Info Generate
CloudantCloudant / CouchDB
CouchDBCouchDB / GeoCouch
CSVComma Separated Value (.csv)
CSWOGC CSW (Catalog Service for the Web)
VFKCzech Cadastral Exchange Data Format
DB2ODBCDB2 Spatial
PGeoESRI Personal GeoDatabase
ESRI ShapefileESRI Shapefile / DBF
FMEObjects GatewayFMEObjects Gateway
GeoconceptGéoconcept Export
GeomediaGeomedia .mdb
GFTGoogle Fusion Tables
GRASSGRASS Vector Format
GPSTrackMakerGPSTrackMaker (.gtm, .gtz)
HTFHydrographic Transfer Format
IdrisiIdrisi Vector (.VCT)
IDBInformix DataBlade
"Interlis 1" and "Interlis 2"INTERLIS
OpenJUMP .jmlJML
MapInfo FileMapinfo File
DGNMicrostation DGN v7
DGNv8Microstation DGN v8
MDBAccess MDB (PGeo and Geomedia capable)
OCIOracle Spatial
MSSQLSpatialMS SQL Spatial
ODSOpen Document Spreadsheet
OSMOpenStreetMap XML and PBF
PCIDSKPCI Geomatics Database File
PDFGeospatial PDF
PLScenesPlanet Labs Scenes API
PGDumpPostgreSQL SQL dump
S57S-57 (ENC)
SelafinSelafin/Seraphin format
SOSINorwegian SOSI Standard
SXFStorage and eXchange Format
VRTVRT - Virtual Datasource
WFSOGC WFS (Web Feature Service)
XLSMS Excel format
XLSXMS Office Open XML spreadsheet
XPLANEX-Plane/Flightgear aeronautical data
WAsPWAsP .map format

Format availability is subject to change without notice.

Suggestions for New Formats

Suggestions to improve Manifold are always welcome. If you would like to suggest a new format, please see the Suggestions page for tips on making effective suggestions.

Experience Manifold Power in a Free Tool

Manifold Viewer is completely free - no need to register, no ads, no upsell, no soliciting donations - it's really free!

Manifold Viewer is the free, read-only version of Manifold Release 9. Although Viewer cannot write projects or save edited data back out to the original data sources, Viewer provides phenomenal capability to view and to analyze almost all possible different types of data in tables, vector geometry, raster data, drawings, maps and images from thousands of different sources. Viewer includes full SQL as well, with hundreds of spatial and other analytic functions.

Viewer can also create and write spatial indices for entire folders full of LiDAR files, save connections to favorite files and data sources, and even edit and save localization files to translate Manifold into new languages.

Manifold Viewer delivers a truly useful, fully CPU-parallel and GPU-parallel Manifold tool that gives you parallel power and endless Manifold capabilities at zero cost. No need to register, no adware, no requests for donations and no selling: use Viewer however you like, including commercial purposes. You can even redistribute Viewer, all for free.

Viewer is a great way to share the amazing projects you create in Manifold for free. Publish multi-hundred GB projects created in Manifold that anybody can pop open in 1/10th second for free using Viewer. Publish projects that include automatic connections to your organization's databases and worldwide webserved data, and include pre-built, sophisticated analytics and dynamic reporting that users can launch with a point and click. Track pandemics, help first responders fight wildfires, or just help your organization do a better job.

See Manifold Viewer in Action.

Viewer's small download (only 50 MB), instant launch, and clean display - free of convoluted ribbons and endless, confusing buttons - make it perfect for unskilled users. With Viewer a million people can share the dazzling analytics and insights you create with an inexpensive Manifold license, all at fully parallel speed with no need to pay for costly, cloud-based, web processing. Like Manifold, Viewer never crashes, no matter how big or complicated the job.

See Viewer in action Watch the Manifold Viewer Introduction YouTube video.

"Mfd 9 is becoming a really good tool for sharing data with non-GIS folks. Clean interface makes it easy to teach others simple tasks. Easy to transfer a project. Easy to install software. Free viewer." - Forum post

Get Manifold Viewer

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!

 Click to begin shopping

Google webp example

Google example image for Google .webp image format. Manifold can handle virtually any image format in addition to virtually all known GIS and spatial data formats.

About Manifold

Manifold is a deep technology company creating advanced, parallel algorithms, next-level technology, and computation know-how that powers faster performance and smarter operations.

License Manifold® technology to power your company's products, or take advantage of Manifold's off-the-shelf commercial products. Jump decades ahead of your competition.

Manifold® brand 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. Tell your friends!

Questions? Contact We're happy to help!