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huntlake8 post(s)
#06-May-08 22:10

Hello,

I am a very new GIS user, and am running into a few stumbling blocks. 16 mos. ago, I had never even heard of a GIS. I started using an Atlas style program - TopoUSA for the purpose of drawing tracks, creating waypoints, polygons, and being able to transfer data to and from a GPS. We have a need to be able to work with ESRI's shapefiles, of course this is not a capability of TopoUSA. We have been using DNRGarmin to get data from one format to the other, but are still missing a lot of functionality that I can see would be extremely useful. I've evaluated XMap, and it has some of the capabilites there, but the GPS exchange for GIS layers requires several workarounds unless you have their GPS units. I am a MSOffice PowerUser, so Access is one of my old favs (although really as a POWER-USER - I can modify SQL statements, but I really can't write them - anything in the front-end though, second nature). Being that I do have that background a GIS intrigued me. I can see so many possibilities with what we do. But I haven't found anything yet that meets all of our needs - I keep thinking there has to be something! Manifold seems that it will, and I am trying to learn it using the User Manual - but I have to admit it's a leap. I'm used to being able to browse a program for an hour or so and having it pretty well figured out - but I also have never used a CAD program or Adobe PhotoShop (I have used other photo programs). So here are my questions for anyone who's willing:

Why did you choose Manifold? The cost is obviously less, but is ESRI the leader for a reason? What other programs have you tried and why did you like Manifold better? I'm initially trying to evaluate Manifold to see if it's the right product for us - which I can't determine if I can't figure it out.

Do you have any suggestions for learning this process - books, etc.? Not just Manifold but GIS?

I'm really lost on how to get downloads of imagery. We need to be able to work with Satellite imagery and it is extremely easy to get through DeLorme's products - I know that there are tons of website, but they don't seem to be that intuitive - what am I missing - do you have a favorite website and any tips on how to use it? I'm not sure if you have to be more than a Novice to use them, or if I'm such a Novice I'm missing the boat.

Any help would be appreciated!

salicmd
48 post(s)
#06-May-08 22:30

I am also novice in GIS. I started with manifold. I do not have any experience in ESRI tools.

I like this book for learning GIS

http://www.spatialanalysisonline.com/output/

adamw


5,209 post(s)
#06-May-08 23:51

On the topic of satellite imagery: you can use tiled imagery from online mapping services such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth (be sure to read their license terms and conditions) or you can use traditional imagery such as SRTM or LandSAT distributed as files by various government agencies.

Here are some help topics you might want to see:

Images - Images (all types of images)

Images - Linked Images (tiled images)

Tutorials - Exporting KML to Google Earth (example using tiled images)

Abner79 post(s)
#07-May-08 02:22

Hi Adamw, I can't open your second link.

Martijn

ColinD


1,585 post(s)
#07-May-08 02:36

http://www.manifold.net/doc/linked_images.htm


Aussie Nature Shots

Graeme

791 post(s)
#07-May-08 03:31

Welcome! I'm sure you'll find this forum very supportive.

GIS in the broad sense is about as sophisticated as you can get on a typical PC. The learning curve can be both steep and long, but your power user skills put you in a very good position! Most GIS professionals have either: Had many years of on-the-job exposure, using GIS to achieve their objectives, and learning how to use the GIS tools as part of that process, OR, since the 1990's college / university courses have become available, and is the second route for practitioners to accumulate their knowledge.

If you're really starting from scratch, the Manifold doco is very good, but it is essential that you start at the beginning, and at the very least read and follow through the topics recommended in the introduction - as a minimum. Set aside at least two days and just do it. The GISadvisor video training is worth looking at too. You simply cannot ignore the documentation and expect to become familiar with an application as sophisticated and capable as Manifold, or I should add, any other serious GIS application.

ESRI is so popular primarily because it was the first commercial GIS (1970's), and at a time when western governments were legislating for environmental standards for the first time in a serious way. It thus had a monopoly, and could charge accordingly. That situation has remained largely intact owing to the inertia typical of the government instrumentalities who typically use it. MapInfo is another widely used application, it's birth came with MS windows GUI OS, and was (and remains) popular with local governments and smaller private businesses. Before Manifold it was our choice - has a lot of nice features. However it costs ten times as much and isn't, in our view, in the same league as Manifold. It may be a little easier to use in a shorter learning period (going largely from ever distant recollection)! Lots of others have come and gone... Here's a quote from our own web site "..We have used mainstream GIS software for many years and accepted multi $,000 annual software costs as "normal". We now primarily use what in our experience is the best engineered, most functionally comprehensive GIS application created to date, and get this, it can be purchased for well under $AU400..".

Again, welcome; persevere - you'll be very glad you did

syah kun2 post(s)
#12-Jul-10 21:12

hi graeme. are u a GIS expert or user? if aren't, will you please suggest some of them as i need to contact them and ask few related questions in order to accomplish my assignment. hopefully you can reply this as soon as possible. thank you.

Graeme

791 post(s)
#13-Jul-10 03:40

Hi, this is quite an old post now but obviously attracted your interest. There are plenty of links here, including the GIS Advisor training videos which many, including me have found very helpful. If you're doing a student assignment, the forum is a great place for research, as is the on-line documentation at Manifold's web-site.

If you have specific questions, ask them right here on the Forum, but please search for relevant threads before launching a new one, makes searching for everyone easier that way. Welcome syah kun!

LAGBolt
110 post(s)
#13-Jul-10 05:25

Post your questions here.

kalzar19 post(s)
#07-May-08 03:45

I write custom software for a small company that inspects sewer systems. They originally had a subcontractor create their maps with ESRI. He moved on to other things a little over a year ago and my bosses asked me to try making maps for them. I started with ArcView 9.1. I really enjoyed the GIS mapping so I decided to try to integrate the data and photos that we collect in the field with the maps. With ESRI, I found out that we would need to pay a lot of extra money to be able to the things I wanted. I searched the internet and stumbled across Manifold. At their price and the money back guarantee I purchased a copy. The learning curve for Manifold was many times shorter than Arcview for me. I am able to produce maps for the various phases of the projects much more efficiently. I can't give numbers because I didn't track the time. Our data is now linked to the maps. We have currently purchased 5 copies of Manifold and plan to purchase 7 more in the near future for the tablet PCs we use in the field. This way the crews can enter a manhole number and the map will display it for them instead of searching a large paper map for the location. We will also purchase a couple of copies of Manifold for each of our clients to go along with the data viewer version of our software.

I learned to use Manifold mainly by needing to do something and then looking it up in the user manual. I have also asked a couple of questions on this forum and the responses I recieved have been very helpful and fast to reply. I have not purchased any books on GIS so I can't help there. I find what I need by searching the Internet.

Good luck.

vincent


1,650 post(s)
#07-May-08 04:56

With ESRI, I found out that we would need to pay a lot of extra money to be able to the things I wanted

That's always the story with ESRI !

I use both ESRI and Manifold. I think Manifold is best suited for beginner. As a professionnal, I prefer ESRI for editing object (modifying point, line, polygon). But for sophisticated task, such as programming, SQL query and spatial query, connection to database, and IMS, Manifold is better and easier.

I think you will find more help here than on ESRI forum.

Before entering the high cost ESRI family product, try Manifold !

Vincent

LAGBolt
110 post(s)
#07-May-08 06:24

Hi Huntlake

Oh where to start.

One of the main problems with just jumping into GIS, like you do with other software, is understanding the document. With Office products it's pretty easy to understand what the document is all about, be it Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. With GIS, it's really important to understand about latitude, longitude, projections and how those are displayed in a GIS. Secondly, you really need to understand the terminology. If you don't know what a term is when it is used here, look it up and find out it's meaning. Especially as it relates to Manifold. This is important.

For example. Measurements don't usually work like you think they will, in your map, until it's projected. Then the projection will determine the units (feet, meters, etc.). In Manifold there are two ways to deal with projection, and you really need to understand both to work efficiently. For most people, this is not intuitively obvious. It must be studied. The geographers here will attempt to help you as much as they can, but you will find that you are often working at cross purposes with them if you don't understand what they are talking about. And it will quickly go over your head until you figure it out.

For instance, Vincent has already mentioned "modifying point, line and polygon" and "spatial query". I agree with Graeme that it's important to dedicate a few days to it and buy the videos, but it's also important to get a book or search the internet for information about geography, maps and GIS data.

Larry's short list for newbie newbies:

Projections (latitude/logitude vs projections)

.map (dotmap the Manifold document)

maps (the projected view)

drawings

images

tables (what are they, why are they there and what can you do with them)

layers

elements (points, lines, areas)

Am I selecting or am I drawing (currently selected toolbar option)

element toolbars (point, line and area attributes)

vector vs raster (very important distinction)

snapping (it's not about turtles and it's vitally important)

If you are not in a large shop that specifies ESRI software, and you are starting out new, then Manifold is definitely the software for you. Just realize that it will take a while, perhaps a few months to really get the hang of it. Have fun!

Dimitri


3,197 post(s)
#07-May-08 07:23

First off, take heart: what determines how quickly and easily you learn Manifold is not the level of GIS experience you have - it is almost exclusively how willing you are to read the documentation in the recommended order.

Seriously, because of the very low price of Manifold we have far more users beginning work with the product who have no GIS experience than we do people with GIS experience. There are three main determinants as to how that goes, two of which you already have knocked off. First, people should have basic familiarity with computers. Surprising though it may be in modern times, there are still some folks who never personally have operated a computer. Manifold is not the place to start. Second, it helps if people are familiar with Microsoft ways, since Manifold tends to use Microsoft nomenclature and to employ Microsoft notions when possible. That is annoying at times to folks who come from other traditions, such as Linux or Mac, but, given that 97% of people on the planet who do computing are familiar with Microsoft ways, to the extent Manifold can re-cycle Microsoft notions it makes it easier for newbies to get started.

That brings us to the documentation thing, which is more important than prior GIS knowledge. Yes, it is certainly true that someone with GIS experience brings a lot to the party. A GIS person already knows what projections are and probably has lots of street smarts related to dealing with things like shapefiles. But all that is for nought if they can't bring themselves to read the documentation to learn how to apply those street smarts within Manifold. In fact, some of the toughest cases in support arise from folks who are used to being maximum experts within some other package and will absolutely refuse to read even one word of documentation on Manifold... everyone knows the type! :-)

In contrast, we have plenty of users who have basic Microsoft Office skills but zero prior knowledge of GIS who plug along and read the doc in the recommended order and do just fine. You can do that too.

To pick up on other comments in this thread, I should emphasize that there is a lot to GIS - not a negative statement but a positive statement about the tremendous power and range of capability you get when you combine visual interfaces with DBMS capabilities and analytics. It's huge value for your money, but that also means there is a lot of substance there in basic concepts as well as a lot of details there arising from the sophisticated control over nuances that users who have preceded you have demanded. That's not all there to make life miserable by making things more complex than they need to be, that's there because the giants, those prior users, on whose shoulders we all stand could see the need for controls and choices to make it simpler and easier for them to make this very powerful mechanism do their bidding exactly as they wanted.

The easiest way to learn Manifold is to accept that detailed, attentive reading and study are required for at least a day or two. Read the topics in the Introduction chapter and also the topics in the Tutorials (those topics show step by step how to do the image server thing) and Examples chapter. Actually read them attentively - don't skim - and you'll see that after an initial period of panic and near-vertical learning curve it all starts to fit into place quite rapidly. Seriously, to get your head around something like this in just a couple of days instead of the months or years of study such things took in the early 1990's is real progress! :-)

I'd also encourge you to buy the training materials from http://www.gisadvisor.com, which is a third party company unaffiliated with Manifold, but very highly regarded in the Manifold user community. It's a lot to ask to spend a couple of days plowing through written documentation, and viewing the training videos from gisadvisor is a great way to take a break, get the information from a different perspective, etc.

Also, start with some simple projects using data of interest. GIS is very visual and a lot of fun so the sheer visual pleasure of it is a great way to fend off the tedious documentation blues.

Last, but not least, keep in mind that ESRI does not exist in the mainstream, not at all. They have majority share in legacy markets, but near-zero share in markets where Manifold is expanding faster than all other GIS vendors put together. This makes sense, because of the 500 million or so Microsoft Office users there are many who are interested in GIS at $245 a seat but virtually none who are interested in GIS at ESRI pricing, so Manifold far outsells ESRI on a unit volume basis. It's true that there is a lot of inertia in legacy markets, but even that is changing fairly rapidly as government agencies, counties, cities, etc., discover they can deploy a dozen more Manifold seats for less than the cost of ESRI maintenance. Plus, they know with Manifold they get 64-bit operation, multicore capability, CUDA, Vista and all that other modern stuff they don't get with ESRI.

Hope this helps!


Словом - иностранец. «Мастер и Маргарита» (М.Булгаков)

Mike Pelletier


1,141 post(s)
#07-May-08 08:06

"... so Manifold far outsells ESRI on a unit volume basis."

This is helpful info for us trapped in the legacy markets. Dimitri, could you give us an idea how long this has been going on? Does ESRI publish their sells data for you to make that determination?

Dimitri


3,197 post(s)
#07-May-08 12:09

Does ESRI publish their sells data for you to make that determination?

That is what we and our partners believe based upon the evidence we have. It's not exactly rocket science nor a very controversial finding, since ESRI has priced themselves out of the largest unit volume markets. They don't exist in the mainstream so doing better than near-zero units is not exactly a difficult task. Outside the legacy silo there is a very big world in which ESRI is unknown and has no effect, absolutely zero, on our ability to sell product.

How long has this been going on? I suppose for a few years since ESRI has never been a player in the mainstream. I think people have very different opinions on the relative merit of unit volume as opposed to total revenue in regards to market power, competitiveness, etc., but frankly I don't know anyone who thinks that ESRI is selling any significant unit volume into the mainstream. They do their business with small unit volumes at high prices aimed at legacy markets, with much of that being recycled buyers who are moving up to newer ESRI generations.

It will be interesting to see how it goes in the next year or two as ESRI tries to move their emphasis and their existing customer base to ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Server has even higher barriers to entry for mainstream "Office" customers, so ESRI's focus on that is in many ways "doubling down" on their existing legacy market bet in the expectation that ceding the large volume, low revenue per unit business to us will be more than made up for by higher revenue from a smaller volume of more tightly controlled legacy sales. I think that's a terrible bet.

A related question which would be interesting to answer would be when Manifold begins outselling ESRI on a unit volume basis within legacy markets. There is some evidence that might already be happening.


Словом - иностранец. «Мастер и Маргарита» (М.Булгаков)

Mike Pelletier


1,141 post(s)
#07-May-08 12:45

Thanks for elaborating. I know you have written a lot about this but to clarify what else would be considered legacy market in your description beyond government agencies? On the mainstream market side, I'm thinking you mean largely business, but surely its a bit more complicated than that.

I have no background on sales amounts, but it does seem like ESRI is likely living largely off their high priced maintenance fees. As Manifold continues to improve faster than ESRI, more and more legacy users will find those fees impossible to justify.

Dimitri


3,197 post(s)
#07-May-08 16:40

Not trying to be funny here, but "legacy market" is almost completely equivalent to "ESRI customer base" - it is mainly by definition users who are not price sensitive. ...That is not automatically government as the common slander would have it, because many government users are highly responsible about getting good price/performance. Also, as you've implied some "legacy" users had no choice up to now about spending too much even if they were really price sensitive - as options open up and they look at those maintenance costs you are right those folks will be looking out for their own best interests.

I'd agree that some of the larger agencies and larger procurements are heavily "legacy," ... but that's the $500 hammer and $2000 toilet seat crowd that is not really connected to normal life the way, say, a small county struggling on a limited software budget to deal with daily business plus federal and state mandates has to deal with normal life. The former is very much "legacy" while the latter tends to be very interested in going "mainstream." Even in the largest agencies there are plenty of users who as a matter of personal style and professionalism will insist on more modern technology and more mainstream price/performance. So we are getting an increasing share of business even in the very largest agencies.

I tend to use "mainstream" as a synonym for Windows or "Microsoft Office" markets, which is pretty much everyone on the planet and not just business. Bringing the cost of full power, elite, professional GIS down to where any individual (at least in developed countries) can afford it enormously expands the market. We sell a lot of Manifold to individual hobbyists, for example, who use it to further their personal interests that cover just about every subject you've ever heard of. Whether it is someone planning to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark or someone who wants to map the bathymetry of his or her favorite bass lake, there is a world of private interests that effective, affordable access to GIS makes possible. As Lorne points out, GIS is fascinating and tremendously appealing in a wide variety of personal uses. Taking Lorne as an example in another case, you can see how just because someone uses Manifold for personal interests doesn't mean they are inexpert: it's tough to match Lorne's impressive expertise with spatial SQL and that's often the case with personal users - they quite frequently come from highly technical backgrounds or have technical aptitudes that bring a lot to the party for GIS usage.

It is also practical to use GIS to serve a much wider range of organizational interests than formerly possible if the price is something that any organization can easily afford. To me, "mainstream" covers individuals, academics, NGOs, governments and businesses large and small. It is not so much the type of user as it is the common sense approach to leveraging mass-market standards with an eye to getting better quality and better price/performance. The tone is set by Microsoft standards and Office price/performance expectations.

So I guess to summarize: "legacy market" means buyers who don't care what they spend: big federal agencies at the top end, big state agencies, large counties and some large cities. It also includes a handful of very large businesses who can afford tens of thousands of dollars per seat, and it includes some academics with existing GIS programs who don't care about real world concerns like cost or technical obsolescence. GITA is the classic legacy market organization even though many GITA members have recently developed an avid interest in joining the mainstream.

The "mainstream market" means everyone else, and in particular it means all those hundreds of millions of people who think that you should be able to buy elite, effective, reliable, state-of-the-art, full-power GIS software for $250. My kind of people! :-)


Словом - иностранец. «Мастер и Маргарита» (М.Булгаков)

Mike Pelletier


1,141 post(s)
#08-May-08 12:44

Great explanation. I suppose legacy could also be described as those that will pay high prices for functionality because the software price is still a relatively small cost compared to the value of what gets accomplished. In the past there were few options for these folks so they paid the high prices. Its interesting and refreshing how Manifold's approach toward the Microsoft mass market standard actually fuels the software to ultimately provide more function than the high price legacy GIS.

Dimitri


3,197 post(s)
#08-May-08 13:11

The interesting thing is that it is the mass market itself that pushes participants in it to provide more function.

There was a very astute quotation reported today in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. It was a quotation from a book (forget which) to the effect that the stock market is a more efficient market [efficiency meant in the classic economic sense of rapidly generating accurate pricing info] than the residential real estate market because for each stock there are many hundreds of people pricing and analyzing it while for most residential real estate you only have a handful of buyers for each property. So it is easier in residential real estate for prices to be varied and at times at odds with each other.

The same effect happens in mass markets where there are vastly more users, so for each application you get thousands more users considering it, critiqueing it and so on. It leads to a lot of foment, especially when you consider the cross pollination from such a wide range of users familiar with such a very wide range of other applications and technologies.


Словом - иностранец. «Мастер и Маргарита» (М.Булгаков)

Mike Pelletier


1,141 post(s)
#08-May-08 15:22

Well I sure like where the mass market feature requests have pushed Manifold so far even though I''m small local government. Except for several key items, Manifold is getting closer to providing all the GIS tools we must have. In the meantime, I'll keep enjoying the functions that I didn't need but now wouldn't want to live without. Thanks for the info.

Ralphie
222 post(s)
#07-May-08 18:18

Dimitri, this is much better tone, much more becoming of you.

Lorne

625 post(s)
#07-May-08 09:35

Agree with the comments made by all. Many of us have no formal training in GIS, programming or SQL but have fallen in love with Manifold.You do have to like computers and learning software.If that is the case, then don't hesitate.

>>Why did you choose Manifold? The cost is obviously less, but is ESRI

>>the leader for a reason? What other programs have you tried and why

>>did you like Manifold better?

I began with Mapinfo around 14 years ago when my employer was paying the tab.I started from scratch and was able to learn the basics - there was no local expertise to fall back on.I found GIS so interesting that I wanted to continue working in the area as a retirement hobby.The cost of Mapinfo was prohibitive. Who could even think about ESRI as a hobby?I did a lot of looking and went through a considerable amount of Manifold's online help before purchasing.It was a great choice.Manifold is vastly more powerful than Mapinfo for a small fraction of the cost.Further, it improves by leaps and bounds with each new release.

The biggest plus is that you will have access to what I expect is the best forum in the business. The amount of knowledge and experience represented in this community is hard to overestimate.The wonderful thing is that these individuals are extremely generous with their valuable time and quick to provide help.Some seem to be online 24/7.It is all amazing.

huntlake8 post(s)
#07-May-08 21:47

Thank you all so much for your time and experience - it is greatly appreciated!

rfriedman
243 post(s)
#08-May-08 10:08

One thing that hasn't been clearly stated above, that Manifold addresses much better than ESRI products, is work flow. In many cases (not always, which is true for any software) the work flow in Manifold is much better than with ArcGIS. For many processes in ArcGIS you need to use ArcToolBox. If the data you need to process is currently open in ArcMAp, you often need to completely exit ArcMap, run the process in ArcToolBox, then start ArcMap again when you are finished. With Manifold, all of the processing is done through the single user interface, which is a big time saver!

Mystified4 post(s)
#08-May-08 20:54

I'm a newbie to Manifold too. If you want to play around with GIS concepts without spending any money, go to www.mapwindow.org. They provide a very good open-source software package as well as a bunch of plugins that you can experiment with. Just make sure you have the right hardware and plenty of RAM if you are working on large maps with alot of raster data. Also, if you are using ESRI Shapefiles that are coming from other software packages, they might be hard to georeference with open source software. I have never found anything that will allow me to rotate an entire shapefile map when I have to. I can move it north south east and west, but can't spin it.

Mapwindow also has a very good forum as well as some documentation that will help you along.

Good luck.

Mystified4 post(s)
#08-May-08 21:12

Sorry! I closed my other post and forgot to mention another excellent resource for GIS newbies:

http://www.forestpal.com/

You can obtain a feebie Shapefile editor and tons of info on how to create project, especially with readily available raw material.

Click ON ALL their links, especiall along the top of the HOMEPAGE. There are literally tons of sources provided for maps and mapdata.

Graeme

791 post(s)
#09-May-08 06:40

Nothing specifically against open source or other nominally free stuff. History suggests that they do not flourish. If you've arrived at this forum from such an origin, one suspects that your needs have not been entirely met elsewhere; again nothing wrong with exploring options.

Casual observation is that most posts here relate to addressing real world problems, in a "how to.." sense.

If you have mains electricity and a PC (pretty much a requirement of contributing to this forum) you have the resources to buy Manifold, thus access to the tools required to address the real world issues you're tasked with addressing, so I'm not really sure what your posts are directed towards? Are you just suggesting data sources perhaps? If you have Manifold, you'll be able to happily rotate anything you like

Mystified4 post(s)
#09-May-08 11:05

Huntlake's original post (way back at the beginning) included the following:

"Do you have any suggestions for learning this process - books, etc.? Not just Manifold but GIS?

I'm really lost on how to get downloads of imagery. We need to be able to work with Satellite imagery and it is extremely easy to get through DeLorme's products - I know that there are tons of website, but they don't seem to be that intuitive - what am I missing - do you have a favorite website and any tips on how to use it?"

I was really addressing the sattelite imagery etc. quest.

Dimitri


3,197 post(s)
#09-May-08 12:29

I'm really lost on how to get downloads of imagery.

Use the image server capability of Manifold... it doesn't get any easier than that, as various other posters have pointed out. It's so easy to do it's transformed the use of satellite imagery where people just use image servers in most cases.

I was really addressing the sattelite imagery etc. quest.

Ummm... really? For some strange reason I got the impression you were inviting people to visit links where the home page "monetizes" each click [see their disclosure at the bottom of their page], hence your comment to "Click ON ALL their links." :-) Glad you clarified that!


Словом - иностранец. «Мастер и Маргарита» (М.Булгаков)

LAGBolt
110 post(s)
#09-May-08 12:58

"I'm really lost on how to get downloads of imagery"

Where are you?

MattGreen1 post(s)
#26-May-08 22:47

Hello - I'm in Australia and none of the URL's automatically loading for the Image Server Data are connecting. They are causing a "Can't Connect to Server" message.

Can anyone please advise on url's or whatever so that I can achieve the Link-Image-Manifold Image Server function for ideally Google Maps - reason being that GM shows property lot and street number details on full zoom for Australian sites.

Thanks, Matt

James

326 post(s)
#27-May-08 01:39

Just to chip in to add weight to Dimitri's earlier comment. I am a local government GIS user. When I first started in GIS I bought into ESRI with a couple of Arc 8.1 licenses and ArcIMS. When things started getting a bit more serious and I began looking at Oracle, I needed to buy ESRI's SDE product. To use that I needed to upgrade my ArcGIS license to Arc Editor at huge expense.

It took two ESRI consultants two days to install and configure IMS for us. It never worked correctly and we had server reboots at least daily. The final straw was when I went on an ArcIMS two day course (hosted by ESRI UK). For practice we had to do a clean uninstall and reinstall of IMS (no mean feat). Everyone did the uninstall....but do you think anyone could reinstall!!!?? Not a chance. Then panic set in amongst the tutors because they realised it was 5pm...going home time, they had a fully booked new IMS course starting the following day with no PC's with IMS installed. I think they had a long night.

Anyway, stability problems coupled with the exorbitant license fees led me to look for much better value for money. At the time I went for Cadcorp GIS systems which are really capable and very stable. Having discovered Manifold some three years ago I increasingly use it for main stream local gov't work. I just don't see why business software should cost the huge prices it does when you can get something as complex as Manifold for a few hundred quid. Over the years I've watched Manifolds progress with database server technology and I see it as being on the verge of passing Cadcorp's offerings (still no dynamic area of interest windowing yet but I'm sure that's coming).

All we need now is improved IMS, a few more tools (pan) and maybe some more preconfigured templates would be nice for us non-programmers and you would have an extremely capable package. The bottom line is that yes, some government users will always go for ESRI. Some like myself have never been blinkered and look for much cheaper solutions....Manifold, open source databases (postGIS) etc. We are even contributing to the free data process in the UK by using Manifold to digitise the street network from air surveys and posting this to OpenStreetmap, eventually with a view to using the beautifully rendered maps internally in the organisation.

Graeme

791 post(s)
#27-May-08 01:51

Hi Matt, you've obviously installed the relevant imageserver dll's - maybe download them again in case you've used an old version, though it seems unlikely. We can get everything except Google street map images including Google satellite and the Virtual images. The Google street map issue has been discussed recently on the forum, do a search and you should find it easily enough. Next thing to check is your internet access / firewall settings. If you have an IT department, get them to check how you're configured. We're in Australia, so don't think that is relevant. Good luck!

syah kun2 post(s)
#12-Jul-10 21:09

hi Graeme. are you a GIS expert or user? reply A.S.A.P.

adboughton3 post(s)
#19-Feb-09 14:40

Hi Matt, I'm in Australia too, could be helpful to share experiences ... though I add that I am not a programmer nor a GIS expert, we are getting someone on contract soon ... adboughton@yahoo.com

mikedufty

720 post(s)
#22-Feb-09 17:02

Have a look here for more manifold users in Australia (or any other part of the world).

http://www.manipedia.eu/index.php?title=Manifold_Users_World_Directory

Would be good if you added yourself too.

amateo1 post(s)
#11-Apr-11 05:11

Good day to all,

I'm very new in this systems. is there any local partner here in the Philippines that you can refer to

us that can work with my projects.

Thanks

cab44 post(s)
#14-Apr-11 00:05

There is no local partner in the Philippines but you can contact NAMRIA at 8105466.

gisadvisor
191 post(s)
#14-Apr-11 02:26

Well, there was a user with the name emilio.aquinaldo - but I don't think that would be too productive.

Many people from the Philippines have purchased the gisadvisor.com training. If you provide a contact, I can try to ask them to contact you.

cab44 post(s)
#14-Apr-11 03:08

contact us at namria geomatics training center.

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