Home > ArcGIS / ESRI > ArcGIS and Manifold GIS comparison

ArcGIS and Manifold GIS comparison

It’s just a titanic work which has made by a Manifold’s user called tomasfa and that has been uploaded to that tool’s forum. It reminds me that Arthur J. Lembo’s work when he did a very systematic job of how to do the same routine with ArcGIS and Manifold. More than the comparative sense I was struck by the number of separated actions by subject that results in a very educational document so as to make comparisons of GIS tools when making a decision.

The comparison is based on a matrix that separates the normal use integration routines, please note, it isn’t based on Manifold’s routines but in the ArcGIS’; then identifies whether it’s done by ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor or ArcInfo. To the right is indicated if it’s done or not by Manifold GIS.


The views of the forum are somewhat biased and sectarian, which is not surprising as it is a specific application forum and the same would happen if the forum would be from the competition. It is also useful to understand some of the Manifold developer’s philosophy.

In this work I see at least these utilities:

  • List GIS application routines
  • List of areas to consider in a GIS application
  • Compare what ArcReader makes regarding ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo
  • Compare ArcGIS with Manifold

Finally the document is not conclusive because it focuses on the comparison that is supposed to serve for decision making. Of course, the one to one comparison is not so simple, especially because ArcGIS is based on a basic tool and multiple extensions or specialized versions targeted to different niches. While Manifold is a tool that tries to do more routines for GIS users, all in a single tool (although it has scalability) so many things that make ArcGIS extensions are not included but in many of these exceeds what ArcGIS does with all its extensions and especially at a very low price.

Here I leave a list that seems great, only are the headers as each of these routines includes more than 1,100 tasks and to avoid losing the original sense I leave it in English.

Map Interaction

  • Map Navigation
  • Queries
  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Graphs types
  • USA Routing (StreetMap™ USA)

Map Display

  • General Mapping
  • Tabular Data
  • Vector Data Display
  • Thematic Vector Data Classifications
  • Symbology
  • Surface Display
  • Raster Data Display
  • Raster Display: Gradual Color Ramp Data-Stretching Algorithms
  • Raster Display Statistics
  • Raster Display Resample Methods
  • Raster Display Classification Methods
  • Raster Catalog Footprint Display
  • Raster Tools
  • Animation

Data Editing

  • Multipart Features (Point, Line, and Polygon)
  • Map Navigation While Editing
  • Vector Data Transformations
  • Generalization
  • Coordinate Geometry (COGO)

Raster Editing and Vectorization

  • Vectorize All Raster Formats Supported in ArcGIS
  • ArcGIS Integration
  • Raster Snapping Geometry
  • Raster Snapping Environment
  • Vectorization Tracing
  • Automatic Vectorization
  • Vectorization Parameters
  • Vectorization Preview
  • Raster Cell Selection
  • Raster Cleanup Environment
  • Raster Cleanup Painting Tools
  • Support Tools

Mobile – GPS Integration

  • GPS Support
  • Tablet PC

Multiuser Geodatabase Editing

  • General Editing
  • Administration Geoprocessing
  • Versioning Geoprocessing
  • Short Transaction Editing

Multiuser Geodatabase Archiving

  • Display and Query
  • Manage

Distributed Geodatabases

  • Manage Replicas
  • Disconnected Editing Geoprocessing
  • Distributed Geodatabases Geoprocessing

Spatial Referencing Image Data (Georeferencing)

  • Tools
  • Transformation Methods
  • Save Spatial Reference Information
Data Management

  • General
  • Search for GIS Data By
  • Manage Coverage Data
  • UML/CASE Tool Integration
  • Geodatabase Administration
  • Interchange File Import/Export

Attribute Validation

  • Subtypes Geoprocessing
  • Domains Geoprocessing
  • Create and Edit Relationships between Features
  • Geodatabase Relationship Behavior
  • Relationship Class Geoprocessing


  • Map Display
  • Editing
  • Geodatabase Topology Rule Violation
    Fix Operations
  • Geodatabase Topology Management
  • Geodatabase Topology Rules
  • Geoprocessing


  • Utility Network Analysis
  • Data Management
  • Geometric Network Connectivity Rules
  • Geometric Network Editing

Linear Referencing (Routes)

  • Display
  • Editing
  • Geoprocessing


  • General
  • View Metadata Using a Variety of Styles
  • Geoprocessing

Coverage Geoprocessing

  • Application Framework
  • Analysis
  • Conversion
  • Aggregation
  • Composite Features
  • Generalization
  • Table Management
  • Projections
  • Topology
  • General


  • Environment
  • Supported Scripting Environments
  • General Data Management
  • Data Comparison
  • Table Management
  • Field Management
  • Feature Class Management
  • Feature Management
  • File Geodatabase
  • Generalization
  • Projections and Transformations
  • Raster Management
  • Raster Conversion
  • Raster Transformation/Projection
  • Conversion
  • Layers and Table Views
  • Core Analysis
  • Spatial Statistics Tools—Analyzing Patterns
  • Spatial Statistics Tools—Mapping Clusters
  • Spatial Statistics Tools—Measuring Geographic Distributions
  • Spatial Statistics Analysis—Modeling Spatial Relationships
  • Spatial Statistics Tools—Rendering
  • Spatial Statistics Tools—Utilities
  • Multidimension Tools
  • Workspace Management
  • Database Management
  • Table Joins
  • Data Indexing
  • ArcGIS Server Management

Although the work is being completed collaboratively by forum’s users, here it can be downloaded the complete file

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.