Exporting

Manifold projects are basically databases that can be full of many different types of data: tables, vector drawings, raster images and other raster data, text data like SQL queries or scripts, and much more.  Those individual items in a project are called components.  

 

Use File - Save or File - Save to save an entire project in Manifold .map format.  Saving a project is the best way to save everything in a highly reliable, extremely fast format.  We can also save a project by choosing File - Export Project to save the project in Manifold compressed, archival .mxb format.

 

Use File - Export dialog to export an individual component to popular industry standard formats.  For example, we can export a drawing in our project into an ESRI shapefile in .shp file format, or we can export an image to GeoTIFF file format for use by other programs.  

 

To export a component to a file:

 

  1. If the component is open and has the focus in a window or a layer, in the main menu choose File - export.  Or, right-click on the component in the Project pane and choose Export.

  2. In the Export dialog, navigate to the desired destination folder.

  3. Choose the desired format from the list in the Save as type box.   The list will automatically adapt to the component being exported.

  4. Specify a different File name if the default name is not desired.

  5. Press the Save button.

 

In most cases Manifold will automatically append the three letter file extension for the format type selected.  Some formats, such as KML/KMZ, will vary the form of the export depending on whether or not we have specified a three letter extension to the file name.

 

To export data from a linked data source:

 

  1. Open the data source in the Project pane, usually by clicking the + box next to the cylinder icon that indicates a data source.

  2. Navigate within the data source hierarchy to the component desired.

  3. Right-click the desired component and choose Export.

  4. In the Export dialog, navigate to the desired destination folder.

  5. Choose the desired format from the list in the Save as type box.   The list will automatically adapt to the component being exported.

  6. Specify a different File name if the default name is not desired.

  7. Press the Save button.

 

"Exporting" data into a linked data source is done with Copy and Paste:

 

To export data into a linked data source:

 

  1. Right-click the desired component and choose Copy. We can also click on the component to highlight it and then press the Copy icon in the Project pane toolbar, or press Ctrl-C.

  2. Open the data source in the Project pane, usually by clicking the + box next to the cylinder icon that indicates a data source.

  3. Navigate within the data source hierarchy to the folder or subfolders desired.

  4. Press the Paste icon in the Project pane toolbar, or press Ctrl-V.

 

Exporting Coordinate Systems / Projections

Almost all non-GIS formats are totally spatially unaware: they are completely unable to save coordinate system / projection information.  Older GIS formats often have significant limitations on which coordinate system / projection parameters can be saved.  The terms coordinate system and projection are used as synonyms in Manifold.   Manifold tries to export as much coordinate system information as possible in four ways:

 

 

 

 

 

Manifold .mapmeta files facilitate later re-use of exported files in Manifold.  They can be an extremely useful safety measure, for example, if we export a georeferenced image to a spatially brain-dead format like .jpg, and then we discover that we had not saved the original project, yet we need to get our image back in georeferenced form.   If Manifold sees a like-named .mapmeta file in the same folder as the .jpg file, when the system imports the image from the .jpg file it will automatically acquire coordinate system information from the accompanying .mapmeta file and apply that coordinate system to the imported image.

Limitations

Manifold .map format is an exceptionally rich format, designed to provide full facilities, such as a wide range of data types, extensive coordinate system definitions, and both linear and curvilinear objects, for storing a very wide range of data of interest in GIS.   Other formats have limitations compared to Manifold .map or .mxb, so inevitably some translation, transformation, abridgment or other debasement of data will occur.  Features, and, often, data content may be lost.  For example, exporting a table into .csv format will lose indexes and data, such as binary geometry data, that .csv cannot represent.  A CAD format like AutoCAD DXF has no ability to save attributes.   Exporting a drawing to virtually any format will lose formatting based on style properties.

 

Most formats are not as broadly applicable as Manifold .map, so we usually can only save a specific type of component to a given format.  For example, we can export images to image-only formats like .jpg or .bmp format, but we cannot export a drawing or a table into .jpg format.   Depending on the type of component we export, Manifold will show us a list of formats to which that type of component may be exported.  

Saving or Exporting

Manifold users have a variety of options to save or to export data from their projects:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available Formats

To export a component, when we choose Export the dialog will automatically configure the list of available export formats based on the type of component to be exported.   Following are lists of typical file types to which we can export.    In general, although Manifold can import data from a seemingly endless range of formats only the most popular export formats are supported.

 

 Tables - Where all data within Manifold is stored in one form or another.  Opening a table window shows a table in classic row and column presentation.

 

CSV

Comma separate values format.   Manifold always sets off text within double quote " characters.

DBF

dBase II format, also used within shapefiles.

GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase

ESRI File Geodatabase. File geodatabases are ESRI's recommended geodatabase format.  Manifold can either export into or link read/write in place GDB vector databases.  Exporting a table that contains a geometry column will also create a drawing in the GDB in addition to the table.  

GPKG and SQLITE

OGC SQLite / SpatiaLite / GeoPackage. Manifold can either export into 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.  To export a table to SQLite, we simply export it as a GPKG file.

HTML .htm, .html

Export as a <table> within HTML files.   64-bit Manifold can export to HTML, but if Microsoft's 64-bit Access database engine is not installed on the system then only 32-bit Manifold can import from HTML

JSON

Generic JSON text files, written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

LAS Files (*.las, *.laz)

LAS uncompressed format or LAZ compressed format LiDAR files. The table must have the fields required by the LAS standard.  See the LAS, LAZ LiDAR topic.

LBL LAS

Log ASCII Standard format.  This is not the same LAS format as used for LiDAR data.

MDB .mdb

Microsoft Access .mdb format.  Requires use of 32-bit Manifold to export or to import if Microsoft's 64-bit Access database engine is not installed on the system.

MML, Manifold

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

XLS .xls, XLSX .xlsx

Microsoft Excel.  Microsoft XLSX files appeared in Microsoft Office 2007 and later. Requires use of 32-bit Manifold to export or to import if Microsoft's 64-bit Access database engine is not installed on the system.

 

 

 Drawings - A visual display of vector data stored within tables using a variety of geometry types.

 

DDF, SDTS

US government SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer Standard) files ending in DDF extension. Rarely used in modern times.  SDTS format stores rasters or vectors.  See the Example: Import DDF SDTS DEM Raster File and Example: Import DDF SDTS DLG Vector File topics.

DXF, AutoCAD

AutoCAD DXF.   DXF is a CAD format that loses attribute information and coordinate system data.  Manifold will write an accompanying .mapmeta file that saves coordinate system info in a Manifold format that can be used by Manifold if importing from that .dxf file.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

E00, ESRI

ESRI .e00 is a complex legacy format used with ESRI's ArcINFO GIS product. It is capable of storing different types of data, including images and surfaces ("grids"), but is most often used for drawings. Exporting areas creates an ensemble of point, line and area drawings within the .e00.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase

ESRI File Geodatabase. File geodatabases are ESRI's recommended geodatabase format.  Manifold can either export into or link read/write in place GDB vector databases.  

GeoJSON

Text files providing spatial data using GeoJSON, a "geographic" format using text written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).    

GPKG

The OGC GeoPackage format for storing vector and raster spatial data within an SQLite database container within a single .gpkg file.  As an interchange format, clearly superior to ubiquitous, but obsolete, shapefiles.   A good choice for software that can read GPKG.

KML, KMZ Google

Google Earth KML and KMZ.  Creates a drawing, table and labels component in the KML.    Specifying no three letter extension to the file name or specifying a file name that ends in .kml will create a .kml file.   Specifying a file name that ends in .kmz will automatically create a .kmz, the compressed form which uses zip compression to create a single .kmz file that contains the .kml file.

MFD, Manifold

Export to Manifold 4.50 legacy format.   

MIF, MID  MapInfo

Pitney Bowes / MapInfo mid/mif, an interchange format for vectors.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

MML, Manifold

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

SHP, Shapefiles

ESRI shapefiles.  Yes, this is a vice, but a very popular vice.  We all do it, so may as well learn to do it well.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

 

 

 Images - A visual display of raster data stored within tables as tiles using a variety of different data types and channel combinations.   All rasters are called images in Manifold even those which are terrain elevation or other non-photographic data.

 

BIL, ESRI Band Interleaved by Line

ESRI Band Interleaved by Line (BIL) format.  BIL is an ESRI format used for raster data.     .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

BMP

Windows bitmap.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

DDF, SDTS

US government SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer Standard) files ending in DDF extension.  SDTS format stores rasters or vectors.  See the Example: Import DDF SDTS DEM Raster File and Example: Import DDF SDTS DLG Vector File topics.

E00, ESRI

ESRI .e00 is a complex legacy format used with ESRI's ArcINFO GIS product. It is capable of storing different types of data, including images and surfaces ("grids").  Although .e00 is most often used for drawings, the format is useful for single-channel terrain elevation data. Single-channel images only.    .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

ECW

ERMapper / ERDAS / Hexagon .ecw Wavelet compressed or JPEG2000 compressed format.  ECW is an ERMapper, ERDAS format.  A high performance, more modern technology for raster compression using wavelet algorithms.  Manifold can link or import ECW and can export to ECW as well.  For export, Manifold can export ECWs of any size.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

EMF, WMF

Windows Extended Meta File

FLT

ESRI ArcINFO Floating-Point Grid.  Single-channel images only.  Useful for single-channel terrain elevation data.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

GIF

A well-known image format.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

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.

GRD, ESRI .ASC, .GRD

ESRI ArcINFO ASCII Grid.  Single-channel images only.   A good choice for single-channel terrain elevation data.   .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

GRD, Surfer .GRD

Golden Software Surfer Grid Format.  Single-channel images only.   Useful for single-channel terrain elevation data.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

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.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

IMG

ERDAS .img format. Manifold autodetects and configures the right dataport.  When linking ERDAS IMG file ensembles that include intermediate levels in the RRD file, Manifold will automatically use those intermediate levels to provide very fast display.  A .mapmeta file is written.

JP2, J2K, JPEG 2000

JPEG 2000 format using wavelet compression encoding.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

JPG, JPEG, JPE

A well-known image format using .jpg, .jpeg, or .jpe extension.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

KML, KMZ Google

Google Earth KML and KMZ.   Specifying no three letter extension to the file name or specifying a file name that ends in .kml will create a .jpg image file plus the controlling .kml file.   Specifying a file name that ends in .kmz will automatically create a .kmz, the compressed form which uses zip compression to create a single .kmz file that contains the image in .jpg format as well as the controlling .kml file.

MML, Manifold

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

PNG .png

Portable Network Graphics (pronounced "Ping"), a well-known image format.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

RWB

Raw binary.   Creates a raw binary data file with no three letter extension and in addition creates a .rwb accessory file for use by Manifold.   The .rwb file is a text file in human-readable JSON format that capture a description of the raw file created.  See the RAW, RWB, RWT, BIN topic as well as the discussion in the Tools - Scan Raw Binary / Text File  topic.

RWT

Raw text.   Creates a raw text data file with no three letter extension and in addition creates a .rwt accessory file for use by Manifold.   The .rwt file is a text file in human-readable JSON format that capture a description of the raw file created.  See the RAW, RWB, RWT, BIN topic as well as the discussion in the Tools - Scan Raw Binary / Text File  topic.

TGA

Targa Truevision .tga files.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

TIF, TIFF, GeoTIFF

A well-known image format, also called TIFF.  Manifold automatically writes projection information when exporting to TIFF to create GeoTIFF files.  Can handle multi-channel images, and also a great choice for single-channel terrain elevation data.  A .mapmeta file is written.

WEBP

Google .webp image format.  .prj and .mapmeta files are written.

XYZ

Generic XYZ raster format. Single-channel images only.   A .mapmeta file is written.

 

 Labels - Text annotations automatically created from the fields of a drawing's table.  In most cases labels layers are exported by creating a drawing and a table as well as the labels.

 

DXF, AutoCAD

AutoCAD DXF.   DXF is a CAD format that loses attribute information and coordinate system data.  Manifold will write an accompanying .mapmeta file that saves coordinate system info in a Manifold format that can be used by Manifold if importing from that .dxf file.  Exporting labels to DXF writes a text height tag to make exported files readable in various versions of AutoCAD.

GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase

ESRI File Geodatabase.  Manifold can either export into or link read/write in place GDB vector databases.

GPKG

OGC GeoPackage. Manifold can either export into 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.  See the GPKG topic.

KML

Google Earth KML and KMZ.   Specifying no three letter extension to the file name or specifying a file name that ends in .kml will create a .kml file.   Specifying a file name that ends in .kmz will automatically create a .kmz, the compressed form which uses zip compression to create a single .kmz file that contains the .kml file.

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

 

 

 Layouts - Layouts are compositions on virtual sheets of paper, allowing us to create documents showing maps or other components as PDF documents or hard copy printed sheets.  

 

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

 

Important:   Exporting a layout does not export the components which appear in the frames of the layout.  For example, if a layout has frames that show an image, a drawing and in addition a text frame, and we export the layout to an .mml file, importing that layout into a new, blank project will show only the text frame within the layout.  The other frames will be in the layout, but they will refer to components that do not exist in the project and thus will be empty.  If we add those missing components to the project, the frames will populate with their contents.

 

 

 Maps - Consist of a stack of layers where each layer is a drawing, image or labels component.

 

DXF

AutoCAD DXF.   DXF is a CAD format that loses coordinate system data.  The accompanying .mapmeta file saves coordinate system info for Manifold if importing from that .dxf file.  Raster layers in the map will be ignored and not exported.

GDB

ESRI File Geodatabase.  Manifold can either export into or link read/write in place GDB vector databases.  Raster layers will not be saved into the GDB.  See the GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase topic.

GPKG

OGC GeoPackage. Manifold can either export into 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.  See the GPKG topic.

KML

Google Earth KML and KMZ.   Specifying no three letter extension to the file name or specifying a file name that ends in .kml will create a .kml file.   Specifying a file name that ends in .kmz will automatically create a .kmz, the compressed form which uses zip compression to create a single .kmz file that contains the .kml file.

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

 

 

 

 Queries - Written in SQL, queries manipulate data and projects, for example, creating new tables and other components, performing calculations,  altering the structure of databases and tables, and extracting, editing and analyzing subsets of data.

 

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

SQL

A plain text file that contains SQL queries.  The .sql extension identifies it as such for databases and other applications which can utilize SQL within queries. Manifold exports to .sql using UTF-8 Unicode text encoding.  Manifold will import .sql files as queries.

TXT

Well-known, plain text format.   Manifold exports to .txt using UTF-8 Unicode encoding.  Manifold will import .txt files as comments.

 

 

 Scripts - Manifold includes built-in support for scripting in eleven different languages with six to eight always available and the remainder easy to install.  Scripts provide custom capabilities and can automate virtually anything.  For formats other than MML, exporting a script will export text to whatever is the format selected.  It makes sense to choose a format that matches the scripting language we use, but nothing stops us from exporting text for a C# script into a file with a .vb extension.   On import of a .vb file, Manifold, like most programming environments, will assign a type (language) of VB.NET to that script.    Exporting to MML will also export the script's properties to allow Manifold on import to automatically know the type (language) of the script.

 

CS

C# scripts.

FS

F# scripts.

JS

JavaScript, JScript, JScript.NET.

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.    On import, automatically assigns script type based on whatever was exported.

PL

PerlScript.

PY

PythonScript, IronPython.   Manifold imports .py as IronPython type.

RB

IronRuby

TXT

Well-known, plain text format.   Manifold exports to .txt using UTF-8 Unicode text  encoding.  Manifold will import .txt files as comments.

VB

VB.NET

VBS

VBScript

 

 

 Comments -  Text saved and displayed in a comments window provides a simple but  convenient way to save notes about a project or to save text as a scratchpad.

 

MML

Manifold Markup Language, a generic storage format utilized within Manifold for development.   

TXT

Well-known, plain text format.   Manifold exports to .txt using UTF-8 Unicode text  encoding.  Manifold will import .txt files as comments.

 

 

Notes

Style applied - Exporting an image to BMP, ECW, JPEG, JPEG2K, PNG or TGA will export rendered pixel values according to the formatting set in the Style pane. Exporting an image to TIFF always exports the actual pixel values without Style formatting applied.  

 

See Also

Getting Started

 

Projects and .map Files

 

Importing and Linking

 

User Interface Basics

 

File - Import

 

File - Export

 

File - Export Project

 

File - Link

 

File - Create - New Data Source

 

Assign Initial Coordinate System

 

Where Manifold Data is Stored