Favorite Data Sources

Manifold provides a Favorites list of data sources that we can quickly access with a single click via the New Favorite Data Source command.    Data sources in the Favorites list will appear in the resulting menu.



To edit the Favorites list we choose File - Create - New Favorite Data Source or right-click into the Project pane and choose New Favorite Data Source and then in the resulting sub-menu we choose Edit Favorites.  That will launch the Favorites dialog for data sources.  We can also launch the Favorites dialog from the New Data Source dialog by clicking on the Add Favorite Data Source button.




By default, the dialog is populated with five imageservers representing popular choices for map backgrounds.   Depending on the specific Manifold edition and build, the default list of favorites may vary from the illustration shown above.    Favorites will appear in the New Favorite Data Source menu in the order in which they are listed in the dialog.   We can move favorites up and down in the list by selecting them with a Ctrl-click and then using the Move buttons.



Add - Add a new favorite.  Launches the New Data Source dialog.


Add Defaults - Adds factory default favorite data sources to the current list.  Use this to restore factory settings if any of the original default favorites have been deleted.


Ctrl-click a favorite to select it or to de-select it.


Select all favorites.


Invert the selection.  A quick way to select none is to Ctrl-A and then Ctrl-I.


Move to Top - Moves the selected entries to the top of the list.


Move Up - Moves the selected entries up one position in the list.


Move Down - Moves the selected entries down one position in the list.


Move to Bottom - Moves the selected entries to the bottom of the list.


Delete - Remove the selected entries from the list.

Add to Favorites

Enabled when the lower pane contains a data source.  Choosing a data source through other means and then launching the Favorites dialog will populate the lower pane with that data source.  Pressing the Add to Favorites button will add it to the Favorites list.

Using Favorites

The built-in Favorites are imageservers but we can add any data source we like as a favorite.  For example, we might add a frequently-used connection to a PostgreSQL database.  If we keep archival data in Manifold .map projects we can add those as data sources.  For example, if we frequently use ESRI backgrounds we might add as a favorite the ArcGIS_REST_Servers.map example project that contains a collection of many WMS servers that ArcGIS REST web server data sources.  Any time we want to add a collection of WMS servers to our project that we can use we could choose that favorite data source.  In the example below we will add a favorite data source that is a Manifold .map project file that contains a list of ArcGIS REST web servers.




To add a new favorite, click on the Add button.




That launches the New Data Source dialog.  We enter the Name we desire for the data source, choose File: manifold for the Type and then we press the [...] browse button.




After browsing to the location of the .map file and choosing it, back in the New Data Source dialog we press the Add Favorite Data Source button.




A new favorite appears in the list, using the name we specified.   The new favorite is automatically selected and thus shown in red selection color.    To move it to the top of the list, so it appears first in the Favorites menu, we press the Move to Top button.




We press OK.  


The next time we choose New Favorite Data Source the new favorite we added to the list will appear at the top of the secondary menu.    We can click it to choose it.





That immediately adds the data source to our project, as if we had launched the New Data Source dialog and had gone through the process of choosing as a data source the ArcGIS_REST_Servers.map project.




We can expand the data source to see it provides us with many web servers stored within that Manifold .map project.   Hovering the mouse over the data source we can see that the source is the .map file we specified when we added the new favorite data source.

See Also

Web Servers


File - Create - New Data Source


New Favorite Data Source - Choose from a drop down list of Favorite data sources, or choose Edit Favorites to launch the Favorites dialog for data sources.


Example: Spectacular Images and Data from Web Servers - A must see topic providing a gallery of views illustrating how Manifold can use web servers such as imageservers and other free resources to provide a seemingly endless selection of spectacular background maps, satellite images and GIS data with nearly zero effort.


Example: An Imageserver Tutorial - An extensive tutorial showing step by step how to add new data sources that are imageservers, how to show them as layers in a map, how to create a new drawing that matches the projection of the map and how to trace over what is seen in an imageserver layer to create an area object in the drawing.


Example: Create a New Data Source from a Manifold Image Server - Manifold image server modules are snippets of code which use the Manifold Image Server Interface (ISI) to automatically fetch image tiles from popular image servers like Virtual Earth, Wikimapia, Yahoo!, Google Maps, Yandex and many others. Image servers can provide street maps, overhead satellite imagery, combinations of streets and satellite imagery and other data as well.  Using Manifold Image Servers is one of the most popular Manifold features.


Example: Create a New Data Source from a MAP File - Create a new data source from an existing Manifold .map project file.   This is the classic way to nest projects, one calling another, to create libraries of data and projects.   Access to nested projects has effectively zero performance loss and the links within projects take up effectively zero space so we can create huge constellations of data at our fingertips.


Example: Create a Data Source within an Existing Data Source - When a data source is writable, for example, if the data source is a Manifold .map file, we can work within that data source as if it were at the top level of our project.   For example, we can create a new data source that is nested within the existing data source.   This example shows how.


Example: Create and Use New Data Source using an MDB Database - This example Illustrates the step-by-step creation of a new data source using an .mdb file database, followed by use of SQL.  Although now deprecated in favor of the more current Access Database Engine formats, .mdb files are ubiquitous in the Microsoft world, one of the more popular file formats in which file databases are encountered.