Formats and Data Sources

This chapter provides notes on various file formats and data sources to which Manifold can connect.   Manifold can read virtually every format and data source in existence.   See the Big List of Formats and Data Sources topic for the huge list.   

 

There are so many formats and data sources that Manifold can read that most do not have their own topics.   A partial listing of formats documented within individual topics follows:

 

DBMS Data Sources - Notes

A topic that captures technical notes from engineering on using DBMS packages such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, DB2 or other DBMS packages.

Big List of Formats and Data Sources

A more or less comprehensive list of all formats and data sources Manifold can handle, in addition to those for which the following individual topics are provided.  

. Files (CTG LULC) (".")

Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) data in CTG format in files that do not have a three letter extension.  See the CTG, LULC Grid Cell  topic.

. Files (GDAL/OGR) (".")

Launch the GDAL/OGR dataport:  files will be imported using GDAL/OGR.   See the GDAL / OGR  topic.

. Files (GIRAS LULC) (".")

Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) data in Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System (GIRAS) format in files that do not have a three letter extension.  See the GIRAS, LULC Vector Format topic.

. Files (GLOBE) (".")

Terrain elevation data in NOAA GLOBE format files that do not have a three letter extension.  GLOBE is usually considered a more modern, slightly more complete version of the USGS GTOPO30 project. See the GLOBE topic.  See also the DEM, GTOPO30  topic.

. Files (GRASS) (".")

Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) format dot files.   See the GRASS topic.

000, S57

Used for nautical charts, especially for ENC electronic chart displays used in shipping.

ADF, ESRI ArcGrid

ADF files can contain raster data, ESRI TIN data or vector (drawing) data.

ADRG, .thf

NGA ARC Digitized Raster Graphics, loaded from .thf files.

AVHRR, l1b

Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Level 1b raw data, from satellites such as the NOAA Polar Orbiter.

BIL, ESRI Band Interleaved by Line

BIL is an ESRI format used for raster data.

BIN

Generic raw binary files.   See the RAW, RWB, RWT, BIN topic.

BMP

Windows bitmap.

BNA, Atlas BNA

Atlas BNA format, a legacy vector format used with Atlas GIS packages.

BWx, USGS TIGER

BWx is a legacy US Census Bureau TIGER file format.

CSV, ASC, PSV, TAB

Comma Separated Values (CSV)  and similar formats for text files, where each line is a record and the values for fields are separated by a character such as a comma (CSV), a | "pipe" character (Pipe Separated Values, or PSV) and similar.   Includes the File:csv type when creating a new data source.   

CTG, LULC Grid Cell

LULC (Land Use Land Cover) data from USGS in CTG (Composite Theme Grid) raster format, also known as Grid Cell files.

DAT, SPOT

SPOT satellite raster data.

DB .db

Borland Paradox database files.  Launch 32-bit Manifold.

DBF, dBase / FoxPro

The ancient database format originally introduced by dBase II and used as a database component by ESRI shapefiles.

DDF, SDTS

US government SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer Standard) format using file names that end in a three-letter DDF extension.   DDF files can store raster or vector data.

DDR, LAS

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.   LAS is a format originally developed by the Canadian Well Logging society in the late 1980's.     DDR files are most often encountered with older raster data from archival sites providing satellite images recorded by earth observation satellites in the 1990's.  

DEM

USGS DEM files, typically used for terrain elevation.   A different format than DEM as used in GTOPO30 format.

DEM, GTOPO30

USGS GTOPO30 DEM files, a different format than USGS DEM format.

DGN, Intergraph

A legacy vector format used with Intergraph and Bentley Microstation GIS products.

DLG, USGS .DLG, .DO, .OPT

USGS Digital Line Graph Optional

DNG, Adobe

DNG is an Adobe raster image format similar to TIF.  It provides no projection information and is primarily used for photography and non-spatial graphics arts.

DOQ, USGS .DOQ, .COQ

USGS Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle

DRG, USGS .TIF

USGS Digital Raster graphics (scanned maps) in .tif format.

DTx, DTED, NIMA .DT0, DT1, DT2

Digital Terrain Elevation Data (US Military / NGA), DTED Level 0 (dt0), Level 1 (dt1), Level 2 (dt2)

DWG, AutoCAD

AutoCAD DWG format, a spatially-unaware CAD format that saves neither database information nor projection settings.  

DXF, AutoCAD

AutoCAD DXF format, a spatially-unaware CAD format that saves neither database information nor projection settings.  

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.

ECW

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.

EMF, WMF

Windows Meta File and Extended Meta File

ERS

ERMapper .ers files.

FLT

ESRI ArcINFO Floating-Point Grid

GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase

File geodatabases are ESRI's recommended geodatabase format.  Manifold's GDB dataport includes numerous features to facilitate read/write use of ESRI file geodatabases.

GDAL / OGR

GDAL / OGR is not a single format but a collection of open source libraries that can read many formats, including many formats that Manifold can directly read.

GDF

Geographic Data Format (GDF) as used in TeleAtlas MultiNet and generic European GDF use.

GeoJSON / JSON

Files providing spatial data using GeoJSON, a "geographic" format using text written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).  Manifold automatically reads TopoJSON when a GeoJSON file contains TopoJSON.  Geometry collections are expanded automatically.  Manifold's GeoJSON dataport automatically recognizes GeoJSON content in files that end with either a .geojson or .json file extension.

GIF

A well-known image format.

GIRAS, LULC Vector Format

LULC (Land Use Land Cover) data from USGS in GIRAS (Geographical Information Retrieval and Analysis System) vector format.

GIS, LAN ERDAS

ERDAS .gis or .lan formats are often used for raster images, for example, from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery.

GLOBE

Terrain elevation data in NOAA GLOBE format files that do not have a three letter extension.  GLOBE is usually considered a more modern, slightly more complete version of the USGS GTOPO30 project.   See also the DEM, GTOPO30  topic.

GML

GML uses XML-like text to encode spatial data.

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.

GPX

GPX Exchange format

GRASS

Format for the "Geographic Resources Analysis Support System" (GRASS) raster-oriented package, originally developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and still surviving as open source.

GRD, ESRI .ASC, .GRD

ESRI ArcINFO ASCII Grid

GRD, Northwood .GRC, .GRD

Northwood / Vertical Mapper Grid Format

GRD, Surfer .GRD

Golden Software Surfer Grid Format

GXF

Geosoft Grid Exchange File, an ASCII grid format mainly used for terrain elevation data but also for raster data for concentrations and similar.

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.

HGT

Space Shuttle SRTM data in .hgt, including .inc, .mag, .pol and .err files.

HTML

Tables in HTML files.    Launch 32-bit Manifold.

IMG

ENVI, ERDAS, IDRISI and IMDISP .img formats. 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.

INP EPANET

EPANET files.

J2K, JPEG 2000

A compression format using wavelet compression similar to ECW and MrSID.  

JPG, JPEG, JPE

A well-known image format using .jpg, .jpeg, or .jpe extension.

KML, KMZ Google

Text based format introduced by Google.   KMZ is the same thing that is compressed using "zip" compression.

L1B .l1b

NOAA Polar Orbiter Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Level 1 B

LAS, LAZ LiDAR

Format for storing LiDAR data (LAS) or LiDAR data in zipped form (LAZ).

MAP, Manifold

All Manifold and Radian .map project files.

MBS, .mbs, .xbs

ETAK / TeleAtlas MapBase

MDB Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access formats, such as Access 2000 and Access 97 .mdb format    Launch 32-bit Manifold.

MFD, Manifold

Release 4.50 and earlier Manifold GIS .mfd files.

MIF, MID  MapInfo

MapInfo mid/mif, an interchange format for vector drawings.

MML, Manifold

Manifold Markup Language .mml files for generic storage of Release 9 / Radian projects.

MWS, Manifold

Manifold 4.50 .mws workspace files, including automatic import from referenced .mfd and .mdb files.

NC, NetCDF

NetCDF files in .nc format

NDE TAIF .nde, .edg, .fac

TAIF is TeleAtlas Interchange Format, used in Street Net and Multi Net data sets.

NITF, .ntf

US military NGA .ntf image format, a different format than UK Ordnance Survey .ntf.

NTF .ntf

UK Ordnance Survey .ntf files, including various NTF subformats.

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. Manifold also reads OpenStreetMap OSM and O5M formats.

PCX

PC Paintbrush format by ZSoft

PIX

PCIDISK, Silicon Graphics Alias / Wavefront

PNG .png

Portable Network Graphics (pronounced "Ping"), a well-known image format.

RAW, RWB, RWT, BIN

Raw binary or raw text format files using various extensions.

RST

IDRISI .rst format raster image files

SGI

Silicon Graphics .sgi format files

SHP, Shapefiles

Notes on ESRI shapefiles, including exporting drawings to shapefiles.

SID, MrSID

A format for raster compression using wavelet technology that was popular with government agencies in the early 2000's. Manifold directly reads MrSID format as a built-in format.

SQLITE

SQLite database files.

SUN

SUN Microsystems .sun files

TAB, MapInfo

MapInfo TAB "table" format consists of multiple files, usually five files, referenced by a controlling .tab file. TAB format can result in drawings, labels, and raster images.

TGA

Targa Truevision .tga files

TIF, TIFF, GeoTIFF

Adobe Tagged Image File Format (TIFF or TIF) that is so universally used few people know it is a Adobe format.  The GeoTIFF form of TIF includes tags providing projection information.  Manifold reads GeoTIFF info and always writes TIF files with internal tags that make them GeoTIFFs.

TOC .toc, .thf

NGA ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (ADRG) and Compressed ADRG (CADRG).   Same as using .thf but using a .toc file.

VCT

IDRISI vector format

VEC

IDRISI vector format

WEBP

Google .webp image format.