Example: Create Maps

Maps are used to show layers that can be drawings, images, and labels.  This topic shows how to create new, blank maps, how to create maps from existing components, and how to create maps from other maps.


In this example we use a typical project that includes drawings, image server data sources and previously-created maps.  The example drawings show the locations of Roman monuments in France and Europe, as well as various Neolithic monuments in France.    The drawings in the map have previously been formatted using the Style pane, to use distinctive colors and symbology.


To fit into this documentation, illustrations show a small Manifold desktop, with only a few panes, docked to the right side.  In real life we use a much larger Manifold desktop, and more panes would be turned on, with panes docked to the left or to the right, or undocked, as we prefer.   Right-click a pane's tab to change where it is docked.  Manifold will remember that new arrangement for our next session.

Example:  Add a layer to an existing map

We will first warm up a bit by working with the project as it stands, opening an existing map and adding a layer to it.





We double-click open the Roman Roads map.





The map opens.  By default, the map will open zoomed out to the full extent, showing the whole world in Bing.   In the illustration above we have zoomed into a closer view that shows France.  The map has two layers, a lower layer that is a Bing streets layer and an upper layer that shows Roman roads.   We drag and drop the amphitheatres drawing into the map.





The new amphitheatres layer appears.   A new layer that is dragged and dropped into a map appears just above, that is, to the left, of whatever was the active layer tab.  The amphitheatres drawing has been thematically formatted using Style to show Roman amphitheatres as magenta circles, with the size of the circle controlled by the Rank attribute that ranks amphitheatres from 0 to 5, with partial ruins being 0 and large, well-preserved amphitheatres such as those at Arles and Nîmes ranked 5.

Example:  Create a new, blank map and add a layer

Next, we will create a new, blank map and add a layer to that map.





We can create a blank map either by choosing File - Create - New Map, or by right-clicking into a blank part of the Project pane below any of the components and using the context menu that pops open.




In the context menu, choose Create - New Map.



In the New Map dialog, change the name if desired.   We choose the Bing Maps Street Map imageserver as the Base layer.   The imageserver data source has already been created in the project we have opened, so the new map will use that data source.  If the Bing data source had not yet been created, the New Map dialog would automatically create it for us as part of creating the map.  If we do not want to use a base layer, we choose (none) in the Base layer box.


We leave the default coordinate system as is.    If we would like to add layers to the map, we can do so by checking boxes for layers desired from the list of drawings in the map that the New Map dialog displays.  For this example, we will create a new map that is blank except for the Bing streets base layer, so we will not check boxes for any additional layers.


Press Create Map.





A new map component called Map appears in the Project pane.  Double-click it to open it.





The new map appears in a map window.  The new map has just one layer, the image layer from the Bing Maps Street Map image server data source.


We can now drag and drop other layers, as desired, into the map.





For example, we can drag and drop the Roads drawing into the map, and then zoom further into the display to see the view above.   

Example:  Create a new map using one component

We often would like to create a map starting with a particular layer.  That is easy to do.





Right-click on the desired component.



In the context menu that pops open, choose Create - New Map.  



By default, new maps are created using Pseudo-Mercator projection.   That is easy to change, for example, if we wanted the map to be created in Latitude / Longitude projection.


 We click the coordinate system picker button to choose the system we want.



Latitude / Longitude projection is one of the default Favorites, so we can choose it with a single click.



We will leave the Base layer set to Bing streets.  The last base layer used is remembered, for our convenience.    


Bing uses Pseudo-Mercator, so choosing Latitude / Longitude projection for the map means that the Bing base layer will be reprojected into Latitude / Longitude for display.    That will distort the Bing layer (which is an image, not a vector layer), but it demonstrates how Manifold can reproject layers on the fly, even image base layers brought in as tiles from a web server.


We press Create Map.





That creates a new component in the Project pane called Map.  We double-click the new map to open it.  It automatically zooms to fit the amphitheatres layer.  


The text in the Bing layer looks strange because Microsoft creates the tiles to look OK in Pseudo-Mercator projection.  When the tiles are reprojected on the fly into Latitude / Longitude projection, they end up being stretched horizontally at the latitude of France.  


It is easy to change the projection used by a map.   





 We switch to the Info pane and then we click the coordinate system picker button for the map to choose whatever projection we want.





We will choose Pseudo-Mercator, since that is what Bing uses.   That will display the base layer in the map without any reprojection on the fly into a different coordinate system.





We Ctrl-click on the amphitheatres tab to zoom to fit to that layer.  That's better!  The map window now uses the same projection as the Bing layer, so the Bing layer is displayed as Microsoft intended.

Example:  Create a new map using multiple components

We often would like to create a new map with several layers in it right from the beginning.  That is easy to do.





We Ctrl-click the components we want in our map to highlight them.  Then we right-click a component in the hierarchy where we want the new map to appear.  For example, right-clicking the highlighted cromlech component would end up creating the new map within the Neolithic folder.   Right-clicking on the amphitheatres component as seen above will end up creating the new map in the main part of the project outside of any folders.


As before, in the pop up menu we choose Create - New Map.



The New Map dialog offers as picked layers all of the components which were highlighted when we right-clicked.  It offers as a Base layer the last imageserver we chose.  If we would like to change that, we can pull down on the Base layer box for a menu of alternatives, including (none) if we do not want a base layer.



All imageservers in our Favorite Data Sources will be listed in the box.  We choose Bing Maps Satellite.


Press Create Map to create the map.





We double-click open the new map and zoom into a view of France.  Layers appear in the order they were listed in the New Map dialog.  If we would like to change the vertical order of layers we can do that using the Layers pane or by dragging layer tabs to the left and right.


For example, suppose we would like to move the temples layer to the top, to better see the locations of temples, which are indicated by white diamonds of various sizes.





We switch to the Layers pane and Ctrl-click the temples layer to select it.





 We then click the Move to Top button.





That moves the temples layer to the top of the stack, with the map window being immediately updated.   With very few layers we might have just dragged the temples layer tab all the way to the left, but with many layers the Layers pane is quicker.


We can explore the new map by zooming into it.





For example, we can zoom further into the map, near the Southern coast of France.    The large white diamond indicating a temple is in Nîmes, France.


We zoom further into the map, into a closer view of Nîmes.





The view now shows the downtown region of Nîmes, with the famous amphitheater clearly visible.   A white diamond marks the location of a temple.





Zooming further in, we click the temples layer tab to make it the active layer, and then we Alt-click the icon.  That calls up the Info Pane Values tab, which automatically opens to show the field values for that object.  We see the temple is the famous, spectacularly well-preserved, Roman temple known as the Maison Carrée,

Example:  Create a new map from an existing map

The easiest way to create a new map from an existing map is to simply Copy and then Paste the existing map.   That creates a duplicate.   We can then rename the duplicate, open the duplicate and add and delete layers as desired or change the coordinate system if desired.


Another way to create a new map from an existing map is to use procedures similar to the prior examples to create a new map with a new name and a different arrangement of layers or a different coordinate system right from the start.





We will create a new map using the Many Layers map that is opened in the illustration above.  The Many Layers map has a jumble of very many layers, including almost all of the drawings and image server layers in the project.   We right-click on the Many Layers map in the Project pane.



In the pop up context menu we choose Create - New Map.



The New Map dialog shows all the layers used in the Many Layers map, except those from other data sources, such as Bing imageserver data source layers.  If we wanted those too, we could have just made a copy of the starting map with Copy and Paste.  


We uncheck those layers which we do not want to use in the new map.   For the base layer, we will use a Bing satellite layer.   We press Create Map.





We open the new map to see it has the layers we have specified.    The circular green symbols mark the locations of cromlechs in France.   The blue squares mark the locations of dolmen, and the purple triangles the locations of menhir.  The symbols use thematic formatting so those items with a greater Rank are shown with larger symbols.

Using the Filter Button

The New Map dialog tries to present a convenient set of choices for layers, depending on how the dialog has been launched.





Suppose we highlight two drawings and then Right-click one of them and choose Create - New Map.



The New Map dialog launches with the layers list just showing the two drawings we picked.   


 To see more components, we can press the Picked filter button.



The list immediately expands to show all components in the data source, in this case the project itself.   Pressing in the Picked filter button reduces the list to show only those components that have been picked, that is, have had their boxes checked.  


 Another useful filtering tool is the filter box.  Projects can have hundreds of components in them, which makes for a very long list in the New Map dialog.  We can shorten that list to just those of interest by entering text into the filter box: only those components which have names that contain matches to the text entered will appear.   



For example, entering ro will reduce the list to components such as roads and cromlech, both of which have the two letter sequence ro in their names, but will not include component names like dolmen or temples.   



What is a cromlech?  What is a menhir? -   We can zoom into the new map created above to see what a cromlech looks like from above.





We have zoomed into a cromlech above, the Cromlech de Crucuno, near Carnac on the Southern coast of Bretagne.  


The Crucuno arrangement uses stones approximately two meters high. as seen below from ground level.  



 A single standing stone erected during the Neolithic is called a menhir.  A cromlech is an arrangement of multiple standing stones.  It is often circular, but may be arranged in other patterns, for example, rows of standing stones or rectangular arrangements like Crucuno.  Some purists reserve the term cromlech only for circular arrangements.   Stonehenge in England is a famous, exceptionally large, cromlech.





Above we have zoomed into a smaller cromlech, a typically circular ring of standing stones, located to the East of Arras, far in the North of France almost all the way to Lille.  


As is typical for many data sets, the point marking the Cromlech does not match exactly the position of the cromlech as seen in Google or Bing satellite image servers.





We can Alt-click the cromlech point to call up the Info pane, to see the attributes for that point.   We can then right-click and Copy the Comment field or other field info, and then Paste that into an Internet search engine in our browser to learn more about this particular Cromlech, or to translate the French description.




Known as the cromlech of the Seven Bonnets (Les Sept Bonnettes), the cromlech consists of six, two-meter high, carved stones set into the top of a tumulus, or mound, with five stones still standing and the sixth fallen.  A seventh stone, originally in the center, is no longer there.   



The image above shows the view of the cromlech, at the top of the mound, from an adjacent field.


The Maison Carrée - Nîmes, France, is well-known for its famous amphitheater, one of the best preserved of all Roman amphitheatres, but Nîmes also hosts what is one of the two best preserved Roman temples, the Maison Carrée, a French name that means "square house."   In the centuries after the fall of Rome and the loss of Roman engineering skills, residents were amazed at the accuracy and perfect right angles of the construction, and thus named it the "square house."



Marcus Agrippa, the life-long friend and right-hand man of Augustus, is said to have built the Maison Carrée in approximately 16 BC.   Agrippa is seen on the Ara Pacis, as illustrated in the Notes to the Example: Create a New Data Source from a Manifold Image Server topic.   Maintained over the centuries after being used as a Christian church in the 300's AD, the Maison Carrée survives today as one of the few examples where we can see what a Roman temple looked like during the Empire.



Marcus Agrippa is also often said to have built the other, best example of a well-preserved Roman temple, the circular Pantheon in Rome, based on the Latin inscription below the pediment, to the effect "M Agrippa made this."   However, that inscription apparently was placed on the Pantheon by the emperor Hadrian to honor Agrippa, who had built a famous predecessor temple on that site which, except for the facade, was destroyed by fire.   After a cycle of new construction, more fires, and more reconstructions, the Pantheon we see today was finished and dedicated by Hadrian.  It likely bears little resemblance to the temple originally created almost 150 years earlier by Agrippa.


Dolmen - A dolmen is a relic of the Neolithic, seen in illustrations in the Example: Combining Selections using the Select Pane  and Example: Layout Properties topics.

See Also

Getting Started










Layer Opacity




Project Pane


Layers Pane


Info Pane


Example: Project Pane Tutorial - In this example we take an extended tour of the Project pane, engaging in a variety of simple but typical moves that are illustrated step by step.


Example: Layers Tutorial - We take a tour of the Layers pane, learning how to manage layer display order, select layers, turn several layers on and off at the same time, alter opacity settings for one or more layers and how to change background color.


Example: Add Labels to a Map - How to manually add labels to a map.


Example: Reproject a Drawing - An essential example on changing the projection of a drawing, either within the drawing itself, or by changing the projection of a map window that shows the drawing and on the fly reprojects the drawing for display.