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MP2K Talks to Manifold

MP2K recently spoke with Dimitri Rotow regarding the "Publish for MapPoint" feature apparently missing in the latest release of Manifold.


I have Manifold 5.0 and love it, but where is the "Publish for MapPoint" feature that was so handy in Manifold 4.5?


There are lots of changes between 4.50 and 5.00. Any time one changes the mix, even if the overall result is a lot bigger and better, there will be some users who will miss a favorite feature that's not been popular enough to continue in the main release!

It's just a timing issue on configuring 5.00 and taking advantage of the release schedule to load as much of the "latest and greatest" into 5.00 as possible.

5.00 is being released in two phases, with Phase 1 providing most interactive features and Phase 2 adding the map server, GPS console, extended programming, and numerous additional interactive features. We moved support for MapPoint into Phase 2 because we wanted to leverage some new technology we knew was coming from Microsoft.

The "Publish for MapPoint" feature in 4.50 is handy, but it is limited to publishing data attributes for use within existing MapPoint objects. With 5.00 we wanted to extend this, if possible, to allow publishing of shapes that could overlay the existing MapPoint layers. 5.00 can read so many formats (over 60) that it would be neat to use Manifold to grab GIS data for MapPoint from more formats than just .shp or .mif. We knew this might be possible, but we wanted to make sure what we did was closely aligned to the methods Microsoft recommended.

Microsoft has been very supportive and helpful (as always) and so we decided to "go for it" and greatly extend the Publish for MapPoint feature in 5.00. However, the decision to "go for it" came very late in the 5.00 release cycle so it was unclear we could actually accomplish what we set out to do.

By extending the feature late in the game we run the risk of missing the Phase 2 window (and having MapPoint support end up in the first or second update to Phase 2) altogether, so we decided not to promote this until we knew for sure what we could provide and when it would be available.


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Author: Jonathan Frost
Email: Jonathan.Frost(AT)
Jon Frost is the publisher for MP2KMag (, the online magazine for MapPoint. Jon has written for, developed and maintained a number of large-scale websites and is currently writing a book on XML-related programming.

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