How Do I Do This in ArcGIS/Manifold?: Illustrating Classic GIS Tasks

Other Titles


In 1988, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) created a classic document titled "The Process for Selecting Geographic Information Systems" (Guptil, et. al., 1988). The document provided an overview of the process for selecting geographic information systems, in addition to a checklist of functions that a GIS should include. The functions were broken into five separate categories: user interface, database management, database creation, data manipulation and analysis, and data display and presentation. The document became required reading for those involved in the selection of GIS, and was often used as a supplementary checklist in competitive benchmarks of GIS software. Although the document is over 15 years old, many of the functions listed are still relevant today, and represent some of the most commonly used features within GIS. In fact, the document was so forward thinking that most GIS software products are still unable to perform all the tasks listed.

Therefore, this document attempts to illustrate the GIS processes listed in the USGS document using two popular GIS software systems: ArcGIS 8.3 and Manifold 6.0. While the document does illustrate the steps required to complete the classic GIS tasks in a side-by-side format, it is not meant to be a comparison or an endorsement of either product (they just happen to be the two most popular products in our lab). Rather, it is meant to serve as a cheat-sheet for GIS professionals needing some direction in performing classic GIS functions. Many individuals are beginning to experiment with Manifold GIS, and the large user base of ArcView 3.x user continues to migrate to ArcGIS.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue


A print on demand of these books and articles can be obtained from Cornell Business Services (CBS) Digital Services by sending e-mail to or calling 607.255.2524. In the body of the message include the identifier.uri for the book or article, and ask to be contacted regarding payment.


Date Issued




database management; database creation; database manipulation and analysis; data display and presentation


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI



Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record