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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

GeoFile 2005-16:  BC British Columbia Geological Survey Symbols for Manifold Geographic Information System

by Mitchell G. Mihalynuk, M.S. Mallory and Brian Grant

This GeoFile has been updated and replaced in May 2006 by GeoFile 2006-6.

Manifold® is a full-featured, inexpensive, commercial Geographic Information System (GIS).  It costs one or two orders of magnitude less than other GIS software suites that have comparable functionality, and it operates under Windows XP, providing formidable GIS analytical and display capabilities to anybody with a modest budget.


For the production of geological maps, however, Manifold ®1 right out of the box, comes up short. It lacks the ability to build custom line types (mostly an issue for thrust faults) and does not come with a library of geological symbols or patterned fills.


While not entirely an aesthetically pleasing solution, Manifold’s built-in triangle barb line type can be used as a proxy for the thrust fault line type (see the figure on the cover page which is adapted from Logan and Mihalynuk, 2005). Geological symbols are more work, but Manifold does provide a facility, through a pared-down implementation of Extensible Markup Language (XML), for the production of custom symbols and fills.  We have used XML to create a more than 130 symbols and two dozen fill patterns ("area styles" in Manifold) that are available as part of this publication: GeoFile 2005-16. Four digital files comprise GeoFile 2005-16:


1. This report, Geofile2005-16.pdf
2. XML coded symbols and fills, BCGSgeosymbolV1.5.xml
3. Manifold mapping and tabulation of the symbols and fills, BCGSgeosymbol&
4. Manifold point style theme, BCGSgeosymbolTheme.xml


All publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.


For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (BC Residents only).