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About FME    |   February 29, 2008   |   By Mark Ireland

FME Evangelism Weekly Issue #8

Introduction

Closer and closer we get to FME2008 and the User Conference…

Again, this is only half technical items, since development on 2008 is virtually complete.


Items of Interest

w/e 29th February 2008

1) FME User Conference

Just two weeks now until the FME worldwide user conference starts. Don’t miss out. As of this morning (20th Feb) 80% of the spaces are filled with users and resellers from 20 different countries.

There’s many technical sessions, a number of hands-on workshops, personal consultations with FME “doctors” and an evening event that should be very entertaining!

For more info and online registration visit www.safe.com/fmeuc2008

2) First New Certified Professionals

After pre-certifying a number of existing FME users, we now have two new certified professionals; the first to go through the certification process proper.

So congratulations to Guenther Reisinger from Ross Human Resources (a consultancy/systems integration company in Darwin, Australia) and to Eelco Berghuis, a consultant at ESRI Netherlands.

Both of these users went through a rigorous certification process involving submitting a number of projects and a set of customer references.

We received such glowing responses to the request for references, that I have to quote a couple of them:

“Mr Berghuis is one of the best technical consultants I have met in my 12 years of IT projects. He’s serious, knows his job, communicates well and gets the job done. My people always say “Eelco has said so…” meaning that the solution is good.”

“At all times Guenther has produced work of the highest level. In my opinion Guenther is the premier FME expert in the Northern Territory. He has been responsible for innovations in hard copy map production using FME that are amongst the best in Australia, and I believe relevant to the global FME community.”

Congratulations again to both of these new FME Professionals.

If you are interested in receiving the same certification then you can find more information on the Safe Software web site.

3) AttributeDereferencer Transformer

What do you get if you cross Don, Dale and a flight to Toronto? No joke – you get the AttributeDereferencer transformer.

This transformer – and I bet you have to read the explanation twice – copies the value of the attribute whose name is held in the source attribute to a newly created attribute.

For example:

Attribute A = B

Attribute B = 999

So, using the settings as shown (left), results in a new attribute called newAttr that contains the value 999.

This isn’t something you’ll use very often(!) – but it will save a lot of Tcl or FME function calling when you do.

4) CADRG Writing

FME2008 now has the ability to write CADRG (Compressed ARC Digitized Raster Graphics) format data.

This is a complicated format – I get the impression it’s the raster equivalent of writing GDF – and so the writer will develop and change over time as we get feedback from our users on improving ease-of-use.

It will also be an extra cost item – the same as the CADRG reader.

If you want more information on functionality and pricing then please contact Safe via info@safe.com or sales@safe.com

5) Search Envelopes and Coordinate Systems

A new ability for FME2008 is to enter reader search envelope parameters in a different coordinate system to the actual data itself; for example have data in an Albers coordinate system, but enter a search envelope in Lat/Long.

This ability is activated by a parameter called Search Envelope Coordinate System

This screenshot shows how the parameter can be found within the Navigator pane in a Workbench reader parameters. The source data is in Lat/Long, but the search envelope has been specified in meters using a UTM coordinate system.

When we run a workspace with this parameter, FME converts the search envelope into the same coordinate system as the source data, then creates a bounding box from that, as what started out as an envelope may no longer be rectangular after a reprojection. For this reason the output area may be slightly larger than specified.

A movie demonstrating this technique is available on the FME YouTube channel at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_T0qY04Ffg

This function is available in FME2008 for any format that has a set of search envelope parameters, which is usually any database plus a number of other formats.

Incidentally this movie also demonstrates the search envelope for SQL Server spatial, which in itself is a new feature worthy of attention!

6) FME iDol Auditions

In advance of the User Conference, we held some FME Idol auditions. Let’s just say you won’t be seeing any of these folk in the contest itself!

I think Marketing person Erin has mistaken which contest this is!

Ken’s translation doesn’t go well:


Brief Notes

  • The title of a workspace is now tied to the mapping file directive MAPPING_FILE_ID (build 5180+)
  • The DGN writer is now capable of writing graphic cells in “relative” mode
  • LandXML reader/writer now supports encoded attributes


Coming Soon: An FME2009 Special! All that’s new in the 2009 beta.


This week’s Weekly was written to the tune of…

Guitar Hero III pounding out from the company Nintendo.

Being the 30-something I am, I’ve never heard of most of the tracks – but I rock at playing Anarchy in the UK