Friday, July 31, 2015

SPLITS Translator

SPLITS Translator

The SPLITS Translator is a FME Cloud based translation service for creating SPLITS compliant GML.
As with previous products the trigger is an email (content + attachment) which starts the translation.
The results are returned via an email with a download link.


The division of property lots is a normal procedure when real estate sales and housing development activities are involved. 
The Dutch cadastral web application SPLITS enables property lots splitting by sending all the data to the cadaster. 
The web application supports the drawing of new (temporary) boundary lines and also the use of GML (Geography Markup Language) as input. 
SPLITS application.

The use of GML has the following advantages: 
  • The drawing can take place within a professional CAD environment making it more flexible to make adjustments.
  • Multiple plots can be easily divided (think big size projects)
  • Fast processing within the application. 

FME Cloud and SPLITS

In my previous posts I have shown how you can start an event-driven ETL transformation via email + content and email + attachment
This time the FME Cloud transformation is actually a combination of the two types.
The email is the trigger and now the attachment and e-mail content are used. 

FME is the master of formats.
Master kick.
Normally you would use a separate (dedicated) reader per format, but there is also a generic reader that offers the possibility to read multiple formats with one reader. 
In this transformation I use such a generic reader that supports the most common CAD formats (DWG, DXF and DGN). 
Using the generic reader makes it is very easy to adjust the workspace in order to support other (desired) formats. 

This product has been added to the growing ETL Solution FME Cloud based products, see

Also interested in event triggered FME Cloud based ETL transformations? contact me via

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Transformation made easy: the FME Cloud way.

FME Cloud provides the possibilities to have data transformed and served without any detailed knowledge of the data schema or even an application.

In my previous post, based on my FMEWT 2015 presentation, I have demonstrated how easy it is to send FME an email and let FME do the heavy lifting of getting the data, transforming it and making it available.
In that scenario the user only had to select the data and send the url.
In the next scenario the user already has some data which he needs translated. So here the email is sent with an attachment.

FME Server's email capabilities are described by a series of tutorials on the FME Knowledge Center (latest name for the old FMEPedia)
In the tutorials all the information necessary for making the most out of the incoming email is addressed.

The AERIUS project  was also presented on the FMEWT, since FME is everywhere....

The AERIUS calculator is one of the components of the national PAS project which results in a GML file.
Reading GML should not be an issue for a seasoned FME user and with the help of the Knowledge Center a beginner shouldn't have much of a problem figuring out how to point to the schema document and let FME do the work.

But what if you don't have FME or you are only interested in usable results?

Well the answer to that is: FME Cloud !

To demonstrate this I have used FME's powers to build a simple and easy to use AERIUS2FGDB translation.
The translation is event triggered which means you need to start it.

How? well that's easy:

  1. send an email to:
  2. Email topic: AERIUS2FGDB_b28ba3b0-0da6-11e5-a040-028deac61efd
  3. Email attachment : AERIUS GML

The AERIUS GML gets translated to filegeodatabase (FGDB) and is made available via an email with a download link.

Are just interested in testing the methodology behind the product? I have already a AERIUS GML available for you to send as an attachment.

Interested in applying this for your organisation and your specific needs? dont esitate to contact me via

Free testing this product will be available from 8/6/2015 until 10/6/2015 between 9:00 AM and 16:00 PM (CET)

Monday, May 18, 2015

BGT via FMECloud

FME Cloud

What is FME Cloud? Simply put : FME Cloud FME Server in the Cloud. FME Cloud is the first location-aware iPaaS ( Integration Platform as a Service) and that means you have all the FME Server functionality at your disposal, without the hardware . 
See the following link for more information on FME Cloud.
One of the many advantages of FME Cloud is the ability to activate processes via an external trigger (e.i. event driven ) . Examples of such an external trigger can be an e-mail or a sensor value change


The creation of the BGT ( or The Registration Large Scale Topography as Goggle translate calls it ) is in full swing , many of the stake holders are feverishly working on the assembly of this nation scale polygon map. The first stage is expected to be completed on January 2016. Stake holders deliver their part of the BGT to the national facility (LV) and it is from there made ​​available in CityGML format via PDOK (Dutch national SDI). For an overview of the already available BGT in the LV see: BGTWeb 
The CityGML format cannot be directly used in GIS applications or loaded into a database,  a format conversion (something FME is great at ) must first take place.

Event driven BGT2FGDB conversion.

FME is the tool for spatial data conversion and FME Cloud is the cloud tool for spatial data conversion :)

The trigger

The format conversion is carried out with FME Cloud and is started via a trigger, in this case the trigger is an e-mail . There are some conditions that the trigger has to meet in order to start the process, for example a selected map tile link should be provided.

The conversion

During the format conversion a number of format -specific adjustments are done. Examples of these changes include: removing specific format invalid characters , conversion to uppercase , null values ​​mapping, date conversions, new geometry is created (think of house numbering and street names labels)

The result.

The result is a uniform and complete BGT data set in FileGeodatabase ( FGDB ) format. The FGDB is a widely used and efficient GIS format . This format can be used in both closed- and open-source GIS applications. After performing the format conversion , the result is made ​​available via an e-mail with a download  link.

Advantages and properties of the conversion are : 

  • Easy to use. 
  • No application is required. 
  • Online and always available. 
  • Reliably and quickly. 
  • Outcome ready for database read-in action and GIS applications. 
  • Unique : There is no comparable data distribution method ( in the Netherlands)

Results displayed in QGIS

This product is designed for the Dutch market if you are interested and want to set up something similar please contact us via

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My top 3 of FME 2014

Tomorrow is the unveiling of FME 2015 (exiting!), a good moment for me to look back at my top 3 for FME 2014.
Many great features were introduced in FME 2014 some I have used more that others and based on that I have created this top 3 FME 2014 list.

Number 3 - at my top 3 FME 2014 list.

The ability to save data directly from the Data Inspector.

This ability was present in the Universal Viewer and was temporarily unavailable in previous versions of the Data Inspector, luckily the ability was introduced back in FME 2014.
I have made considerable use of this functionality, sometimes as temporary mid-translation results and in occasions as full blown translation results.

Number 2 - at my top 3 FME 2014 list.

Canvas objects selection mode.

FME 2014 got a major face lift for the look and feel and when I occasionally use older FME versions it makes me shudder with amazement, not that older versions were that bad but did I ever find the old looks acceptable?
I am now so used to the slick FME 2014 look that it makes me wonder if there can be any improvements to be made, will I get surprised again tomorrow? I sure hope so.
The ability to select canvas object overlapping the selection tool has proven to be a major improvement, which deserves a respectable second place.
This ability coupled with the objects alignment tools, make it a very powerful combined tool to easily rearrange, select canvas objects in particular and edit the canvas in its totality. Nowadays I couldn't live without it. 
The disappearance of the canvas grid was a major issue, according to a poll at the FMEUC this issue was found to be so major that it is returning in FME 2015.
I personally never really missed it and still don't understand what the fuss is about, my workspaces never looked so ordered!


Number 1 - at my top 3 FME 2014 list.

NULL support.

At the lunching of FME 2014, and even before full null support was introduced/announced. 
At the time I really wondered whether it will have such an effect on my dealings with data, I cant tell you that it did!
By representing null (and its variation) according to the format's manner of handling it, FME forced me to learn and understand each and every format I am using and it's handling of null values.
So in a very subtle and indirect way FME has taught me a great deal on many formats.
This for me is the number one reason why null support is at the top my 3 FME 2014 list. 

Looking forward to hear Don and Dale (always a pleasure) revealing new features and additions.
I am tuning in are you?