GeoMedia GIS Blog

"A picture is only worth a thousand words. A map may be worth a thousand numbers. But a GIS is worth a thousand tables."

Safe Software’s FME Suite for GeoMedia

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 1, 2008

I attended a very good presentation at the Intergraph 2008 user’s conference given by Dale Lutz on FME – Intergraph Edition. I have it on my list to discuss the presentation. However, in the last GISCafe.com weekly newsletter, Susan Smith had a great write-up of Dale’s presentation.

For those that haven’t heard of FME, in short (very short), it’s a spatial ETL tool. In other words, it’s designed to Extract data from one (or many) sources, Transform the data (this can include adding columns, modifying geometry, calculating values, renaming columns, etc), and then Loading the data (or exporting it) into another source. Long story short, for everybody that needs to move data from one source or data type to another, this is the industry leading tool on the market.

With that said, Safe has many different editions of their product. The edition they were demonstrating at Intergraph 2008 (strangely enough) was the Intergraph edition. This basically allows you to load data into an Intergraph SQL Server warehouse. It should be noted that Safe also has a version that will load data into Oracle Locator/Spatial. This is (logically enough) named FME – Oracle Edition.

As part of the Intergraph edition, FME installs a data server into GeoMedia. This data server is named “FME”. When you load this data server you are given access to read any of what must be 200 different GIS data types right inside of GeoMedia…and you thought GeoMedia natively supported a lot of different types of data. And yes, before you ask, if you have the FME data server, you CAN read that ESRI personal geodatabase…with one caveat. You must have ArcGIS installed on the same machine as I believe FME uses the ESRI ArcObjects to read the proprietary personal geodatabase. However, nonetheless, it can be done. Furthermore, if you have an ESRI ArcSDE controlled database, the FME data server will allow you to EDIT the data in the database…with a few caveats. Namely, the ArcSDE database must not be using any of the proprietary functionality like versioning, network routing, etc. However for a simple ArcSDE database, it works very well. In fact, you can watch a video showing the functionality on Safe web site.

In the end, if you find yourself doing a lot of importing, exporting, and data migration, FME is a fantastic tool which will save you a lot of time and energy.

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