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Archive for the ‘Intergraph 2008 Conference’ Category

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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GeoMedia Wiki Officially Launched at the Intergraph User’s Conference

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 10, 2008

After quite a bit of coordination with Intergraph on this matter, Intergraph officially launched geomediawiki.org today. We’ve actually had the site up and running for a month or so now. However it’s only in the last few weeks when Intergraph began looking at contributing Intergraph staff time to the project. As it stands now, the wiki is hosted on a 3rd party wiki server (wikispaces.com). The URL is owned by me and Intergraph is sponsoring the site both at a financial and also a staffing level. All of the content on the site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

So, for everybody that read and posted on the GeoMedia Wiki entry from April 24, here’s your chance to start contributing! The wiki has been setup where anybody and read the wiki and people that sign-up and login can edit any piece of the wiki. Once you sign-up on Wikispaces, you must request contributor access to GeoMedia Wiki. Once you request access, the wiki organizers are emailed and then we approve your access. It’s that simple!

With the wiki we are welcoming all contributions. If you have something you feel others would benefit from; it belongs on the wiki!

Last but not least, with the creation of the wiki you will see less tutorial-based content posted on my blog. Instead I will be posting more Intergraph and GIS related content which I think might be useful for my readers. I WILL still be creating tutorials and work flows, however much more of this will be going on the wiki as it’s really a much better place to house such content.

Posted in geomediawiki.org, Intergraph 2008 Conference | 1 Comment »

Intergraph 2008 – Day 1

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 5, 2008

There wasn’t much going on tonight besides the opening night reception. Overall the conference seems to be very well attended. I haven’t attended a conference since Intergraph transitioned from the annual “GeoSpatial World” conference to the generic “Intergraph” conference. With the transition, it’s very obvious how much more time and money Intergraph puts into the conference. Just an enormous amount of subtle details. From the “Intergraph 2008” hotel room keys, to the “Intergraph 2008″ lining on the escalators…Intergraph really seems to have gone all out in making the conference feel big. Even the conference bag and the 3” conference outline “book” that that goes in every bag is very impressive.

Got a chance to talk to a few different people during the opening reception. I was curious to find out about the potential support for SQL Server Spatial (available with SQL Server 2008). Although there has been some definite discussions on developing a data server, as far as I understand it, there is nothing definitively planned at this point. I found this to be somewhat surprising. Especially since in many ways Intergraph is really tying themselves to the Microsoft platform. The way it sounds, GeoMedia users might need to look at the FME Data Server for GeoMedia if they want near-term SQL Server Spatial support inside of GeoMedia. Update: In a surprising turn of events, Intergraph released a press release yesterday (June 4) announcing their support for Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 spatial enhancements. Although it should be noted that no time frame was provided for this new data server.

As I believe I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, Intergraph is really trying to merge the functionality of their public safety CAD (computer aided dispatch…NOT computer aided drafting and design), their G/Technology suite (used for primarily managing gas, electric, and communication networks), and the GeoMedia platform. With this humongous merger (which will likely take many years), Intergraph users will see this “best of breed” solution for many GIS disciplines. Well, believe it or not, some of the current GeoMedia solutions may not completely fit into this “best of breed” solution. Two such solutions may be GeoMedia Public Works Manager and also GeoMedia Transaction Manager. G/Tech is designed to deal with utility networks from the ground up. GeoMedia Public Works Manager is simply a rather small add on to the GeoMedia suite. So, I think it’s very likely that we’ll see Public Works Manager eventually replaced with similar (yet much more robust functionality) currently available in G/Tech. This in itself I think it is a very good thing…again “best of breed” makes a lot of sense. However, I’m looking at implementing GeoMedia Public Works Manager in the next year or so. Unfortunately, although no one could provide me with even a rough date, it seems very unlikely that we’ll have this G/Tech Public Works Manager replacement within the next year. So…where does that leave me? Do I implement Public Works Manager or hold off and see what Intergraph has to offer down the road? Not totally sure yet.

GeoMedia Transaction Manager may be in a similar boat. G/Tech already has a very fast and efficient transaction manager…unfortunately, is isn’t built off of Oracle Workspace Manager (the Oracle tool that drives the GTM functionality). I understand that the G/Tech transaction manager tool is very fast; this is very important for G/Tech customers. For those that have used GTM, I think most would agree that it’s not the fastest tool. HOWEVER, again, it does rely on Oracle Workspace Manager. For those Oracle customers, this is a good thing. Especially because it provides many ways to get at your versioned data. And, also very importantly, any vendor that supports Oracle Workspace Manager (and there are quite a few) can create a transaction and retire data in your GIS database. This is great…especially from an interoperability stand point. Along with Public Works Manager, I’m also looking at implementing GTM. From a GIS stand point, I think GTM is a strong solution and I do still plan on implementing it…soon. I’m really hoping Intergraph doesn’t give up on the Oracle Workspace Manager…as I really like this solution.

One last note, for those that currently use GTM and/or GeoMedia Public Works Manager. Although Intergraph wouldn’t promise anything, I’m fairly certain there will be upgrade/migration paths as the software consolidation continues. That’s not to say it won’t be some work to get from Point A to Point B…however, nonetheless, there should be a path.

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | 5 Comments »

Intergraph 2008 Conference

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 4, 2008

I have been writing up some posts while at the conference. I plan to being posting them this Friday…so stay tuned.

So far, very good conference.

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Intergraph 2008 Meet-up

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 29, 2008

I know a few of you said you were going to the Intergraph 2008 conference. I’m suggesting a meet-up after the welcome reception (from 5:30 – 7:30) on Monday, June 2. How about we meet at 7:45 pm in front of the welcome reception area…it looks like the TechExpo area? We can find a bar and have a few drinks….

Thoughts?

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | 2 Comments »