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#1
Robert2009

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Does anyone in here tell me what does FME do and why is it good for the Geospatial ?

Robert

#2
ELeFevre

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We have an resident FME expert who should be able to help you out with this one. He goes by "Hans". ...I think.



#3
Unit Seven

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Expert or evangelist? :P

Seriously though it's a great piece of software that can convert most formats and preform a variety of transformations and analysis on them and the out put to the same or other format. Basically sucks in data to its own format—data types don't matter and will do clips, overlays, rename attributtes, calculate attributes, place labels and much much more all from a flowchart type window which I find great for putting togeather some quite complex process' very quickly. This can also be batched to run on many datasets.

All very robust and doe's a great job of processing huge datasets in my experience and in very straightforward to jump straight into and get good results.

That's my basic view but Hans will def pipe up here and throw in his POV.
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#4
ELeFevre

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Sam,
Actually I was going to throw your name in the pot as well. It seems like you've recently gone FME on us!



#5
Unit Seven

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Sam,
Actually I was going to throw your name in the pot as well. It seems like you've recently gone FME on us!


:) but not so much recently—maybe just piping up more re it. FME has always used to be my main GIS tool when we were purely Microstation and often getting shp files from clients. Now we have out base in Arc and out of the cad environment it's prob getting a bit less day to day use but still great to have on hand.
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#6
François Goulet

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It's basically something that make the name "Hans" pop up in your head without knowing why ;)

#7
Rick Dey

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The one time we expect him to jump in he's silent...

He must have slept late.
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#8
Hans van der Maarel

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The one time we expect him to jump in he's silent...

He must have slept late.


Actually...

I was at the European FME User Conference in Münster yesterday and today :)

To sum up FME:
It lets you automate all kinds of geospatial processes (as well as other processes on data, doesn't have to be geospatial per se). You can set up those processes (workbenches in FME speak) in a sort of flowcharty interface which is very powerful to work with.

It's quite late here, I'll post a more in-depth description tomorrow (along with my presentation from yesterday, about how I've used FME in support of cartographic production).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#9
François Goulet

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I was at the European FME User Conference in Münster yesterday and today :)


Here you are! We were starting to be worried! ;)

#10
frax

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Correct me if I am wrong - but I have always seen FME as quite "enterprise-level", right?
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#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Correct me if I am wrong - but I have always seen FME as quite "enterprise-level", right?


That's one area where FME can be used, and the FME Server product is primarily aimed at that segment, but I tend to use it for a lot of one-off processes as well. So it kinda covers the entire range of ETL workflows.

Anyway, the presentation (PDF) can be downloaded from my portfolio page. It's an evolution of the one I gave earlier this year at the worldwide user conference, which in turn was based on the one I did at NACIS last year.

So, without trying to sound like an advertisement (and I should add that apart from a very enthusiastic user I'm also an FME reseller), I personally like FME because it supports a wide range of formats (240 is the official count right now, vector, raster, database, cad, gis) and can do pretty much any kind of processing on the data that you can imagine. Also, there is a very active and highly skilled user group around it. To name an example, somebody recently figured out how to run the pc speaker from FME, then proceeded to hack a workbench that plays Nokia ringtone files (format #241...)

I use FME for all kinds of data-processing tasks. Geo or non-geo (it works great on databases too). Obviously a lot of the stuff I use it for is aimed at using the data to produce a map somewhere later on in the process.

If there's any specific questions, I'm of course (as always) more than happy to answer those.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#12
François Goulet

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That very interesting Hans. Thanks for sharing! :)

#13
frax

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Hans - on "enterprise-level" - I was more referring to the niche/market and also the pricing levels. Like ArcGIS, and in contrast to e.g Manifold, you don't find pricing information on their website - to me that is a sign that they are targeting big customers and want you to go through a sales person.

And that is also a sign that the price is usually at least in the 4-digit USD range...
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#14
Hans van der Maarel

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Hans - on "enterprise-level" - I was more referring to the niche/market and also the pricing levels. Like ArcGIS, and in contrast to e.g Manifold, you don't find pricing information on their website - to me that is a sign that they are targeting big customers and want you to go through a sales person.

And that is also a sign that the price is usually at least in the 4-digit USD range...


Well, one of the reasons they don't list prices is to make it easier on their resellers. As a general rule, end-user price for products that need to come from the US/Canada is not [local price] * [exchange rate]. There's shipping and import duties involved, as well as any services offered by the local reseller.

Anyway, the pricing is highly dependent on the edition you need (4 main flavors) as well as the way you want to license it (node-locked, hardware-locked, floating). My 'standard' FME price list is a rather lengthy story and in most cases it comes down to me taking a look at what the client wants to do, then recommending a license/edition that matches those requirements.

Generally speaking, you can have the cheapest FME license for a price comparable to the "ultimate" Manifold license. 3 digits in euro's, although I think it just reaches 4 digits in US$...You can also get a (much more full-featured) license at a (much) higher price. It all depends on what you need. I'm not going to post my price list here (since it's also highly dependent on the Canadian $ exchange rate) but if anybody is interested feel free to contact me directy.

Several of my FME clients are in fact small, independent cartographic firms, just like me.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics




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