First FME Worldwide User Conference Draws Users from 16 Countries
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First FME Worldwide User Conference Draws Users from 16 Countries

Vancouver, B.C. - September 28, 2006 - Safe Software's first FME® Worldwide User Conference was held last week in Vancouver, BC, with GIS users and spatial data managers attending from 16 countries. Based on the theme Exploring the Possibilities, the conference provided 77 participants the opportunity to develop their skills and explore the diverse capability of Safe Software's world-leading spatial data transformation technology.

A highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Mark Sondheim and Peter Friesen from the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the Government of British Columbia. Sondheim and Friesen described the visionary ideas behind Safe Software's FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) technology, which were formulated in the mid 1990s in conjunction with the development of the Spatial Archive Interchange Format (SAIF) for the Provincial Government of British Columbia.

Conference attendees were offered 21 technical sessions covering a diverse range of topics. Popular "how to" sessions included updating and extracting spatial and non-spatial data from database systems, writing symbology into Scalable Vector Graphics, customizing FME translations with the Python scripting language, and customizing FME SpatialDirect® (Safe Software's web-based solution for data distribution).

Case study sessions showcased the key role FME plays in spatial data integration, conversion, and distribution projects in numerous countries. Organizations featured in the case studies included the Danish national mapping agency, ntl (the UK's leading telecommunications service provider), Ordnance Survey (the national mapping agency of Great Britain), local government agencies in the UK, Germany and Belgium, the Provincial Government of British Columbia, and municipal governments in both British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.

Combining humor with practical advice, Safe Software's "FME doctors" were available throughout the conference to "diagnose" data transformation problems and suggest remedies. Identifiable by their white coats and stethoscopes, the specialists on-call included a Raster Surgeon, FME GP, Topological Hygienist, Holistic Workspace Therapist, Raster Reprojectologist, and a Vectorinarian. Another fun event was the "FME Idol" competition. Four contestants, expert FME users from India, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands respectively, battled to be the first to solve one of two FME challenges. The two winners successfully decoded some FME steganograpy and output the results to KML.

"We were thrilled to have users from so many different countries join us for this event, which was the first of its kind for our company," said Don Murray, President of Safe Software. "Feedback from attendees indicates that they found the event extremely valuable, and so did Safe Software staff. We always enjoy learning how our users are 'exploring the possibilities' provided by our software."

The conference archive, which includes both slides of the presentations and multi-media presentations, is located at

More about FME
FME is an integrated collection of Spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tools for the distribution and transformation of location-based data. FME manages database loading, data extraction from legacy systems, merging multiple data sources, coordinate system conversion, and format to format translation for the exchange of map data. FME consists of four major components: a translation engine (FME Universal Translator), a graphical authoring environment (FME Workbench), a data inspection tool (FME Viewer), and application extenders that directly integrate into a variety of spatial applications. Visit for more information.

More about Safe Software

Safe Software Inc. is the industry leader in Spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) technologies, providing both spatial data transformation solutions and professional services. Since 1993, Safe Software has focused on helping organizations enhance access to spatial data by providing software solutions that deliver seamless translation of nearly 200 GIS, CAD, and database formats.

FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) and SpatialDirect are registered trademarks of Safe Software Inc. All other product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

For More Information:
Karen Liu
Director of Marketing
Safe Software Inc.
Suite 2017 - 7445 132nd Street
Surrey, B.C., Canada V3W 1J8
(604) 501-9985
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