[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
January 25, 2010
Safe Software Introduces FME 2010
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Welcome to GISWeekly!

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances, Announcements, People, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at
Email Contact

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Safe Software Introduces FME 2010

By Susan Smith

“The problem with data is there is more of it coming from more sources. Organizations have to do more with it to make their whole organization run more efficiently.”

So say Don Murray, president and founder, and Dale Lutz, vice president and co-founder of Safe Software, the creators of FME, their spatial ETL solution.

This need to manage data is behind Safe Software’s FME 2010 release. FME Desktop is now in its 20th release with FME 2010. To the founders, this release feels more significant to users, because by now the company has assembled a very efficient and large development team well versed in the complexities of the FME ETL product.


Productivity Enhancements

The new release features some productivity enhancements, the most important one being the Quick Insert or Quick Add, which cuts down the number of mouse clicks. “FME has this offering environment called FME Workbench where we build data flows that specify how the data being transformed is to be done, and it involves laying down a number of these transformers that we have, these little GUI widgets. In the past that process has probably taken three or four clicks, now it’s a quick add if you know what it is, you just start typing and you automatically get a list and you can pick one,” said Lutz.
“There are no mouse clicks there at all. The next thing is, once you’ve placed one down you immediately go into the properties to set it, so in the past you would go and do another click. Now you just click “enter” and you can eventually build a whole stream of these.”


The second big enhancement is performance. Each release of FME has gotten faster than the previous one. Lutz said that version 2010 on a modern CPU is more than 20 percent faster. On an older PC, it’s still about 5 percent faster.

click to enlarge [

The Safe team also look at ways to use memory more efficiently. With comparing raster speed between 2010 and 2009 versions, there is 5 percent greater speed using half the memory, which means you can process larger datasets more effectively using less system resources.

Multi-core computer users are getting the most speed, said Lutz. Although 64-bit capability was introduced in FME 2009, Murray and Lutz agreed that it’s still only the early adopters who are using 64-bit. 64-bit is included in the CD in the 2010 release. For those who want to get the most value out of 64-bit, they recommend users should have a computer with 8 Gig of RAM or more.

“We have also tested our 32-bit FME on Windows to make sure that it works just as well in a 64-bit environment as in a 32 bit environment,” said Murray. “There is a significant speed up by using the 32-bit Windows FME on a 64 bit Windows box, simply because then the application itself gets an entire 4 Gig, so if you have a large job and you have a 64-bit box, there is nothing wrong with running the 32-bit FME on the 64-bit machine.”

Murray and Lutz believe that 2010 is the year 64-bit becomes mainstream, “at least in the scientific computing world.”


Although adding a lot of formats was not the focus of the 2010 release, there are still 25 more formats added to the release. Today FME 2010 supports over 250 formats, wherein at FME’s inception it supported just 25.

Many clients asked to be able to read Civil 3D. As the engineering world is being required to share more data with the GIS world, there is more demand for a flow from civil into GIS products like ArcGIS and MapInfo. That capability is in FME 2010. Also support has been added for OpenGIS KML (Google Earth and Maps, Adobe PDF and XML (including OpenGIS GML and CityGML).

In addition, FME 2010 includes statistics formats. Safe is working with a firm called Circle Systems that makes an FME “lite” product for statistics, which allows Safe to add statistics formats for FME to fuse statistical analysis with geospatial intelligence. Those formats include: IBM PASW (SPSS), R Statistical Data and SAS (Statistical Analysis System).

GIS community members who had a need to do statistical analysis and system integrators were the driving force behind that statistical feature.

Cloud Computing

In FME 2009 cloud computing was introduced, but in 2010 there is more: WeoGeo works on FME Server in the Cloud. Safe is also working with FME Desktop in the Cloud. Soon, Murray reports, users will be able to use the FME Desktop in the Cloud in a pay-as-you-go fashion. Because it will be a “Windows instant” they will be able to use it for whatever they want.

Users whose usage spikes at certain times can meet this extra demand without having to host servers in house and just pay for usage.


click to enlarge [

The biggest feature of FME 2010 is expanded 3D support. Lutz said that the performance of their 3D is now ten times greater in 2010. The textures and pictures on the sides of the 3D objects in FME 2009 are now both preserved and created in 2010. For the city of Gavle, Sweden, Safe took some raw 2D data, pictures, orthophotos and building heights to offer a simulated 3D city model in an automated way “that lets them create it in a matter of minutes as opposed to days. They could take that and refine it in another tool such as ArcGIS 10 which is going to have full 3D editing and then they’ll have a fast way to achieve full 3D. We think a lot of cities are going to be very
interested in doing this kind of thing,” said Lutz.

Included in the release is added support for many 3D formats, such SketchUp, Collada, KML and Google Earth and OpenFlight for the visual simulation users. The visual simulation universe is now interested in FME, according to Murray, as the technology allows them to build a simulation-ready environment very quickly with drawings, orthophotos, imagery and building heights and DEMs so that you can place things at right elevations.

FME Server

FME Server is in its third release and has addressed what the founders say was its most glaring shortcoming: the lack of security. “In the past FME Server was built for a trusting environment so it was great within an organization,” explained Lutz. “but we did have users who used it to publish on the web, but in that environment they were responsible for building the entire security mechanism themselves which you don’t want every user to have to do. With FME Server 2010, we now have security built in, so now organizations are able to control when they publish out a web service on the web, what users have access to, what users are able to publish, workspaces,
adding new services or new scripts to the web service and also who is able to administer. Also if organizations have their own security mechanism, we’ve made it very easy for them to tie FME Server right into their own custom security.”

The FME 2010 release includes FME Desktop 2010 and FME Server 2010 and supports LDAP-based Microsoft Active Directory integration and SSL encryption.

Top News of the Week

DigitalGlobe's Crisis Event Service is actively collecting imagery of Haiti in response to the recent earthquakes. With the power of the DigitalGlobe satellite constellation, there are 23 collection opportunities of the earthquake damage over the next two weeks.

In an effort to help the humanitarian efforts underway in Haiti, DigitalGlobe is offering 
free access to both pre- and post-earthquake imagery until January 28, 2010 with their ImageConnect plug-in for GIS software.
Sign up for your free access now.

The GIS Industry is stepping up to help the people of Haiti and the organizations involved with helping the victims of the 7.0 earthquake. Here is what some of the companies are doing to help out: see
list of companies

ERDAS has updated their Online Web Services to incorporate the GeoEye imagery collected January 13, 2010 (made available for free download). Users can also access the image in ECWP in ArcMap, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, many other thick client packages and web clients by downloading the ECW Plug-in freely available for download on the ERDAS

DeLorme has developed a free GPS-accurate dataset to assist in the Haitian relief efforts. The company was contacted by numerous aid groups following the earthquake. A team of employees worked through the past weekend preparing a custom dataset utilizing the GPS-accurate DeLorme World Base Map along with aerial imagery, all of which can be displayed within the company’s XMap software and on Earthmate PN-Series handheld GPS units.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

AeroGRID has in the last month signed up three new partners to further increase its impressive coverage of high resolution aerial photography. Geomatics of Greece, MapSoft of Serbia and Ofek of Israel, all leading suppliers in their respective countries have joined the AeroGRID consortium.

NAVTEQ has reached an agreement with the Hungarian Nav N Go to supply global map data and content to the white label, navigation software developer. The NAVTEQ data is to be utilized in a broad range of LBS applications including Nav N Go's iGO My way navigation application for iPhone.

A three-year enterprise license agreement (ELA) between Total Exploration and Production (E&P) and ESRI, in conjunction with ESRI France, will help Total E&P realize its goal of integrating spatial data with its mission-critical business processes. The use of geographic information system (GIS) technology has grown steadily at Total, and the ELA will simplify GIS software procurement and administration, make budget management more efficient, and facilitate software distribution to staff throughout the organization.

Spatial Focus, Inc. and Farragut Systems, Inc. provider of the AddressOne product announced a strategic partnership.

Fugro EarthData and ESRI Canada announced a strategic partnership and global distribution agreement that will allow Fugro EarthData to deliver PurVIEW worldwide. PurVIEW is a powerful stereoscopic image viewing and feature extraction extension for ESRI ArcGIS, the world’s leading geographic information system (GIS) technology.

SuperGeo introduced its new reseller in South America, where Innova-T becomes SuperGeo’s reseller in Peru. Established in 1993, Innova-T was founded in 1993 by National Board of Scientific and Technologic Research. Innova-T provides professional consulting services in geographic information system (GIS), remote sensing (RS), cartography, cadastral (surveying), and environment-related projects.


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) and the International Environmental Modeling & Software Society (iEMSs) Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in standards development, education and outreach to enable and promote the use of interoperable Web based geospatial technologies in environmental modeling and software tools.

RapidEye archive satellite imagery now extends across some 5.3 million sq km of Australia, representing almost 70% of the continent. This represents recent archive coverage, acquired since February 2009, at less than 10% cloud cover, and generally less than 15 degrees off-nadir imaging angle. Other key areas across Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland are being captured over coming months, in addition to routine and on-going repeat coverage of tasking sites and agricultural districts across Australia.


Enspiria Solutions announced that it has named Mehrdod Mohseni, senior vice president, as General Manager of its Smart Grid Practice.

New Products

Tele Atlas unveiled an expanded map for India, which includes coverage of nearly 640,000 kilometers of navigable roads covering more than 75 percent of the country’s urban population. Available from Tele Atlas Kalyani India Ltd., a leading map provider in India serving the consumer markets, business-to-business and business-to-government market segments, the new maps include navigable street network coverage for turn-by-turn and location-based applications of 336 cities across the country.

ERDAS announces the release of ERDAS TITAN Client 2010, a free, downloadable 3D visualization client that includes the ERDAS TITAN Viewer and the Geospatial Instant Messenger (GeoIM). The ERDAS TITAN Viewer supports visualization of data and web services from a variety of enterprise applications and allows users to create sharable data and content mashups in a 3D globe. The GeoIM enables permission-based desktop data publishing and consumption.

WhiteStar Corp. introduced the WhiteStar Streaming Imagery product. Available by subscription, WhiteStar Streaming Imagery enables customers to view and stream high-resolution imagery directly into their digital mapping projects.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight announced the availability of the Enterprise Routing Module for the Pitney Bowes Spectrum Technology Platform.

Qbase Inc. announced release of a new, specialized suite of data quality tools that allow transformation and visualization of geospatial information for business intelligence and decision-support.

Qbase Data Transformer delivers the new capabilities. They include the ability to integrate geospatial data from more than 200 different geo-coordinate systems to create a consistent format and utilize a single geo-coordinate reference.

Garmin International Inc. announced that it will begin offering BirdsEye Satellite and Aerial Imagery, an annual subscription service that gives users the option of loading highly-detailed photo-based maps to select Garmin handheld navigators.

Ashtech (formerly Magellan Professional) announced the release of the ProMark 500 V4.0 GNSS receiver for high-performance RTK surveying.

SuperPad 3 is the new full-functioned mobile GIS software announced by SuperGeo Technologies. SuperPad 3 has the powerful functionalities for drawing, displaying, calculation, and more.

Around the Web

GISCafe Today Blog

A Deluge of Donations via Text Messages January 18, 2010, by Stephanie Strom, The New York Times (registration required)

Stratcom keeping you on track, January 8, 2010, by Matthew Hansen, Omaha News-Herald

Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout Demonstrates Interoperability With the Army's One System(TM) Remote Video Terminal, January 8, 2010, CNN Money

OpenStreetMap Attracts 200,000 Volunteers January 6, 2010, PC World

Houston's My City Consolidates GIS Data from City Agencies, January 6, 2010, by Andy Opsahl, Government Technology


Date: January 25 - 27, 2010
Place: QEII Conference Centre

London, United Kingdom

DGI is Europe's largest annual gathering dedicated to high-level discussion addressing the major challenges of the defence and national security geospatial intelligence community. Bringing together over 800 Heads of Geospatial Intelligence, GIS, Remote Sensing, Operations, and Imagery and Analysis, the conference provides a unique forum to discuss and debate the development of GIS capabilities across the globe.
Date: January 25 - 27, 2010
Place: VSB – Technical University of Ostrava campus

the New Hall building, Ostrava, Czech Republic

Let us cordially invite you to the Symposium GIS Ostrava 2010, which will be held under the auspices of the ISPRS. In 2010 the ISPRS will celebrate the centenary since its foundation by Eduard Dolezal, the first photogrammetry professor in Vienna.
Date: January 27, 2010
Place: Doubletree-Missoula Edgewater

100 Madison, Missoula, MT USA

FREE GIS/GPS workshop to learn how to build your own GPS-enabled solutions for collecting data in the field. Electronic Data Solutions has invited the Iron GIS Techs from CartoPac Field Solutions for a full day workshop to demonstrate how your company can build mobile solutions that will save your projects time and money. Please be our guest, enjoy a free lunch, and learn how to simplify the field data collection process.

Time:  10:30am - 3:30pm (check in opens at 10:00 am)

Cost:  Free (Lunch included)
Date: February 1 - 2, 2010
Place: Resort at Squaw Creek

400 Squaw Creek Road, Olympic Valley, CA USA

The Partner Summit offers two exciting, productive days between Accela and representatives from many leading technology companies. This is a great opportunity to learn, network and strategize ways to achieve profitable collaboration with Accela to deliver complete end-to-end solutions to government agencies. Let’s make 2010 the most successful Partner Summit to date!
Date: February 3 - 4, 2010
Place: Redlands, CA USA

Professionals from California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands are invited to connect with your peers, colleagues, and ESRI contacts. Whatever your industry, position, or level of GIS experience, you’re encouraged to attend this helpful and engaging forum.
Date: February 4 - 6, 2010
Place: Rome, Italy

Special Session on Access, quality, processing and applications of satellite imagery at the International Conference on Personal Satellite Services 2010 (PSATS’10)

Co-Chairs: Dr. Giuseppe Conti (Fondazione Graphitech, Italy)

                Prof. Mattia Crespi (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy)

Technical topics:

Quality assessment of satellite imagery

Web-based access and processing of satellite imagery

Geometric and radiometric processing of satellite imagery

GRID computing and satellite image processing

For paper submissions, please visit

Submission Deadline: 30-Oct-2009

Notification: 30-Nov-2009

Camera Ready: 15-Dec-2009

Date: February 8 - 10, 2010
Place: The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

The Woodlands, Houston, TX USA

SPAR 2010 is all about the business and technology of capturing, managing and integrating 3D information. We search the world for the smartest, most experienced people we can find to exchange information and share their fresh ideas, new technologies, and inspired work processes with our conference attendees.
Date: February 15 - 18, 2010
Place: Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the The 3GSMA Mobile World Congress is the world’s leading mobile communications conference, Fira and exhibition. Held annually since 1994, the event has attracted over 70,000 visitors from 175 countries, more than 1500 exhibitors and 2000 media and press representatives. The 3GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona promises to continue its dominance of the industry calendar as a crucial week of networking and learning.
Date: February 17 - 19, 2010
Place: Washington, DC USA

Professionals across government organizations are invited to the ESRI FedUC, the ultimate resource for making better decisions using the geographic approach.
Date: February 21 - 24, 2010
Place: JW Marriott

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After having researched with our past attendees and over 116 professionals, IIR Middle East have developed this year’s pan-industry programme:
GIS WORLD 2010 will address burning issues that are relevant and current to GIS practitioners world wide: lack of geospatial understanding, challenges with executive buy-in, data sharing policies, lack of funding, data maintenance and emergency management.

Date: February 22 - 24, 2010
Place: Houston, TX USA

Oil and gas professionals will take away ideas and tools useful immediately. See how to widen the scope of your GIS investment.
Date: February 22 - 25, 2010
Place: ESRI

Redlands, CA USA

Join us for Redlands GIS Week, an annual series of events bringing together thought leaders from academia, government, and industry to advance the science and application of geospatial technologies. Events will feature keynote presentations, lightning talks, and workshops, as well as opportunities for informal brainstorming with leading geospatial thinkers and implementers.
Date: February 24 - 25, 2010
Place: The Grosvenor

London, United Kingdom

AIE2010 is designed to find a solution to the increasing military imagery exploitation and dissemination challenges. The agenda is tailored by international armed forces to help industry understand how technology needs to blend with current and future operational requirements.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.