Using FME to Find Out What We Already Know

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This presentation describes how FME Desktop and Server were used by a consulting firm to efficiently build a GIS database to catalogue all the data they had in their possession for future use.

This presentation describes how FME Desktop and Server were used by a consulting firm to efficiently build a GIS database to catalogue all the data they had in their possession for future use.

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  • 1. CONNECT. TRANSFORM. AUTOMATE. Using FME to find out… … what we already know Roland Martin Senior GIS Consultant
  • 2. Using FME to find out… …what we already know !  Everyone deals in data !  We all tread a line between: !  Reinventing the wheel, and !  Doing things the old way !  It helps if you are aware of what you already know about a particular location
  • 3. !  A global, integrated, multidisciplinary firm of professionals working together to tackle complex planning, infrastructure and building design challenges !  11,000 engineers, designers, planners, management consultants and economists !  90 offices in 37 countries !  Full service from concept through completion !  Dedicated to delivering value through expertise, global resources and local delivery
  • 4. The kind of questions GIS people normally get asked !  Source: made up CONNECT. TRANSFORM. AUTOMATE. 10 GIS? What’s that? 9 What do you spend all your time doing anyway? 8 Don’t you just draw maps all the time? 7 Is GIS really as good as AutoCAD / MicroStation / BIM? 6 Is it really worth using GIS when I can do it in CAD? 5 Can you get the data out of this scanned PDF for me? 4 Can you show me my project in Google Maps? 3 Can you draw me a map of my project location? 2 I need something that looks “cool” or “cartoon-like”. Can you help? 1 What data do we already have for my project location?
  • 5. What kinds of things might we already know about a location? !  Base mapping !  Topography !  Land ownership !  Site photos !  Site surveys !  Aerial imagery !  Borehole locations !  Project reports ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,eMapSite,CC-BY-SA
  • 6. How would we normally find out what information we already have? !  Much of the time, it simply isn’t possible !  Occasionally, someone will remember something…
  • 7. Can we actually reuse any of the data? Probably Possibly, but data is often licensed to a particular client Unlikely – data is normally licensed for a particular project ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 8. What do we want to do with the data? !  For a decent, modern web map, you probably want: !  Leaflet (or OpenLayers) on the front-end !  PostGIS (or CouchDB) on the back-end, generating GeoJSON directly !  Something in between to serve the data (we went for a PHP-based API) !  FME Server, to automate the data loading process
  • 9. Building a database of existing GIS data !  Office locations !  Previous projects !  Site photos !  Site surveys Mapdata©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 10. Mapping office locations ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 11. Mapping project locations ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 12. Enriching the data !  Weed out the obvious errors by overlaying the locations on country outlines !  Use a geocoding service to add project locations where addresses are known !  Project-specific datasets may provide the clue to more locations…
  • 13. Mapping site photos !  Thousands of photos are taken for projects !  But everyone forgets they exist!
  • 14. Changing technologies !  When people come back from a site visit, they mark up a map with the photo locations !  Wouldn’t it be easier if they could go straight on a web map?
  • 15. Stealth GIS data collection !  The smartphone revolution !  Photos are still being taken – but now they include location information!
  • 16. Searching for existing photos !  The “Directory and File Pathnames” (PATH) reader – lets you build a simple file spider !  You can also extract additional properties (i.e. who last modified the file, and when)
  • 17. Adding more photos !  Use FME Server’s scheduling capabilities to regularly check a shared folder location !  Use the notifications in FME Server to allow people to email photos directly at the server
  • 18. Spatial photo library ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 19. Spatial photo library ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 20. Collecting site surveys Spiderer – loops through the drive looking for particular file types !  We searched our drives for files matching the patterns: !  *SV*.dgn or *SV*.dwg !  *survey*.dgn or *survey*.dwg PostgreSQL
  • 21. Collecting site surveys SurveyReader – reads file locations from PostgreSQL and writes footprints into PostGIS
  • 22. Collected site surveys
  • 23. Collected site surveys !  Survey data may not be reusable on other projects !  Surveys in some locations go out of date very quickly !  But… this is still an extremely valuable resource
  • 24. Bringing it back together ©OpenStreetMapcontributors,CC-BY-SA
  • 25. Thank You! !  Questions? !  For more information: !  Roland Martin – !  Arup – CONNECT. TRANSFORM. AUTOMATE.