- SPECIAL REPORTS
- THE MAGAZINE
"Open source software was once viewed as an interesting side note to an industry dominated by proprietary systems," explains Don Murray, President of Safe Software. "However, this is not the case today. Many organizations are searching for ways to build hybrid geospatial systems that leverage the complimentary benefits offered by both commercial and open source solutions.”
A challenge that often hinders the development of efficient hybrid systems is a lack of interoperability between the various proprietary and open source system components. Interoperability issues arise from the fact that almost every spatial data application employs a unique model for storing spatial data. Traditionally, geospatial professionals have had to write their own code or modify scripts to manage data exchange between these dissimilar data models – both of which are costly and time-consuming approaches. With FME as an alternative, users have access to a single tool that allows them to architect virtually any required data model transformation. The transformation can be designed ahead of time via an easy-to-use graphical interface and then applied automatically whenever data is exchanged.
"With the interoperability technology provided by FME, organizations can exploit the benefits of both worlds," says Dale Lutz, VP of Product Development at Safe Software. "Users can continue working with familiar proprietary tools that meet their specific needs, but they can also easily incorporate open source databases, libraries or web-based solutions into their overall system."
Safe Software will host a hands-on lab session at FOSS4G that will employ six different scenarios to showcase the diversity of components from the open source stack that can be accessed using FME - components such as such as PostGIS, PostgreSQL, MySQL®, SQLite, GDAL, OGR, FDO and GEOS. A detailed description of this session is available at www.foss4g2007.org/labs/L-15.
In addition to Thursday's lab session, Safe will offer 10-minute demonstrations in the Sydney Room on September 26 at 12:00 pm and 12:20 pm. Safe will also be exhibiting throughout the conference at booth # 23. Conference attendees are invited to stop by the booth for a demonstration of FME's format translation and data model transformation capability, or for a preview of the company's upcoming FME Server solution – a scalable, enterprise-ready spatial ETL processing environment. Booth visitors can also observe Safe's participation in the Integration Showcase, an ongoing interactive demo that will be running continuously during the exhibition. This demo will allow attendees to compare how effectively each exhibitor's solutions are able to integrate, process and serve up data provided by other conference exhibitors.
First held in 2003, attendance at FOSS4G has grown by over 50% annually, reflecting the rapid uptake of open source solutions in the GIS market. "Safe Software is proud to be participating in FOSS4G 2007, and to be a Gold Level Sponsor of this year's conference," adds Dale Lutz. "FOSS4G has become an internationally important event for showcasing the open source ecosystem – an ecosystem that is becoming increasingly important in the GIS industry."
About Safe Software and FME
Established in 1993, Safe Software is the maker of FME, the only true spatial ETL (extract, transform and load) platform that enables organizations to use and leverage spatial data in any format or application. Today, FME is used by thousands of customers in over 116 countries in a wide variety of industries. FME provides the most extensive format support and powerful transformations to help organizations efficiently address the complete spectrum of spatial ETL tasks – from data translation and transformation to federation and distribution. Used by most GIS, CAD, ETL, and DB vendors, FME has emerged as the de facto integrated spatial ETL solution. FME is available in desktop and server solutions, and is also easily integrated into third-party CAD and GIS solutions, as well as most IT environments. Visit www.safe.com for more information.