Tag Archives: raster

From Smallworld to 3D PDF

I’ve worked with Smallworld for several years now. One of the useful ways to visualize all kinds of spatial data is utilizing 3D PDF. PDF itself is widely known format, thus why not use 3D PDF for visualizing data derived from Smallworld database. First I built some electricity network in Smallworld (Poles and cables), then forests around them and a few buildings. Poles, forests and buildings had height attributes, so that helped to transform them from 2D to 3D. Also I had a DEM from the area, so the task was to transform all the features to 3D and place them on the DEM. Also, a raster was added on the DEM.

The main challenge

The main challenge was how to transform data from 2D to 3D world. FME has a couple of useful transformers for constructing and transforming 3D objects: Extruder and SurfaceDraper.

Extruder stretches your 2D features to 3D by a specified height or a vector.

SurfaceDraper places your 2D features on an elevation model. You should use SurfaceDraper first and then after that Extruder.

An other challenge were to make the cables hang. It worked well with a bunch of transformers. The result of the hanging cables can be seen in the picture.

Here is a picture of the result, where you can see the cable, forests and buildings in the left.

Here is another picture of the result 3D PDF.

From Smallworld to 3D PDF with FME

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FMEDays 2010

Being a FME user, I just had to travel to Münster, Germany, where FMEDays 2010 was held. After arriving to Düsseldorf, I took a wrong train to Minden, which is not apparently Münster. After totally 5 hours of train travelling I found Münster, which should be about 1 hour 30 minutes from Düsseldorf. Does anyone else, who’s working with GIS, has a lousy homing instinct?

After all, I found Münster. Thank you Safe Software and con terra for a great user conference! I won’t forget all the resellers and users either: Thank you for all the conversations we had. I spilled couple of times coffee, first one happened when I heard the secret word “WFS” and my coffee fell all the way from 3rd floor down to the con terra reception on a poor con terra employee. Again, my apologies, if you’re reading this blog. Anyway, was the conference worth it? I give you 3 reasons, why it was worth it:

  1. FME 2010
  2. FME Users
  3. Future

1. FME 2010 belongs to one of the most biggest releases Safe Software has ever had. Just look at its XML, raster, 3D capabilities and performance. I’m really excited about replacing all those XSLT scripts with a transformer called XMLTemplater. 3D capabilities include raster draping, this one is from Dimitris 3D Place:World DEM

I’ve used FME 2010 since the beginning of 2009, and I’m really impressed of the new functionality such as adding transformers just by typing in the canvas, and the workspace search.

2. FME Community has quite excellent and smart users, if you look at what they’ve accomplished with FME. Here are just a few examples, that I saw:

  • Augmented Reality, Vicrea. FME was used to create 2D and 3D objects (City center) for augmented reality application on Iphone.
  • Building a 3D City Model with FME, HNIT BALTIC. In contrast with earlier CAD to 3D solutions, FME was used to build a 3D city model from GIS datasets. The 3D city model was also published to web, so you could have a virtual walk inside the model!
  • Lithuanian SDI, GIS-Centras: FME Server was utilized in providing download and transformation services for users.
  • Contractor Portal, Dottedeyes: If you’re looking for a solution which combines open source components with a transformation services software, you have to see this presentation.

Remember that FME users are not just FME users, they come from several different product, database, format and coordinate system environments. Just to mention a few, some are enthusiastic ESRI products users, some work closely with databases, and some are CAD software users. They still gather together because of FME, and they have fun together!

3. Safe Software seems to love XML, since FME’s XML support seem to increase in every FME release. They’ve also made a very good progress with metadata support, and that is a tale which is just beginning. Which makes me write a postit note that I should start studying metadata more seriously. Don & Dale show is also one thing to mention. If you don’t have any other reason to attend FME User Conferences, at least do it because of Don & Dale. They’re the rock stars of GIS world!

Now I just have to process all the ideas I got from the presentations and discussions, it’s just hard to cope with the post-conference-melancholy. Coming back to normal weekdays is always tough after great conferences. 😉

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