FME user meeting – report

I was at the FME user meeting in Germany earlier this week. As always, a very interesting event with a number of very good presentations and an overview of what’s going to be new in FME in the next few months.

Don Murray’s presentation on the upcoming FME 2009 release had some announcements that I especially enjoyed:

  • Support for SRTM data (reading). I use SRTM a lot for the 3D visualisation that I do.
  • Support for 3DS and OBJ (writing). Since I am involved with both Virtueel Apeldoorn as well as doing data preparation for some of the other 3D environments created by Cebra, I am very pleased to see there is going to be another way of putting map data into 3D Studio Max than DXF. Haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m quite eager to see what it can do.
  • Support for 2D PDF (writing). It doesn’t do raster yet, but vectors work okay, layers can be created too, so it’s a lot more useful than the old EPS writer. Combine this with FME Server and a pile of data and I’m sure you could build a decent maps-on-demand service…
  • The QuickConnect option in Workbench. Another great timesaver!

Another presentation that impressed me a lot was by Frank Bildstein of Rheinmetall Defense, describing the creation of a huge (500 x 500 km) terrain model for their military helicopter simulators. Lots of impressive FME work went into that one. Staying in the 3D corner, Rick Klooster of the City of Apeldoorn also wowed the crowd with his presentation on Virtueel Apeldoorn (but then again, since I’ve done a lot of work on that project I’m kinda biased)

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