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Fully automate your Data Integration with Web Feature Services

Web Feature Services (WFS) are a great way of accessing GIS resources over the web without the need to download static files. The WFS Standard provides an interface for allowing requests for geographical features across the web, using platform-independent calls. As opposed to Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services gives you access to the actual data which drive maps, and not just display it.

FME and the WFS Reader
FME has a WFS reader enabling a connection to Web Feature Services. You can input the URL, use authentication (if required), and configure the reader to use the WFS for whatever way you need it.

Performance
One of the main issues you can face when using a WFS is accessing large datasets. Try some of these tips to limit the features you pull from the server, to ensure a stable connection that you can rely on.

Geographic Filter
If you’re only trying to access features within a certain geographic extent, you can apply a bounding box on the reader, to only return features within your extent. This works particularly well if you’re a local government with a constant area of interest, or pulling features from an international service but are only interested in data for New Zealand.

Attribute Filter Expressions
Alternatively if you’re interested in a specific set of data which you can define using an attribute, you can enter this in the WFS parameters. This is particularly useful if you’re looking for data within a certain date range.

Multipart Transfer
Sometimes it’s not possible to  filter data using an attribute, or if you’re trying to access a table there’s no geographic extent to limit your features by.  When accessing very large datasets, this can cause issues with connection timeouts and lead to an unstable process. Using the WFS Reader’s constraints, you can make multiple requests to the WFS in order to pull smaller and more manageable chunks of data which make up a complete dataset. By setting the Count field to a smaller number, rather than asking for the entire dataset in a single request, FME batches up the requests based on your count size.

Using these constraints, a request is sent to the server for only features 1-5000. After this request is made, another will be made for features 5001-10,000 – and so on until the entire dataset is received. By using this method, smaller requests to the service are much more reliable, resulting in a more stable process with greatly reduced risk of timeout errors.

Did you know?… The LINZ Data Service has support for WFS on it’s datasets. This can save you plenty of time by taking away the need to download datasets manually, and allows for fully automated updates using FME as your ETL tool.

On the LINZ data service, check out the Services tab on any of the datasets you need to download on a regular basis. Using some of the tips and tricks above, you can set up FME workspaces to run on a regular schedule, pulling only the data that you and your organization need, when you need it.  Read more about how to use the LINZ WFS.

Read more on the FME Web Feature Service reader

Article Author:
Kieran O’Donnell
FME Data Solutions
Locus

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Ready to upgrade to FME 2019.1

With the release of 2019.1 on both FME Desktop and Server some impressive new enhancements deliver visual and performance based gains.

What’s new in 2019?

FME Server Automations: Released in 2019.0, Automations are a revolutionary new tool in FME Server where you can use a graphical builder to create event based workflows. You can build workflows by defining triggers and actions, such as receiving an email, watching a directory or using a schedule. Automations are revolutionary because you can build workflows that leverage all the power of FME Server, in an easy to use drag and drop interface.

 

Visual Preview: This feature allows you to preview your data from within a dockable pane inside FME Workbench, without the need to open a data inspector window. Our users find this particularly helpful when working with tricky logic and minor tweaks  to their workspace, and definitely makes building and debugging your workspaces more efficient.

Performance Enhancements: With all FME releases there are some enhancements to performance, but this version in particular brought some really great improvements. Shapefiles have had a redevelopment to become incredibly fast and efficient, which is great news for the most popularly used format. The Dissolver transformer has also been seriously enhanced, running as much as 75x faster than before.

New Formats: As always the number of formats supported in FME has increased, with this year the number reaching more than 450. Of note is a new native Revit reader, where you can read your Revit files directly without needing to use RVZ intermediate files. Some users will also be interested that there is now a 12d Reader released in beta, with expected support in FME 2020.

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Locus Achieves Safe Software Platinum Status

December 2018.  Locus, market leaders in the provision of certified FME training and consultancy has been awarded Platinum Value Added Reseller (VAR) status by Safe Software Inc. the developers of FME.

Founded in 2008 by John Arnerich, Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts engaged in the sale, support and servicing of FME products including FME Desktop, FME Server and FME Cloud.

With its breadth of FME knowledge, technical understanding and expertise in New Zealand and Australia, Locus has assisted over 200 organisations transform the way they manage their data. The powerful data integration capabilities, flexible and scaleable licencing editions and models make FME a natural choice for many organisations, from the small operator to enterprise level organisation.

“We are pleased to award Locus with Platinum Partner, a highly regarded position within the FME partner community,” says Sonia Hobbs, VP, Business Development and Strategy, Safe Software. “Their business acumen, technical expertise, and customer-centric approach make Locus an exemplary partner and we look forward to seeing their success and growth in the future.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be awarded Platinum status in Safe Software’s partner program, commented John Arnerich, Group Director, Locus. Our relationship with Safe spans more than 10 years and this accolade further deepens our commitment to Safe and the FME suite of products. Our customers rely on the extensive capabilities of this flexible software in solving a variety of both every day and often more complex data interoperability challenges. We believe in the power of FME in improving organisational productivity and ultimately saving you time, and money,” added John.

Visit Locus at www.locus.co.nz and www.locusglobal.com.au to learn more about the FME product suite, FME certified training courses and software support.

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Registration opens for the FME World Tour 2018 hosted by Locus Limited

Locus Limited invites you to register for the FME World Tour 2018 and join us in Wellington, Christchurch or Auckland in May 2018.

Learn about the newest features in FME 2018, meet fellow users, update your FME knowledge with time-saving tips/practices, receive a sneak peek of upcoming features and grab yourself some take-home freebies!

This event is perfect for you if you are:

  • An FME user who would like to be inspired by new FME ideas, discover best practices, and meet fellow FME users
  • Work in an organisation that would like to understand more about FME’s capabilities and how it may be able to assist you in managing your data challenges

Secure your place on the FME World Tour 2018 now:

Monday, 14 May 2018 – Wellington
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 – Christchurch
Friday, 18 May 2018 – Auckland

Cost: $95 + GST per person

REGISTER NOW

Interested in presenting at FME World Tour 2018?
Perhaps you’ve used FME to deliver a challenging or innovative project or have some unique tips and tricks you would like to share.    Presenting at an FME World Tour event is an opportunity to get recognition for your success.  We have presenter places available and would like to hear from you.  To be eligible to present please submit an abstract of your presentation via the Safe Software site or contact Locus to discuss further hello@locus.co.nz

More about Locus: Locus Limited is a Safe Software Gold Value Added Reseller. Since 2004, our team of FME Certified Professionals have been enabling businesses globally to unlock the power of FME to manage their enterprise level data.

What is FME?  The Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) is a platform that streamlines the translation of spatial data between geometric and digital formats.   FME enables you to move data between 350+ formats and applications while preserving data quality throughout the conversion process.  With hundreds of tools (transformers) at your disposal you have complete control over the structure and composition of your data.  Manual data processing tasks are a thing of the past with automated workflows scheduled to run at any time interval.

New to FME or looking to develop your skills?

Registrations for our Introduction to FME Desktop training course are now open.

Unlock the power of FME to manage your data and join Locus Limited at the Grand Mercure, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland on 9th & 10th of October 2017.

Conducted by one of our Safe Software FME Certified Trainers, this two-day course will take place in a classroom environment and include hands-on, problem-solving exercises.

Introduction to FME Desktop is perfect for you if you are:

  • A new user of FME and are looking for some formal instruction
  • You’re a modest user without formal training and would benefit from a greater understanding of the fundamentals
  • You’re less technical more strategic and want to improve business processes in your organisation
  • You would like to leverage the latest version of FME to improve your knowledge and capability

Training will include:

– Data translation basics
– Data transformation
– Best Practice
– Readers and Writers
– Practical Transformer Use

Cost: $1,750 + GST per person ($1,500 + GST per person for two or more people attending from the same organisation)

To register for the Introduction to FME Desktop training course or for more information, telephone us on 0800 LOCUS NZ or  email training@locus.co.nz

More about Locus: Locus Limited is a Safe Software Gold Value Added Reseller. Since 2004, our team of FME Certified Professionals have been enabling businesses globally to unlock the power of FME to manage their enterprise level data.

What is FME?  The Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) is a platform that streamlines the translation of spatial data between geometric and digital formats.   FME enables you to move data between 350+ formats and applications while preserving data quality throughout the conversion process.  With hundreds of tools (transformers) at your disposal you have complete control over the structure and composition of your data.  Manual data processing tasks are a thing of the past with automated workflows scheduled to run at any time interval.

It’s Arrived! Safe Software Release FME 2017.1

The much anticipated Safe Software FME 2017.1 release arrived on 1 August 2017 and is packed with features and fixes!   Here at Locus, we’ve welcomed the opportunity to take this release for a test drive and to follow area few highlights we wanted to bring to your attention.

Maximise your automation

Direct jobs to one or more specific engines with a new FME Server interface Queues feature.   Lengthy jobs can be pushed to one engine and quick jobs to another thereby maximising your automation capabilities and ensuring no one job holds another up.

A new transformer; DateTimeConverter

The DateTimeConverter replaces the DateFormatter and this new transformer has some far superior functionality including greater precision (fractional seconds), the ability to parse more complex input strings (wildcards and advanced flags), and the ability to convert between time zones.

You’ll be able to enjoy working faster with presets, partial matches and a Quick Reference feature for flags. It also has a rejected port for invalid values and the ability to repair certain errors.

Remote sensing just got bigger

In FME 2017 Safe introduced support for cloud hosted satellite imagery but managing this data can be a challenging task.    FME2017.1 will help you access more services – Landsat 8, Landsat 8 on AWS and Terrain Tiles on AWS – as well as more effectively handle these datasets.

Usability gains for FME Desktop

A faster Inspector transformer’s connection to the Data Inspector will make authoring more efficient.  You can now select, copy and paste multiple user parameters at once.  An updated reader/writer right click option provides 2 key enhancements: it allows you to update existing readers and writers from older versions of FME to access the capabilities of new versions, and it also allows you to adjust all settings, including those which could affect the feature type schemas.  All of this without having to delete and re-add the affected reader or writer.

To experience all of these new features and more, download a free trial of FME now or talk to Locus about how we and FME can help you manage your data.

Download a free trial of FME – https://www.locus.co.nz/try-fme-for-free/

hello@locus.co.nz or 0800 562 8769

About Safe Software and FME
Safe Software is the maker of FME and the pioneering global leader in spatial data transformation technology. FME empowers users to confidently transform spatial data so it can be used and shared – where, when and how it’s needed. Available in seven languages, FME’s unmatched transformation capabilities and support for 350+ spatial and non-spatial formats enables you to quickly overcome data challenges so you can focus on your objectives. Discover why leading vendors and thousands of organizations worldwide rely on FME to quickly overcome barriers to using and sharing data. Visit
www.safe.com.

FME is a registered trademark of Safe Software Inc. All other product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Gary Nicholson of Locus Limited achieves FME® Server Professional certification from Safe Software

Locus Limited, Partner of Safe Software and gold value added reseller is delighted to confirm that Gary Nicholson of Locus has achieved Safe Software’s Certified FME Server Professional designation, the first person to do so in New Zealand.

The FME Server Professional accreditation formally recognises individual expertise and proven ability in the delivery of knowledgeable FME support, training and consulting services.  Locus Limited is proud to acknowledge Gary’s FME Server Professional designation, an additional capability to his FME Professional accreditation.

Commenting on Gary’s achievement, John Arnerich, CEO, Locus Limited added “We’re thrilled with Gary’s accreditation, it extends his existing experience and enhances Locus’s FME-based offerings.   Committed to delivering a best in class experience to all our customers this accreditation demonstrates that Gary and Locus conform to Safe Software’s high standards for its resellers”.

John was also quick to add that “Gary’s advanced level of FME Server expertise is unparalleled in New Zealand. For our customers and organisations considering FME, that level of knowledge translates into superior technical support, and training”.

Gary’s multiple accreditations sit alongside Locus’s colleague Kim Ollivier’s FME Certified Professional and FME Certified Trainer certifications.

Locus Limited is a Safe Software Gold Value Added Reseller. Since 2004, our team of FME Certified Professionals have been enabling businesses globally to unlock the power of FME to manage their enterprise level data. Our solutions, support and bespoke training ensures that our customers maximise the benefits from their FME investment today, and on an ongoing basis.   For more information about FME and how Locus can help you, visit locus.co.nz or contact us on hello@locus.conz

 

About Safe Software and FME
Safe Software is the maker of FME and the pioneering global leader in spatial data transformation technology. FME empowers users to confidently transform spatial data so it can be used and shared – where, when and how it’s needed. Available in seven languages, FME’s unmatched transformation capabilities and support for 350+ spatial and non-spatial formats enables you to quickly overcome data challenges so you can focus on your objectives. Discover why leading vendors and thousands of organizations worldwide rely on FME to quickly overcome barriers to using and sharing data. Visit
www.safe.com.

FME is a registered trademark of Safe Software Inc. All other product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.