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FME World Tour Recap: Using data to connect, transform, and automate applications

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30 May 2014

FME World Tour is an event happening around the world in more than 50 cities from April through May bringing the most recent information about data connecting applications, transforming, and automating. This year, for the first time as part of this FME World Tour, FME partner Geoplan (Ubisense), together with FME creator Safe Software, organized the event in Japan. Around 100 attendees participated at the event held in Tokyo and Nagoya.

In the first half-session of the event, top academic researchers from Tokyo university (Kato professor), Nagoya university (Kawaguchi professor), and OpenStreet Foundation Japan (Furuhashi leader) were invited as keynote speakers to talk about their recent works related to OpenData. In the second half-session, FME use cases were presented by the end customer (Pragmatica company, Iijima-san) and FME products were introduced by Geoplan and Safe Software to the audience.
Conference opening by Takushi Oda (master of ceremonies)
The Kato professor, a specialist in natural disaster studies for big cities, pointed out the preparation needs in Japan for disaster prevention and the lessons learned from the past earthquakes. The studies of the cities’ damages were explained depending on the intensity of earthquake and illustrated by several thematics on the maps. Opendata is providing great contributions, visualizing and sharing the data to better understand the local area, identify new issues, and locate houses of elderly people, which might help to save more lives during critical situations.
On the crisis management, the following three points become important: self-help, mutual assistance, and public body assistances. The professor emphasized the importance of keeping sustainability of these points.
The Kawaguchi professor, a specialist in location services, information pointed out cases of using collected big data of people moving around Nagoya station area. The data were analyzed by different times of the day, combining the location data inside the station and the outside data. Depending on the day and time, different services might be offered, and big data analytics provide good information for that.
The Furuhashi leader from OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan pointed out the increase of people interested in OpenStreetMap, made the audience learn the word “CCBY,” which means free to copy, print, and reuse. Displaying “CCBY’ is the only requirement to use OpenStreetmap. The Haiti earthquake was illustrated as a case of the OpenstreetMap community helping to create maps for Haiti in a short time, supporting the UN rescuers’ logistics during the disaster.

FME helps to move data from hundreds of different formats enabling use and sharing. Iijima-san from Pragmatica explained cases of transforming data by reprojecting, aggregating, summarizing, extracting coordinates, translating data, extracting, transforming to raster, etc.

FME Introduction by Edson Enohi
The new FME 2014 is supporting new formats for data reading and writing from Amazon Cloud Services, Google Cloud services, Revit (3D/BIM), etc. Among these formats, Google Maps Engine (GME) formats were highlighted, and cities like San Jose and Edmonton are loading several datasets into Google Map Gallery and sharing it with the public for better services. As an example, search Google for “Edmonton map gallery” to find around 80 datasets street project constructions, soccer fields, tree species, etc. Vancouver and San Francisco are also proactively using FME to open their data from several input sources into their web sites.

The 3D/BIM session also attracted the attention of the audience, with Kevin from Safe Software highlighting cases of using cityGML, IFC, Sketchup, and Revit format . For example, from complex BIM data, visualize it on the FME inspector, routing the data per floor, extracting spaces, or volumes from data.

In summary, Opendata, Big data, data analytics, cloud, and 3D/BIM are hot topics from the Geospatial market. New business opportunities are just starting from these segments, and the audience was eager to get the latest information from the event.

I am already looking forward for the next year FME World Tour!