Tuesday, March 15, 2005

FME Support

GTViewer provides a variety of tools for converting data into the GTViewer format. GTData contains a variety of tools to convert data; GTConv utility is used for DGN files, GTShapeConv is used for Shapefiles, etc. There is also the GTCreate ActiveX control which is part of the GTViewer SDK that can be used to convert any data into the GTViewer format. This control is used in our G/Technology data conversions and with Personal GeoDatabase conversions. The latest conversion tool for GTViewer is a Reader and Writer Plug-in for Safe Software’s FME (Feature Manipulation Engine). For those not familiar with FME, it is an application that can take one format and convert it to another, and it deals specifically with spatial data such as GIS and AM/FM data. FME reads and writes a large number of formats. By adding GTViewer to the list of supported FME formats, GTViewer no longer has to focus on Intergraph, ESRI, and SmallWorld data; GTViewer is now available for a much broader audience.

FME can be used for more than just creating GTViewer data from another data source. It can also read GTViewer data and convert it to any of the formats supported by FME. Specifically, if you are creating redlines in GTViewer, you can now easily takes these redlines back to a variety of formats; previously, GTViewer could only convert its redlines to DGN, DXF, and XML. The FME Reader for GTViewer will handle all data attribution that has been embedded on redline graphics, so if your data collection process stores attribution on the redlines; this data is handled automatically.

FME is a power and flexible application that allows the user to perform a variety of tasks when data is converted. The data can be reprojected, moved, merged with other data, created from other sources, transformed, etc. FME is generally more interested in the geometry and attributes for the data it translating than the styles used to render the data; however, the GTViewer writer plug-in was designed to easily specify different styles (based on feature type, attributes, or any user-defined differentiator) and take full advantage of GTViewer’s dynamic style system. Also, the Style Manager in GTViewer allows a user to create, define, and edit Dynamic Style rules and mappings on-the-fly to quickly and easily define styles and symbology for a dataset. GTViewer’s support for TrueType fonts, layered symbols, and complex User-defined linestyles allows just about any data to be accurately reproduced in the GTViewer format.

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