London Ambulance Service benefits from FME Custom Transformer
The great thing about FME custom transformers is that they’re re-usable. At Dotted Eyes we pride ourselves on our expertise in FME and the fact that our clients get to benefit from the transformers we’ve developed. A great example of this was when I was providing consultancy to London Ambulance Service.
I’d been working on our SuperpOSe product just weeks before and was updating it to include the processing of the Ordnance Survey AddressBase data. This was through the use of FME workspaces as opposed to using FMEObjects. As part of the initial prototype I needed to come up with a way of tiling the data in a geographic way. The best way to do this and to fit in with existing SuperpOSe functionality was to tile the data using the Ordnance Survey grid reference system. Or so I thought.
I developed two Custom Transformers. The first gave you the Ordnance Survey grid reference from a given point and the second generated the geometry of an Ordnance Survey grid at a given zoom (i.e. 100k, 50k, 10k etc.). Each polygon had an associated attribute, which was the Ordnance Survey grid reference.
Coming from a development background and always wanting to get my hands dirty with code, using the scripting functionality in FME is kind of like second nature to me. Who knows maybe one day I’ll have a workspace that is just a single PythonCaller!
Anyway what I later realised was that tiling the data in this way for address data wasn’t actually that beneficial for the end user. The fact that these custom transformers weren’t used in our SuperpOSe product wasn’t an issue to me though. I knew at some point they’d come in useful and that my time and effort wasn’t wasted. I wasn’t wrong.
Just a couple of weeks after developing them I was delivering some FME training and consultancy to the London Ambulance Service. They needed transformers that would aid the processing of their backdrop mapping in one of their systems. More specifically, they needed these transformers to add building names to the Ordnance Survey Vector Map Local Raster dataset. The transformers I’d developed for SuperpOSe turned out to be the perfect solution.
My next step is to submit these custom transformers to Safe so that everyone in the FME community can benefit from them, so stay tuned!
Written by Steve Davies, Senior Software Engineer and Certified FME Professional at Dotted Eyes