What is FME?

FME (the Feature Manipulation Engine) is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding.

Extract, Transform, and Load

FME is sometimes classed as an ETL application. ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. It is a data warehousing tool that extracts data from multiple sources (here A and B), transforms it to fit the users’ needs and loads it into a destination (C):

While most ETL tools process only tabular data, FME also has the processing capabilities required to handle spatial data, hence the term Spatial ETL.

How FME Works

At the heart of FME is an engine that supports an array of spatial and tabular data types and formats; GIS, CAD, BIM, Point Cloud, XML, Raster, databases, and many more.

The capability to support so many data types is made possible by a rich data model that handles all possible geometry and attribute types.

FME: Supported Data Types

Most importantly, the data translation process is seamless to the user; FME automatically converts between data types as required, and automatically substitutes one attribute or geometry type for another where the destination format does not support it.

Miss Vector says...
Attention students! I'm Miss Vector, FME schoolteacher. I'm here to test you on FME. I hope you don't get these questions wrong!

Q) ETL is an acronym for...?

1. Extra-Terrestrial Lifeform
2. Extract, Transform, Load
3. Express Toll Lane
4. Eat, Transform, Love

Q) FME can seamlessly translate between so many formats because it has...

1. A sentient data dictionary
2. A retro-encabulator
3. A rich data model
4. A core of unicorn hairs

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