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1. My Journey towards FME

2. All the roads lead to Rome and all formats lead to FME



My Journey towards FME


I have started using GIS about 14 years ago when I begun using some mapping software specializing in contouring. I was lucky to have some lecturers, then, who would fight to get new hardware for the students and push us - rather than advice us - to put those 286 machines to a better use than playing solitaire and “Prince Of Persia”.
During that time, the only thing close to GIS Mapping was the use of AutoCAD which was good enough for initial work. When years past we started to learn more about the convenience of GIS and how it was easier to link attributes to features.

I started using GPS about 10 years ago when I was searching for good mining spots and report them on a map. In that time, there was no software for mobile GIS.

I have been using ESRI technology for about 8 years now and complemented my work by using Safe Software products which opened tremendous possibilities in terms of data processing, manipulation and conversion. FME, or Feature Manipulation Engine can read and write just about 180 formats either GIS, CAD and RDBMS. It is quite overwhelming to say that such package could do much more than what we think besides doing one-to-one vector conversions, it has recently added imagery support i.e JPEG2000, MrSID, ER-Mapper, ERDAS and can manipulate rasters as well. I have personally not tested all the capabilities, but I would be glad to share the experience with anyone who is interested.

FME is getting popular in Malaysia since a number of business entities have purchased the product to enhance their outputs. Some newer tools might be buggy when new (it seldom happens), but Safe Software team makes available a new build or beta version every Friday and they would not forget to contact you whenever the bug has been fixed.

FME is the only software that I know of which can make a correct conversion from CAD to GIS formats without the loss of attributes and it is also the only software that I know of which could make a proper conversion putting the annotations and text properly on a CAD drawing/Map.

 Safe Software only pushes to fulfill the user’s requirements as quickly as possible. They have to look into the demand of course, but also the importance of the request.

 We as GIS Innovation Sdn Bhd are proud of having organized the “The First Safe Software Asian Conference” here in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia. The conference was successful and the users had shown interest in the new version FME 2006 GB which is a major release.

 For the future, we are looking forward to organize the Second Safe Software Conference in 2007. We also look forward to organize more regional training sessions for the users who would like to get more knowledge and self support on this product.


Sincerely Yours,

GIS Innovation Sdn Bhd

MyGIS - Malaysia Geographic Information  Systems




All the roads lead to Rome and all formats lead to FME


I first heard about FME in late 2001 when I was working on a proposal for one of the Malaysian government departments where some of specifications of the project required the capability of reading and writing to a couple of formats which were not supported by most of the commonly used GIS software available in the country. After requesting for help in a number of online forums, the replies were the same: “We use FME at our office; you can check out their website at"; and, FME indeed fulfilled the requirements.


Upon setting up GIS Innovation Sdn Bhd, we decided to represent Safe Software products in Malaysia as the technology had immense potential in the country’s GIS industry. Now, we are helping organizations to import data in several formats or to provide their own data in numerous formats. GIS in Malaysia has grown steadily for the past ten years with a wide range of applications developed within the public and private sectors.


During this period, different technologies have been used for this purpose. For the past two years, it has always been with pride that we hear comments from the users, at the end of presentations or training sessions, such as: “I wish I had the software last year” or “it can’t get simpler once you get used to it”.

During the month of March 2004, two major universities in the country have shown their interests in making the software available for their students and now have them running in some of their GIS laboratories.


Any problems converting or manipulating data? FME will lead you to your destination!


By Lyes Mokraoui

GIS Innovation Sdn Bhd




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