FME Desktop - Ordnance Survey Ireland


Use of FME in Creation of national 1:5000 Composite Raster dataset using Ordnance Survey Ireland’s NTF Vector source


Overview of FME
FME is a very effective and versatile spatial ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) toolset used by thousands of organisations worldwide to automate the process of manipulating spatial data. It allows organisations to access spatial data in the precise way they need it.


Background of Ordnance Survey Ireland
OSI is Ireland’s National Mapping Agency and has been mapping Ireland in detail since 1824. They have a proud tradition of innovation in mapping techniques and continue to build on that tradition today. Their products and services are widely used in all sectors of Irish society and their data supports the social, economic, legislative and administrative functions of the state in Ireland.


The aim of this project was to transform an Ordnance Survey Ireland NTF vector dataset into GeoTIFF rasters using FME. In the past OSI would have produced a 1:5000 raster tiles through old legacy software but now that software has reached end of life and is no longer supported. As part of FME 2014, FME and Mapnik have been brought together to create the MapnikRasterizer which was perfect timing for the OSi.

Under pressure to provide a national dataset of 1:5000 raster tiles for a number of their customers (Ambulance, Garda and Emergency Services) they turned to IMGS and FME to automate this data provision of a country wide raster dataset. Once the data is extracted from the NTF tiles the Mapnik transformer will allow the user to assign sophisticated symbols, styling and shading to the vector datasets. The workbench is capable of producing both black & white and colour raster outputs from OSi Large-scale ‘ntf’ tiles.


Overcoming Challenges
Working with raster data was challenging for a number of reasons. The size and complexity of the input and output files meant that creating that perfect final product required some trial and error. The large volumes of data required (14,133 tiles from OSi’s 1:1000, 1:2500 and 1:5000 NTF format) a move away from FME Desktop to FME Server to allow for the restructuring of how the input data is fed into the MapnikRasterizer. FME Server also allowed for quicker processing times required by OSi. This workflow will be run regularly and required a quick turn around on processing time to assist in the production of a new national 1:5000 Composite Raster dataset consisting of 6,539 GeoTiff tiles.

“In OSi, our 1:5000 composite raster production processes had come to their end of life and were no longer being supported. The introduction of the Mapnik transformer by Safe software into FME 2014 could not have come at a better time for us. With the help of IMGS and their highly skilled FME support team we were able to achieve the production of a new national 1:5000 composite raster dataset on time to a significantly higher level of quality and specification.” - Martin Creaton, Product Distribution & Copyright Manager, OSi.


Realising Results
Side by side the data provides a complete match of the source vector data , the quality and clarity of the TIFF output has significantly improved thanks to MapnikRasterizer. This product has now been delivered to OSi customers, any requests and changes will be incorporated into the next run of data.

Irish Mapping and GIS Solutions (IMGS)
We are Ireland's leading supplier of spatial solutions for government, utility and telecommunications industries. Our solutions are built on our partner's technology platforms and enable organisations to Survey, Visualise, and Integrate spatial data into their enterprise information systems.

We believe that the key to our success is our focus on customer's needs and delivering solutions to meet those needs. We believe that delivering the solution is just the beginning and carries very little value if not backed by top class support.