FME Data Inspector GIS Data Paging and Display
AlphaPixel developed a virtual-paging database interface to FME’s internal geospatial data store for FME’s OpenSceneGraph-based Data inspector.
FME (Feature Manipulation Engine), a spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool, contains a sub-module known as Data Inspector for inspecting data at any stage of the data pipeline. This tool pulls data from FME’s internal data APIs in order to access numerous file formats and interim data states.
Previously, FME’s display technologies were based on a 2D graphics pipeline, drawing primitives immediately as they came through the pipeline. This allowed it to present enormous databases as the data was never stored. However, every redraw was as slow as the first, which meant that realtime or 3D interaction was infeasible.
Safe Software designed the Data Inspector to utilize OpenSceneGraph to display vector and raster data in both 2D and 3D views, but found a resource bottleneck in loading all of the data into the scene at once. AlphaPixel designed and implemented a pseudo-loader based dynamic paging system to access only the visible data, and only at the appropriate level of detail at any time, greatly reducing the memory and resource footprint and delivering rapid interaction.
“Safe benefited greatly from [AlphaPixel]’s input during a key phase of the Data Inspector re-architecting. [AlphaPixel]’s depth of knowledge, great communication skills, and incredible productivity gave our project a great boost at a key time in its development”. -Dale Lutz, Vice President Development, Safe Software Inc.