SevenCs launches free S-101 Reader for FME

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Hamburg-based ECDIS specialist SevenCs has announced the release of its S-101 Reader for FME (Feature Manipulation Engine). The development and release of the S-101 reader is an important step in the industry’s move to the S-101 data standard. The SevenCs S-101 Reader is available as a free 3rd party plugin for all editions of FME Desktop.

FME by Safe Software is the data integration platform with the best support for spatial data worldwide. It allows users to convert data between +450 formats and automate integration workflows. Developers are able to build custom workflows that improve access to data, solve compatibility issues, and automate manual tasks without needing to code.

With the move to the S-101 data standard, the maritime charting community is about to undergo one of the most significant transformations since the introduction of Electronic Navigational Charts. Currently, ENCs and their underlying source data are built to a common S-57 standard. However, as source data has become more complex and varied in its origin (including, for example, wind, tide, current, and weather to name a few overlays), it was becoming hard for the industry to balance both the usability of data and an increasing range of proprietary interests.

As a result, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) concluded that a new industry standard was needed to ensure the future compatibility of ENC related solutions. SevenCs’ Friedhelm Moggert-Kägeler, Solutions Director Maritime Spatial Data commented, “Although Edition 1.0.0 of the S-101 standard was released at the end of 2018, it is not yet operational and no ENC production uses the S-101 standard. We are very much still in the testing phase. Across the industry, developers – the chart producing agencies – need to get accustomed to the new S-101 structures. The SevenCs S-101 Reader plugin allows users to read and query S-101 data sets in an FME environment and, to a certain extent, visualise them. It’s a big step forward, and it’s important that we are able to prepare for S-101, test data, and familiarise ourselves with the new data standard.”

The S-101 Reader for FME follows SevenCs’ development of an S-100 Kernel (Nautilus) and the 7Cs Analyzer (software for chart validation). Both the S-101 Reader for FME and 7Cs Analyzer are based on and include Nautilus. Additionally, an S-101 Writer is currently under development.

“The IHO, though its industry Working Groups, has done a great job getting us to this point. The next step is delivering the tools needed to get the full potential out of S-101. This is a small, but important, part of this process” said Moggert-Kägeler.

“We are thrilled to have S-101 join the FME data integration platform as the latest development in a long partnership between Safe Software and SevenCs. This newest reader will play a key role in driving the adoption of this new standard,” said Dale Lutz, Co-founder of Safe Software.

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