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FME World Tour 2022: 1Spatial travels the UK, seeking out innovations with FME

What a blast it was reconnecting with the four regions of the UK again for our 1Spatial hosted FME World Tour 2022 events.

It’s been 3 years since we’ve held them in person and we’re thrilled to bring the local FME communities in Scotland, Wales, the North of England and the South East back together. The best part was that people responded by coming to join us in their droves.

Now, don't get me wrong, we're very grateful that virtual technology has allowed us to stay connected to our FME users over the past few years, but nothing beats a face to face catch-up. Chatting about your favourite FME Transformer over a cup of tea, scribbling the answers to a data challenge on a napkin, or being heckled from the audience when we cracked a silly joke.

Our road trip began at our first event in London, and I have to say I was nervous to see if people would show up, after years of people not going to physical events. But I needn’t have worried, because on the day, people kept arriving, many saying how pleased they were to be out of the house and to get the opportunity to bump into old friends and meet new ones. Plenty even met their colleagues in person for the first time, over their first coffee of the day.

The Purpose of the FME World Tour

Over the course of the four World Tour sessions we showed our delegates the new innovations in the latest iteration of the FME Platform; FME 2022. Benefits such as the large performance increases when processing your data, to the addition of an innovative Workspace ‘Compare and Merge’ differencing tool for FME Desktop. Right through to interesting new format connectivity such as the ability to read Apple’s native iOS HEIF image format, or connectivity to the Unfolded visualisation platform.

Of course, there were new transformation tools too and I’m excited to put the SchemaScanner to good use, to compare the schema of an incoming dataset against an allowed schema. This year we even made a digital download available in the form of the UKPhoneNumberValidator, a free custom transformer that we hosted on the Safe Hub, just in time for delegates to download and use after our events.

21 FME User Speakers

Technical capabilities and exciting innovation in software is nothing without real world context, and this year, boy did we get context. Across the four events we had 21 FME users speaking proudly about their projects and experiences with FME. We heard about the benefits of having it available to their teams, and the efficiencies it brought to their day-to-day operations.

We heard how historic scanned data was extracted and turned digital, and searchable, through FME calling a Microsoft AI service, to capture the content from old paper based forms. How access to the OS Data Hub is improving the service that a local authority can offer to their citizens. We saw FME Server powering an innovative new Land Management service with a view to improve the biodiversity of farmland and contribute to land restoration and rewilding. We even saw the health and safety of oil and gas exploration and production vessel crews being monitored, in real-time, around the world.

Learning New Skills

Our users also took the opportunity to impart their skills to help the learning experience and provide some extra value to attending the events in person. So, we heard the best ways to interact with ArcGIS Online. We saw how to effectively use the WorkspaceRunner to batch up data processing jobs and we even learned how the SystemCaller could be used to call third party tools to do very specialist data creation tasks, like generating animated movie clips to show plate tectonic movements through time.

Now whilst we’re certainly all grateful to be home from the road trip, are we glad that we got the opportunity to meet customers, friends, data innovators and experts in person finally? Of course, we are! What an experience… we came away with some excellent memories and plenty of inspiration for how we can continue to make our collective data smarter and continue to make more efficient and accurate data-driven decisions.


We’ve had some fantastic feedback already from our attendees, saying we’ve helped those new to FME to feel more informed and excited about using the technology and we’ve even inspired people to undertake the FME Certified Professional exam! Thanks for coming  to join us and we hope to see you again very soon.  

If you didn’t know, we have a whole host of webinars and training courses on offer too, so take a look and register now.

Written by David Eagle, FME Division Manager at 1Spatial

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