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Part 2: How the 1Spatial Platform and FME can build trust in data
Your one-stop-shop for location data solutions!

In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at how information hinges on data and how the process of data extraction, transformation, assurance and loading is as important as the systems using information. In part 2 we will look at how 1Spatial have a suite of products to help organisations extract, transform, assure and load their data, ensuring trust in data.

So why did I use the term ‘one-stop-shop’ in the title?

When it comes to helping you with your data, it’s because I think we are just that, a “one-stop-shop”. 1Integrate is our powerful patented rules-engine, delivering automated and repeatable data assurance (validation), cleaning, and enhancement at scale. Users can create pre-defined rules to assure newly captured and legacy data, to continually improve data quality and ensure the data is fit for purpose.

In a scenario where you have data constantly entering or being updated in your database from a number of different collection streams, you want data quality assurance to be enforced at source. We’ve got tools to enable mobile data collection to assure data at the point of capture, utilising our patented rules-engine and rules catalogue, 1Integrate. If you have partner organisations who want to be able to submit data to you, the 1Spatial Platform can be used to assure the data when it’s uploaded against defined business and technical rules. The 1Spatial Platform is a complete set of Location Master Data Management (LMDM) software components, which combines servers, portals, dashboards, SDKs, APIs, data connectors, business-focused applications and our patented 1Integrate rules engine. 1Data Gateway is part of the platform and can put our rules-engine behind a customised interface that’s quick and simple to use but has intelligence and 30 years of data assurance experience behind the scenes.

Our tools look after your data so you don’t have to. We act as your data sentry, only allowing assured data to make its way through to your systems. Anything from which you’re not going to extract assured ‘information’ can be rejected, but rejected in a managed way, by providing the owner with a compliance report. This then means that all of a sudden, you’re working in the spirit of partnership with your wider community because you’re helping them to improve the quality of their data too. 1Integrate can handle even the most complex of data challenges and safeguard past, present and future data at scale.

We’re also well versed in dealing with data standards. We work with the OGC, whose goal is to make geospatial (location) information and services Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). We also help data institutions create open data sets and link data from multiple sources. The 1Spatial Platform and FME ensure data consistency in accuracy, structure, format, style, and content using open standards and specifications.

What if you need to connect to a back-office system to gather that data, or maybe what you need is at the end of a rather obscure API, housed in a MySQL database, or is sitting in thousands of structured Excel spreadsheets across your network. What then?

Well, when it comes to extracting, transforming, and loading (ETL) data we don’t have to worry because we’ve partnered with Safe Software since 1999 to futureproof all our projects. Safe Software make the FME Platform and it’s all about making connections. We can effectively be format agnostic with our solutions, because as soon as a new format or standard is released that you might want take advantage of, we’re confident that FME will support it in plenty of time for it to matter to you. With support for extracting, transforming, and loading data between close to 500 different formats, we know that if you have data in a database, a spreadsheet or a Shapefile we can read it with FME. If you need to get data into Microsoft SQL Server in Azure or surface data in a Business Intelligence tool like PowerBI we can get it there with FME… and if you need to grab data from an API on a schedule, a web service or an online data sharing service triggered by a change in, say, Dropbox, Google Drive, a secure FTP site, Microsoft SharePoint or perhaps even ProjectWise or Autodesk A360, we can do that too, with FME.

How are our customers using the 1Spatial Platform and FME, to extract, transform, assure, and load data?

Environment Agency

So, you would like to find out how our customers use the 1Spatial Platform and FME, to build trust in data. A strategic asset data and information management platform project we are currently working on is the Datastore, Rules and Visualisation (DRV) solution with Defra and Environment Agency (EA). DRV extracts geoCOBie asset data that has been submitted to EA’s document management system, transforms the data into the required file format using FME, enabling 1Integrate to assure the asset data, before FME loads the resulting data into a central data store. 1Integrate automatically assures (validates) the asset data against business and technical data rules. The assured data can then be transformed using FME to the central asset management database.

Case Study

Delivering reliable digital data and information management for EA's physical flood and coastal defence assets

“1Spatial’s 1Integrate technology and Safe Software’s FME Server technology provides robust asset data and information assurance capabilities, to enable our strategic objectives and further digital transformation.  The automated geoCOBie data assurance processes for collecting, collating, analysing, and sharing data appropriately on asset performance provides us with the insight we need to improve productivity and deliver benefits to society.”

Karen Alford Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, Environment Agency

Rural Payments Agency

A similar example is, Defra and Rural Payments Agency (RPA). For land data, RPA’s Land Management System (LMS) is Defra’s corporate Spatial Data Infrastructure used to master RPA’s trusted land registration data. RPA’s land data validation service (part of the SDI) allows land parcel data to be extracted from and loaded into the LMS using FME and assured using 1Integrate.

The 1Edit mobile application, part of the 1Spatial Platform, enables the collection of accurate and correctly formatted location data by RPA’s inspectors via mobile devices while out in the field, as they work to check compliance with Defra schemes. FME pulls data from the LMS and RPA’s payments administration system to create inspection packs. These inspection packs are loaded into 1Edit and taken into the field to record anomalies and maintain the data. 1Spatial’s rules engine, which is core to 1Integrate, is also a common component in 1Edit ensuring the data checks are applied there and then. Spatial and tabular data is fed back into the payments system, via the LMS Inbound process using FME.

Ordnance Survey Ireland

Another interesting example is the journey of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to bring their authoritative and trusted geospatial data to the centre of Government. While field and office editors use 1Edit which generates change-only updates, the photogrammetry workflow uses a different tool which handles data differently. For this process, FME is used to convert the area of interest of the data to the format suitable for the photogrammetry tool and then convert the result back to the database again by detecting and generating the Change Only Updates (COU). We are then able to automatically assure (validate) objects in the data that have changed using 1Integate and merge the changes into the live data. 1Spatial’s platform and FME ensures the data is clean, reliable and up to date even when handled by a variety of data editing tools. Read the case study. Environment Agency, Rural Payments Agency and Ordnance Survey Ireland are using 1Spatial’s Platform and FME, as part of their Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) to build trust in data. 1Spatial’s recently published Little Book of Spatial Data Infrastructures provides further information and customer case studies.

When it comes to helping you get the most relevant information out of your data, I feel that we have the complete skillset. We’re a leading global Safe Software Platinum Partner and FME reseller, meaning that we can extract your data from where it is and prepare it, before we put it where it needs to be with FME. We’ve got a laser-focus on data assurance and have built our patented rules-engine with the sole vision of ensuring your data is always fit for purpose, at the point of capture, through its entire lifecycle and as you scale.

Bob Chell is our Chief Product Officer and leads the direction and development of our 1Spatial Platform with our customers’ needs always on his mind. David Eagle is the FME Division Manager at 1Spatial and leads our UK team of Certified FME staff, who all know how to get your data from where it is now, to where it needs to be!