Safe Software Celebrates 15 Years of Solving Spatial Data Interoperability Challenges

Vancouver, BC, December 10, 2009 – Fifteen years ago, two young and ambitious fellows from Canada founded Safe Software in their quest to deliver a technology solution that would help meet a critical need for the geospatial industry: spatial data interoperability. Today, the company’s FME technology platform is well established as the solution of choice for organizations worldwide looking for a better way to access the spatial data they need to use.

Established on December 13, 1993, Safe Software first began by developing translation technology to support a proprietary format developed by the BC Government called the Spatial Archive and Interchange Format (SAIF) – which by the way, is where the company gets it’s name. It was during this initial project that Safe Software’s co-founders Don Murray and Dale Lutz realized that spatial data interoperability challenges were a common frustration for organizations looking to use geospatial data to meet their requirements. In response to this need, they began developing a technology solution that would help organizations efficiently resolve these difficult challenges.

On November 14, 1996, Safe Software released FME, the very first technology solution for translating and manipulating spatial data. Due to strong demand, Safe Software saw FME sales sky rocket to 10% of total revenue within just a few months after its release, immediately contributing to the company’s existing training and consulting services business. The rest, as they say, is history…

Today, FME is the leading spatial ETL (extract, transform and load) solution and the only complete solution for spatial data conversion and distribution available on the market. Thousands of customers worldwide use FME’s powerful data access technology to help them solve their spatial data interoperability challenges. FME is also integrated with leading GIS, CAD and database solutions including Autodesk, ESRI, Intergraph, Microsoft, Netezza, Oracle and others. The FME technology platform includes both desktop and server-based spatial ETL solutions.

Safe Software’s commitment to proactively solving spatial data interoperability challenges for the geospatial industry remains unchanged even today. Through direct feedback from their extensive user base and active involvement in key industry initiatives such as the European Union’s INSPIRE Directive and the Open Geospatial Consortium, Safe Software continues to stay on top of emerging trends and changing needs in the market.

"Over the years, we’ve seen many interesting challenges emerge as organizations maneuver to better leverage their spatial data assets," says Peter Batty, recognized visionary for the geospatial industry. "With the work that Safe Software is doing to promote spatial data interoperability, we’ll continue to see significant advancements and innovations in how spatial data is used."

Plans are currently underway to enable the availability of FME technology on the cloud. Safe Software will also continue to add support for key geospatial formats in future releases, including popular raster, 3D and BIM formats. The geospatial industry can also expect to see continued integration with ETL solutions like IBM Websphere, Informatica and Microsoft SSIS, as well as increased support for common web services.

For more information on Safe Software:
• Company Background:
• FME Product History:
• Biographies, Don Murray, Dale Lutz:

About Safe Software and FME
Safe Software powers the flow of spatial data with its software platform, FME. The recognized standard in spatial ETL (extract, transform and load), FME is the only complete solution for data conversion. It delivers the most extensive format support for data translation and integration, and provides unlimited flexibility in data model transformation and data distribution. FME is used by thousands of customers worldwide in a variety of industries including government, utilities, and petroleum. Its powerful data access technology also makes FME the choice of leading GIS, CAD, and database vendors for integration into their own solutions. Designed for true data interoperability, FME unleashes spatial data so people can use it where, when, and how they want to. For more information, visit