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Makai: Integrating FME into a Custom Submarine Cable Planning System

Deep water cable route planning requires a vast amount of information. See how FME helped Makai.

Over the years, we’ve seen many interesting examples of FME technology being integrated into geospatial applications. This article takes a look at one such example from Makai Ocean Engineering.

Based in Oahu, Hawaii, Makai provides ocean engineering services worldwide and is the developer of MakaiPlan, a leading software solution for planning submarine cable routes. Deep water cable route planning requires a vast amount of information: bathymetry, fishing regions, dumping grounds, military restrictions, political boundaries, cable crossings, sediment characteristics and navigational charts to name just a few. However, the lack of standardization in this industry has made it very difficult for cable planners to bring together the many different data types necessary for cable path planning. This process often required multiple, time-consuming steps or the use of 3rd-party tools to adapt the various forms of spatial data into Makai’s planning software.

Recognizing the need to simplify this data integration process for their customers, Makai found their answer in FME. Working with Safe, Makai developed an FME add-on that seamlessly integrates with MakaiPlan to extend the format support capabilities of the application. With this add-on, users can import over 150 key spatial data formats- including Autodesk® AutoCAD® and ESRI® formats and the International Hydrographic Organization S-57 standard for navigation charts – directly into the familiar MakaiPlan environment for planning and analyses of submarine cable routes.

Not only can MakaiPlan users get access to a wider spectrum of spatial data, but their data integration process has also been significantly simplified. Previously, a simple AutoCAD file containing bathymetry contours required the creation of a schema definition file, a coordinate system file and a warehouse database prior to importing the data into the planning software. Now the entire process is embedded within MakaiPlan, making the creation of these files transparent to users.

What’s the result? This integration has enabled Makai’s customers to increase the overall efficiency of the cable planning process, as well as lower planning costs. The time users have saved in integrating and transforming multiple data types into the MakaiPlan system can be put towards more productive endeavours, such as refining the cable route or performing analyses critical to the installation of the submarine cables.

Interested in integrating FME technology into your own application? Visit safe.local/devtools to learn more.

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