Polygon in Polygon Overlay

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2022.0


In this exercise, you will learn how to perform a union between overlapping polygon features using the AreaOnAreaOverlayer. The AreaOnAreaOverlayer is typically used for three main operations: (1) deconstruct overlapping polygons to produce the intersections and differences, (2) compare multiple datasets for area overlaps, and (3) area calculations based on overlapping area data.

Step-by-step Instructions

In this scenario, you will be performing area calculations based on overlapping historic zones and neighborhood polygons. This will allow you to identify which historic areas belong to each neighborhood and the total area of each historic zone.

The first source is historic zones in the City of Vancouver which is in the Neighborhood GeoPackage dataset. 

The second source is the neighborhood boundaries in the City of Vancouver which is also in the Neighborhood GeoPackage dataset. 

1. Create a New Workspace
Open FME Workbench and create a blank workspace. 
2. Add an OGC GeoPackage Reader
Add an OGC  GeoPackage reader to the canvas by clicking on the Reader button on the top menu bar or by going to Readers > Add Reader. In the Add Reader dialog, select OGC GeoPackage as the Format, then for Dataset browse to the Neighborhoods.gpkg dataset which is available for download from the Files section on this article. Then click OK. 

This GeoPackage has two tables associated with it. After clicking OK, the Select Feature Types dialog will appear. Select both Neighborhoods and HistoricZones, then click OK. 
3. Overlay Polygons
To filter the data spatially, we will use an AreaOnAreaOverlayer transformer. Select both the HistoricZones and Neighborhoods reader feature types, then add an AreaOnAreaOverlayer to the canvas by typing “AreaOnAreaOverlayer” to bring up the list of FME Transformers in the Quick Add Search. Select the AreaOnAreaOverlayer from the list of Transformers by double-clicking or by using the arrow keys and the Enter key to add it. 

Double-click on the AreaOnAreaOverlayer to open the parameters. In the parameters, change Accumulation Mode to Merge Incoming Attributes, then click OK. 
4. Calculate Polygon Area
Since we are creating new polygons, let’s calculate the new area. Add an AreaCalculator to the canvas and connect it to the Area output port on the AreaOnAreaOverlayer. We can accept the default parameters. 
5. Run Workspace
Connect an Inspector transformer to the AreaCalculator Output port. 
Run the workspace by clicking on the Run button on the top toolbar, or by using Run > Run Workspace on the top menu bar. 
After running the workspace, new polygons will be created for each of the HistoricZones in each Neighborhood, with a newly calculated _area. 


Data Attribution

Data used in this tutorial originates from open data made available by the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. It contains information licensed under the Open Government License - Vancouver.

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