Converting from Geodatabase Format

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2023.0


FME Workbench is a powerful tool for translating and transforming data that includes the ability to read data from an Esri geodatabase.

In this tutorial, we will explore a typical approach for creating a basic translation between geodatabase and any other data format, in this case, GML (Geography Markup Language).


This video was recorded using FME 2016.0, the interface may be different but the concepts are the same.

Source Data

The source data set is a geodatabase - the attached dataset - containing feature classes. One feature class consists of polygon features representing garbage collection zones:

GarbageSchedule polygon feature class visualized in Data Inspector. Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC-BY-3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC-BY-SA.

The other feature class uses point geometry to represent street vendors:

FoodVendor point feature class visualized in Data Inspector. Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC-BY-3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC-BY-SA.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Add Geodatabase Reader Feature Types
Start FME Workbench. On the start page select the Generate Workspace option. This opens a dialog in which to define the translation.

Set the source format as Esri Geodatabase (Open API File Geodb). For the dataset navigate to, and select,

the file. You may have to change the files of type filter to Archive Files in the file browser dialog in order to be able to select the zipped dataset.

Click on the parameters button. Select GarbageSchedule and FoodVendors in the Table List parameter. Only the tables selected from the table list will be added to the workspace.

Click OK and OK again to return to the Generate Workspace dialog.

2. Add GML Writer Feature Types
Set the destination format as GML (Geography Markup Language) and then set a destination folder and filename. Click OK to close the dialog and create the workspace. It will look like this:

Reader and writer feature types added to canvas after running Generate Workspace dialog.

3. Run Workspace
Click the green run button on the toolbar to run the workspace.

The translation will be carried out and the selected geodatabase feature classes converted to GML.

4. Inspect Output in FME Data Inspector

Open the output GML dataset in FME Data Inspector. As only the data format has changed, the output data set is identical to the selected source geodatabase feature classes in its structure, or at least as identical as the destination format allows.

Data Attribution

The data used here originates from data made available by the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. It contains information licensed under the Open Government License - Vancouver.

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