Vector Product Format (VPF) Coverage and Database Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.


The Vector Product Format (VPF) is a standard format, structure, and organization for large geographic databases. VPF data is stored in a structure described in the Military Standard, Vector Product Format, MIL-STD-2407. The Standard specifies the structure for folders, tables, table columns, table join relationships, and media exchange conventions for all VPF data. While the Standard describes the structure, it does not describe the contents of a set of VPF data; this is the role of "VPF Product Specifications."

The VPF1 reader allows FME to access data in any of the number of formats that follow the VPF specification. This includes, but is not limited to, data that adheres to the Digital Chart of the World (DCW), Digital Nautical Chart (DNC), VMap Level 0, VMap Level 1, VMap Level 2, and UVMap database standards.

The VPF writer allows FME to write to a VPF product database. Product database types include Vector Smart Map Level 0, 1 and 2 (VMap0, VMap1, VMap2); Digital Nautical Chart (DNC), Urban Vector Map (UVMAP); and Foundation Feature Data (FFD).

Reader Overview

The VPF reader module produces FME features for metadata and feature class features in a VPF database.

VPF databases are implemented using a hierarchy of file system folders. The root of this hierarchy is the database folder, which contains a subfolder for each library in the database. Each library contains a subfolder for every coverage in that library. Coverages contain one or more feature classes, and these feature classes are implemented as feature table files (*.*ft).

When the reader is invoked in database mode (VPF_DB), it examines feature classes in every coverage of every library in a database and produces an FME feature for each row in each feature table file. The reader also examines the metadata tables available at each level in the hierarchy and produces non-geometric metadata features that contain the table’s data.

When the reader is invoked in coverage mode (VPF), the set of features produced is restricted to only those feature classes in the input coverage folder.

The feature set produced by the reader can be further restricted by specifying a subset of feature classes. This subset can be specified using either a list of IDs or multiple DEF line entries. The specification of DEF or ID parameters restricts the feature classes that the reader will open and produce FME features for. Note that if both the DEF and ID parameters are specified for an instance of a reader, then the intersection of these two sets will be used as the restriction set.

The tiles that the reader produces for its feature set can be restricted by specifying a tile subset value using the Tile IDs reader parameter.

Writer Overview

The VPF writer converts a set of FME features into a VPF database.

DEF lines defined in a writer’s mapping file are ignored since all feature class user attributes are statically defined by its product specification.