Filters point, line, area, and text features based on spatial relationships. Each input Candidate feature is compared against all Filter features, based on the given spatial tests to meet. Features that pass any or all tests are output through the Passed port; all other features are output through the Failed port.

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Typical Uses

  • Routing features, depending on whether a defined spatial relationship is true or false
  • Performing quality control on a dataset by checking for expected spatial relationships with another dataset
  • Performing a spatial join to transfer attributes from one feature to another based on their spatial relationship

How does it work?

The SpatialFilter compares two sets of features to see if their spatial relationships meet selected test conditions. The features being tested (Candidate features) are identified as having Passed or Failed the test.

For example, if you have a roads dataset (lines), and wanted to extract all the roads that passed through parks (polygons), you would direct the roads into the Candidate input port, and the parks into the Filter input port.

By selecting the test conditions Filter Intersects Candidate and Filter Contains Candidate, any road lines that fall within the parks or intersect the parks would be output via the Passed output port, and the remainder would exit through the Failed output port. You could simultaneously extract an attribute from the park polygon - park name, for example - and add it to the line feature.

Usage Notes

Choosing a Spatial Transformer

Many transformers can assess spatial relationships and perform spatial joins - analyzing topology, merging attributes, and sometimes modifying geometry. Generally, choosing the one that is most specific to the task you need to accomplish will provide the optimal performance results. If there is more than one way to do it (which is frequently the case), time spent on performance testing alternate methods may be worthwhile.

To correctly analyze spatial relationships, all features should be in the same coordinate system. The Reprojector may be useful for reprojecting features within the workspace.


Input Ports

Output Ports


Editing Transformer Parameters

Using a set of menu options, transformer parameters can be assigned by referencing other elements in the workspace. More advanced functions, such as an advanced editor and an arithmetic editor, are also available in some transformers. To access a menu of these options, click beside the applicable parameter. For more information, see Transformer Parameter Menu Options.

Defining Values

There are several ways to define a value for use in a Transformer. The simplest is to simply type in a value or string, which can include functions of various types such as attribute references, math and string functions, and workspace parameters. There are a number of tools and shortcuts that can assist in constructing values, generally available from the drop-down context menu adjacent to the value field.


Processing Behavior


Feature Holding


FME Licensing Level FME Base Edition and above

Data Quality

Filters and Joins

Spatial Analysis

FME Community

The FME Community is the place for demos, how-tos, articles, FAQs, and more. Get answers to your questions, learn from other users, and suggest, vote, and comment on new features.

Search for all results about the SpatialFilter on the FME Community.


Examples may contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence – Vancouver