GeoServer App-Schema Integration: HALE 2.9.4 is out

HALE has been supported well by the community in the past months with contributions, through support subscriptions and projects. We have thus been able to create an additional feature and maintenance release. So, why should you upgrade?

GeoServer App-Schema configuration

Publishing OGC services based on GML Application Schemas and Complex Features with GeoServer is now easier than ever. Use HALE to define the mapping from your data store to an application schema, such as INSPIRE or NAS. Then, upload the resulting configuration for the GeoServer App-Schema plugin directly to your GeoServer instance. This feature was developed together with GeoSolutions S.R.L, Italy. More information on the new feature including future plans is available at the GeoSolutions Blog.

GeoServer App-Schema Integration in HALE for Easy INSPIRE Services

Inline transformations

Declarative Mapping, as implemented in HALE, is about simplification and effective re-use of transformation projects. When you encounter complex structures in your data, the mapping can still get quite complicated. By using the Inline transformation function, you tell HALE that it should transform objects in a complex feature the same way as it would standalone features.

As an example, let’s look at a mapping between two CityGML ADEs. In both source and target schemas, there are a Building and a BuildingPart type. BuildingParts can be features on their own, thus a mapping is defined based on a Retype between the corresponding source and target types. Buildings can also contain BuildingParts, and to transform these internal BuildingParts we use the Inline transformation, with the additional step to include it in the respective target property.

Namespace agnostic loading of XML/GML

HALE relies on qualified names for the transformation and handling of data, which consist of local names and namespaces. In many cases, you still want to transform data where only the local name matches. This can be the case for instance when using data based on a previous version of a schema or for data that is published via an OGC Web Feature Service. We have added an option when loading XML or GML data that instances will be loaded even if the namespaces do not match the schemas exactly.

HL Consulting BVBA funded this work under a Professional Support Subscription for HALE. They use this feature to define their alignments on a schema that allows them to make extensive use of relation inheritance in their alignment, to have one mapping that they can use to transform data from different services.

Tweaks and Bug fixes

We’ve added a lot of smaller improvements and fixed some issues:

  • The command line interface has been extended with the capability to use whole folders as source for the transformation.
  • Deprecated INSPIRE SpatialDataSet export, as INSPIRE now recommends to use a WFS 2.0 FeatureCollection instead, and added support for generating a Dataset Feed file for an ATOM-based INSPIRE predefined Dataset Download Service when exporting to a WFS 2.0 FeatureCollection.
  • Added a Groovy Join transformation that allows for more control on the creation of transformed instances.
  • Introduced helper functions for Groovy scripts for dealing with geometries and performing type conversions.
  • Structural copies with Rename and Retype can now explicitly exclude geometry objects parsed by HALE, for cases where the original geometry encoding should be retained.
  • A default SRS can now be specified on the command line, for reading data from a specific source, in case HALE cannot correctly detect the SRS.
  • Handling foreign key constraints during the export to a database has been improved.

Check out the help for a list of all improvements and more information.

Get HALE 2.9.4

To get HALE 2.9.4, go to the downloads section and enjoy your work with it!

Please use the board to tell us what you think of this new release; don’t hesitate to tell us about problems you’re encountering and features you’re missing, wither there or on Github.


Spatialite and INSPIRE 4.0: HALE 2.9.3 released

In the past weeks, we’ve received feedback from multiple users, projects and workshops where HALE is used, including a substantial code contribution. We’ve collected the feedback and just released the final 2.9.3 build. What’s new?

Support for SQLite and SpatiaLite

You can now work with SQLite and SpatiaLite files using HALE. We even support 2D and 3D geometries. This was made possible by a contribution from GeoSolutions S.R.L, Italy. Special thanks to Stefano Costa and Sandro Salari!

Improved Styling for the Map view

Create individual styles for your feature types with just one click. Using specific styles provides a better overview in the map. To easily identify associated types, the type symbol reflects the style. As an additional option, you can quickly assign a random color to a selected type. For more control specify a custom style with the style editor.

HALE Style Quick Editing

Included INSPIRE version 4.0 schemas

Experienced HALE users know they can load any GML/XML Schema using the corresponding XSD file. However, it’s more convenient to just search and select a schema from the presets defined in HALE. INSPIRE version 4.0 schemas now included.

Performance improvements and bug fixes

A couple of users reported performance issues since release 2.9.0, and we’ve now received reproduction cases and were able to identify the culprits. Other issues fixed:

  • Fixed wrong detection of GML namespace that could happen if certain GML 3.3 schemas were imported in a schema (Thanks to Fabio Vinci for the bug report).
  • Fixed error on XML export that could lead to an invalid file (Thanks to Giuseppe Procino for the bug report).
  • Fixed parsing GML geometries defined through a Ring instead of a LinearRing.
  • Show 3D WKT (instead of 2D WKT) for 3D geometries in the data views.
  • Fixed error that could lead to a Merge relation no longer being editable after a schema upgrade.
  • Variable values for Groovy scripts are no longer converted and passed as a String by default.
  • Fixed deadlock that could occur when disabling the Groovy restriction when a project is loaded.
  • Fixed saving a project as a project archive if resources include a query string (e.g. WFS requests).

Get HALE 2.9.3

To get HALE 2.9.3, go to the downloads page and enjoy your work with it!

Please use the board to tell us what you think of this new release; don’t hesitate to tell us about problems you’re encountering and features you’re missing.


wetransform, lat/lon and geosparc receive INSPIRE Conference Excellence Award

It came as a very nice surprise to us when Robin Smith (JRC) announced to the teams of wetransform, lat/lon and GeoSparc that we would collectively receive this year’s “Award for recognition of excellence in geo-information technologies“. This award was given in memory of Doug Nebert and Christiner Giger. Doug Nebert, an active member of the OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee since 1994, received OGC’s highest award in 2005. Christine had been a very active member of the INSPIRE community and Scientific Manager of the HUMBOLDT project, and was thus involved with the HALE team early on.

Alessandro Annoni, Head of the Digital Earth and Reference Data Unit (JRC) explained why the three teams were awarded: “These three teams have been technological enablers of spatial data infrastructures, have ensured the sustainability of research results and have now entered a partnership with great potential“.

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INSPIRE Fun and Easy

INSPIRE Made Easy: Announcing the INSPIRE GIS

One of the constant themes of the last year was that INSPIRE and open standards in general should be easier to use and to maintain. This goal is what drove us to build a partnership with two leading Open Source GIS companies to develop a complete and accessible solution – the INSPIRE»GIS.

Three Open Source GIS experts have joined forces to provide a complete, integrated solution: wetransform provides ETL expertise, lat/lon offers deegree data management and service technology, and Geosparc adds Sleevemonkey analytics and web mapping to the mix. INSPIRE»GIS is a complete solution that offers what is expected of a powerful GIS:

  • Design: Extend INSPIRE schemas with a few clicks, create new ones from scratch or maintain a theme together.
  • Transform: Link your current data to INSPIRE and enjoy high performance transformation and validation.
  • Manage: Maintain and update your data sets with enterprise level data management and security.
  • Publish: Create View and Download Services with support for common GIS or BI software.
  • Explore: Discover and view your data together with public sources on all channels.
  • Analyze: Get to the heart of GIS and perform analytics on rich object models and linked data.

Find out more about INSPIRE GIS and register for for information!


All about Harmonisation: Geospatial World Forum and INSPIRE Conference

This year we have a joint Geospatial World Forum and INSPIRE conference. More than 2.000 attendees from all over the world are expected. There are multiple opportunities to learn about our complete INSPIRE solution and interesting projects in Lissabon, Portugal from 25th of May to 29th of May:

Arrange a meeting with our team by sending us an e-mail!


HALE 2.9.2: WFS-T Support and new Database Features

ON the road to HALE 3.0, we’ve release a maintenance release of HALE. In addition to making numerous fixes available to in a released version, 2.9.2 also sports two headline features:

Improved WFS Client + Transactional WFS Support

With this feature, you can publish GML to a transactional Web Feature Service, for instance for publishing INSPIRE data to a deegree server. We currently support are Transactional Web Feature Services following the OGC WFS 1.1.0 or WFS 2.0.0 specifications. There are two different providers for publishing to WFS:

  • Direct upload: Does a single request that starts as soon as the first transformed features are available. Use this option if you are sure the WFS can cope with the amount of data in a single transaction.
  • Partitioned upload: Partitions the transformed data before upload to be able to do multiple requests to the WFS-T for large data sets. The partitioning is done based on the references between features. Features that are connected are kept together so the WFS-T is able to retain those references.

Improved Database Reader/Writer

We’ve had a silently released database writer for PostGreSQL in HALE for a while, and due to popular request we’ve improved it a bit and provided official support and documentation.

PostGreSQL Configuration

Compatibility to FME and other fixes

We’ve also tested whether the FME Plugin for HALE still works with the most current FME versions (2014 SP3 and 2015) and can confirm it’s compatibility. You can thus combine both tools. For example, use HALE to do restructuring of complex data and encoding as GML, but use FME to read formats unsupported by HALE or to employ special transformers.

As usual, there has been a set of other improvements, for example to make the encoding of MultiSurfaces and complex aggregates more flexible.

Get HALE 2.9.2!

To get HALE 2.9.2, go to the downloads page and enjoy your work with it!

Watch the HALE Tutorial video to get started on working with HALE:


Please tell us what you think of this new release; don’t hesitate to tell us about problems you’re encountering and features you’re missing.



HALE 2.9.0 – new look, new tools, INSPIRE codelists + Annex II/III

We have just completed testing and documentation for the new HALE 2.9.0 release. There is a lot that has changed under the hood for the 2.9 release. Apart from a lot of bug fixes and an upgrade of the underlying platform from Eclipse Indigo to Eclipse Luna, there also was a new build system introduced that allows us to again provide an installer for Windows and a version of HALE that runs on current Mac OS X operating systems.

It comes with a long list of useful new features, as you would expect after the relatively long break since the last release of HALE. Get your download here and read in detail about the new features here.

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INTERGEO: HALE and wetransform.to nominated for Wichmann Innovations Award

HALE and the new collaborative transformation platform wetransform.to have been nominated for the Wichmann Innovations Award, the most important German award for innovation in the GIS industry. The final decision which product will win lies in your hands – cast your vote for one of the nominees here!

We will also present the new HALE version (2.9.0) and our plans for wetransform.to at this year’s INTERGEO in Berlin (07.102014 to 09.10.2014). If you want to know more, stop by our booth (Pavilion 3.1, Booth D3.040) or listen to our trend forum presentation (Tuesday 07.10.2014, 15:00 to 17:00).

wetransform.to logo

wetransform.to unveiled today!

The data harmonisation panel team at the INSPIRE conference will unveil wetransform.to, the world’s first collaborative Transformation Platform as a Service. The platform helps professionals solve data integration, harmonisation and transformation tasks.

The start-up behind the platform, wetransform gmbh, was recently founded in Darmstadt by Simon Templer to further commercialize the work on Data Harmonisation that was started in 2006 when the HUMBOLDT project began. The company also offers professional support subscriptions for HALE and CST.

Come by our booth or visit the official first presentation at 14:00.

HALE wins SmeSpire challenge

HALE wins the SmeSpire Challenge 2014!

We’re proud to announce that our submission to the SmeSpire challenge won in the “Open Source Software for INSPIRE” category. The SmeSpire team chose HALE “after a long evaluation made by key experts in the fields of INSPIRE Directive and GIS sector” and also chose “Linked Open Data and Spatial Data Infrastructures” by Massimo Zotti (Planetek) and Piergiorgio Cipriano (Sinergis) as Best Practice winners.

We will thus have two additional opportunities to present our work to the participants of the 2014 INSPIRE conference in Aalborg. Accordingly, you have a number of opportunities to meet the HALE team at the INSPIRE Conference:

We look forward to meeting you in Aalborg!