Industry Category



Auckand, New Zealand



NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) uses FME to manage and analyse diverse data sets, including LiDAR data for flood impact assessments, strengthening their resilience against natural disasters.

NIWA is a leading environmental research organization committed to the science and management of New Zealand’s invaluable natural resources. Leveraging its network of environmental observation systems and data servers, NIWA collects and analyzes diverse environmental data sets, including weather conditions, water quality, wave patterns and atmospheric chemistry. NIWA relies on FME to empower its data management and analysis capabilities.

The natural hazards and resilience science programmes at NIWA pose distinctive obstacles that demand precise data analysis. One of these challenges involves extracting building height information from LiDAR point cloud data to assess exposure and vulnerability to natural hazard events, such as flooding.

Using FME point cloud transformers, NIWA was able to process extensive LiDAR datasets. By combining LiDAR data with national building footprints, FME is used to estimate the number of floors and floor height above ground. This critical information enhances NIWA’s ability to assess flood impacts on buildings and enables national-scale flood impact assessments, strengthening their resilience against natural disasters.

As a result of using FME, NIWA has experienced numerous benefits in their environmental data management and analysis practices, including enhanced accuracy in flood impact assessments and scalable solutions for handling large-scale LiDAR datasets. FME automation has also reduced data processing time significantly by over 30%, allowing the team to focus on their research and value-adding projects. This efficiency boost is a testament to the power of FME in transforming environmental data management and analysis, making it an invaluable tool for organisations like NIWA in their mission to protect and manage natural resources.

With enhanced accuracy and scalable solutions, NIWA is able to estimate building heights and integrate nationwide datasets, that support proactive measures against natural hazards. FME's automation has unlocked far greater efficiencies among the team allowing them to focus on value-add tasks and research initiatives

James Sturman, Principal Technician, NIWA