The city of Airdrie, near Calgary, is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Alberta with an annual growth of almost 7.5% over the past five years.

The city’s geomatics department maintained two systems for infrastructures: a GIS database and the CAD master plan. Having two systems in parallel resulted in duplicate data, causing obvious problems when updating infrastructure information.


Consortech helped the team to migrate the CAD master plan to a new GIS data model. The project consisted of:

  • A pilot project to test the proposed methodology
  • An initial data analysis to determine the feasibility of a single-phase migration
  • The production of FME workspaces for the migration of CAD data to GIS
  • Reporting on the success rate of the migration
  • Training sessions to share knowledge with the team


Following the data inventory, we found that the structure and content of the input files would make it difficult to use a generic script. Therefore, efforts had to be increased to find the places where it was possible to automate data conversion. The main challenge was to rework our workspaces to meet the needs of a unique migration without reinventing the wheel.


With the introduction of the new GIS model, Airdrie now has a single set of data to maintain. The city has started over with an updated version of its underground infrastructure data and abandoned the old GIS model.

In addition to having centralized, up-to-date data, Airdrie no longer needs to manually perform import and assignment tasks. The knowledge transfer and FME implementation also enabled the client to significantly improve the work done with its GIS system.