The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) file format is used to make 2D graphics viewable across a wide range of applications such as technical manual illustrations, cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and presentations. It is most often created when output from specialized applications needs to be inserted into technical or repair manuals. It is a standard in aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing, automotive and the telecommunications industries for technical manuals including product operations, maintenance and repair. These books can be printed or made available on-line (IETMS). CGM is also used in the petroleum industry for mapping, lithology cross-sections, seismic traces and well logs. The U.S. military uses CGM for simple redlining on top of raster (map) data.
The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) format is primarily used for the storage and exchange of technical data in industries such as Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, Oil & Gas. CGM files may contain vector graphics as well as raster images and font text. They are typically used for technical illustrations in SGML/XML documentation systems, and now, more and more, for Web-based systems like IETMS (Illustrated Electronic Technical Manuals) and e-Catalogs. Over the years, several different versions of CGM have been spawned to meet the needs of various industries. There are specific industry profiles (ATA, MIL, PIP) and four different levels as well as WebCGM. As a result of this diversification, interoperability is often a problem: the target application is unable to reliably interpret the particular flavor of CGM generated by the source application. Many content creation applications have started outputting Level 3 or 4 CGM. However, many applications on the receiving end have not yet implemented full support for these higher levels.
Visual Integrity helps industry manufacturers, suppliers and software vendors turn graphical data into the CGM format. It does so for many source applications which do not offer CGM output, and also for applications which already do – but are incompatible with the end user’s target application CGM files generated by our software are compliant with all levels and industry profiles. By default, our software produces the common denominator subset of CGM (we like to call it ‘vanilla CGM’) to ensure optimal interoperability with the viewing, authoring, and publishing environment downstream. This ‘vanilla CGM’ handles files typically produced and used in technical industries.
- Output supports choice of CGM Levels 1-2-3-4
- Compliant with ATA, MIL and PIP industry profiles
- Supports vector graphics, raster images and font-based text
- Supports both metric and abstract scaling
- Curves are retained in Level 3-4 compatible output
Convert Graphics from NATO Members
Raytheon’s Electronic Warfare Systems is a world leader in the development and production of EW system solutions for strategic and tactical aircraft, helicopters, and surface ships for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and their international counterparts. They chose PDF FLY to move technical graphics from multinational NATO contract vendors into their own commercial AIMSS IETM system as ActiveCGM-compatible CGM files.
PDF FLY was chosen for several key reasons:
- PDF FLY easily handles both PostScript and EPS,
- PDF FLY provides the utmost flexibility for font mapping and embedding
- PDF FLY was very tolerant of a wide variety of source files with a 99%+ successful conversion rate.
- PDF FLY offers a batch mode which converts a large number of files at once.
Raytheon has been a Visual Integrity customer since 1998
The U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, MD overhauls and makes major repairs and modifications to all Coast Guard aircraft and associated equipment. They use PDF FLY to convert aircraft manuals illustrations from PostScript, EPS and PDF into the CGM format for authoring in their internal publishing system. Central to their decision to use PDF FLY was its ability to precisely control orientation and scale of output. Font mapping was also key.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been a Visual Integrity customer since 2004.
Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, integrates FLY SDK into a proprietary server application used by their airline customers. When the application is fed PDF and PostScript files, FLY SDK drives the automatic extraction of vector graphics as CGM, raster images as TIFF or JPEG and text as ASCII. Airbus chose Visual Integrity because of excellent support, willingness to collaborate on custom features, multi-platform support (Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows) and general quality of all output formats. Airbus has been a Visual Integrity customer since 2005