Archive for March, 2011

Depicting Fukushima Video

Tim posted a new video on YouTube, discussing his depiction of the Fukushima Daiichi plant issues.YouTube Preview Image

This is a powerful use of our software, I must say. Please comment or contact us if you have any questions.

Two webinars next week: fire service tech & situational awareness

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a Depiction webinar (we’ve been hard at work on some other projects), but we have two excellent ones coming up next week

  • Is There an App For That? Technology for Fire and Emergency Service Personnel: Peter Lamb is the fire chief for the town of North Attleboro, Massachusetts and a good friend of Depiction. Last month at the Firehouse World exposition, he gave a presentation about different technology tools he uses, from Depiction to the Livescribe smartpen and more. It was very well received, and we’re happy to be hosting his second edition on Tuesday, March 29.
  • Situational Awareness with Depiction and PEMSTAR: Michael Craig and his emergency management consulting & training company PEMSTAR has been a good friend of Depiction for a while. We’re happy to name Michael a Depiction Preferred Consultant this week, and to host a webinar where he will go over some of the many ways he has used Depiction to help his clients achieve better situational awareness–from local events like the “Snowpocalypse” and recent flooding, to international ones, like the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti. Join us on Wednesday, March 30, to learn more about how Depiction and PEMSTAR enhance situational awareness.

We hope you can make it!

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant depiction

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear Power Plant continues. After hearing much talk about the various reactors, the evacuation zones and so on, I got curious as to what, exactly the scale of the event really was. That curiosity, plus a couple hours of work in Depiction, turned into a pretty extensive depiction of the region surrounding the power plant.

To view the file, you’ll need Depiction or the free Depiction Reader.

The depiction includes data and imagery from:

I also used the Depiction Preparedness Add-on and one of our handy icon packs.

I hope this will be valuable to anyone who is trying to get a sense of the situation in Japan–it also happens to very nicely demonstrate Depiction’s powerful capabilities in combining multiple diverse types of data, which is nice, too.

If you have any questions–or suggestions–please post them in the comments!

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a new version of the depiction–yesterday the US Department of Energy released a map that outlined the results of aerial radiation monitoring in the Fukushima area. I’ve included that map, as well as shapes extrapolated from that information. I’ll put up a post later about how I did that.

Additionally, I added a new batch of earthquakes from the USGS feed. It appears that the links included in the epicenters of quakes older than 7 days no longer work. That is, unfortunately, due to the way that the USGS outputs their data and archives older quakes. You can still find them, if you’re really curious, here–but only for the next couple weeks.

Screenshot of the Fukushima Daiichi depiction

Screenshot of the Fukushima Daiichi depiction

Devastating earthquake in Japan

It seems like a lot of our posts in the last couple months have been about earthquakes–and today’s unfortunately, is one of the strongest ever, a magnitude of 9.1.

As I did for the Christchurch earthquake, I’ve put together a depiction of the earthquake’s shakemap and other pertinent information–two of them actually. Because this earthquake’s epicenter was in the ocean, and because it was larger, its direct affects on the land were more dispersed and widespread than they were in New Zealand.

The first depiction shows the original epicenter off the coast, as well as the closest areas affected, primarily the Miyagi prefecture. Data in this depiction comes from the USGS (the shakemap and epicenters–note that the epicenters were brought in automatically using our Preparedness add-on), from OpenStreetMap via Cloudmade, and from Wikipedia via Geocommons. For details on bringing in earthquake data to Depiction, see the video 90 Seconds to Map an Earthquake from last year.

Download this depiction here (1.07 mb).

The next depiction is of Tokyo, and brings in much of the same data–though because Tokyo is much more highly populated, there’s a lot more of it. In addition, I added shelter information from Google’s ‘My Map’ aggregator though that information is all unvetted as far as I know.

Download the Tokyo depiction here (2.94 mb).

Obviously, most everyone who has a mapping interest right now is churning out similar maps, most of them online (in addition to Google’s above, see ESRI’s here). Obviously I’m not replacing anything they are doing here. But I’m able to take much of the same data they have, and rapidly put it together the way I want to see it. Additionally, I have it all available on my local computer–so if I were in Japan and lost Internet access due to the aftermath of the quake, I would still have all the data available. And, perhaps most importantly, I put all this together with essentially no GIS expertise. I just happen to know how to use Depiction.

This quake is having effects beyond Japan–Hawaii was hit with a tsunami that is still receding. These depictions, with simulations built after an earthquake that didn’t end up causing a tsunami, might be of particular relevance now.

UPDATE: I’ve added shapefiles of damage and flooding zones, provided by the National Geospatial Agency, part of the US military, to the first depiction above. You can also download the shapefiles directly.

In addition, I’ve created a new depiction using topographic maps of Japan from the US Army. It’s the same as the first depiction above, but a larger file size because of the inclusion of large images. Download that one here (8.35 mb).