Archive for May, 2011

“GIS 101” whitepaper helps everyday people harness the power of GIS

As mapping technology progresses, more and more people are gaining the capability to work with geospatial data. To help everyday people make better use of this data, Depiction, Inc. today released the free whitepaper “GIS 101: Understanding Concepts and Terms,” outlining some very basic ideas and terminology used in the field of geographic information systems (GIS).

“Before inexpensive word processing software, the only people who needed to worry about things like ‘fonts’ and ‘margins’ were the experts,” said Depiction, Inc. president Richard Smith, primary author of the whitepaper. “And today, understanding concepts like latitude and longitude, or vector data versus raster data is important for more than just GIS experts. We hope that ‘GIS 101’ will be valuable to the many non-experts who are finding the increasing amount of publicly available GIS data important to their decision-making processes and responsibilities.”

To download the free whitepaper, visit and register for the Depiction Newsletter.

Depiction, Inc. makes Depiction mapping, simulation and collaboration software, which brings expert level GIS, modeling and other tools to everyday users around the world. Depiction 1.3 can be purchased risk-free and downloaded for just $199 at, and requires no subscription or maintenance agreement. Volume discounts and discounts for volunteers are available.

New Census data tutorial

The 2010 census has made a huge amount of demographic information available.
YouTube Preview Image
See more mapping tutorials at the Depiction website.

“Local software delves into ‘What if?’ scenarios”

Depiction’s hometown paper, the Everett Herald, ran a very good article today about Depiction:

Depiction allows small-business owners, emergency managers, disaster volunteers, families and first responders to find location-based answers for the “what ifs?” they may face, said Depiction Inc. founder and board chairman Mike Geertsen.

“This helps people tell stories about their lives,” he said. “It lets you mix the real and fantasy, lets you ask that ‘What if?’ “…

For $199, Depiction is an affordable way for business owners to create their own continuity plans to prepare for disaster when they’re not using it to craft market strategies.

This is one of the best articles I’ve seen about Depiction anywhere, so if you’re curious about the software–both what it does and how it started–I’d encourage you to read the whole thing.

Formidable Footprint Featured on Dallas TV

YouTube Preview Image
We’re very proud to be a part of the Formidable Footprint national neighborhood exercises, and this video says a little about why. Watch for a glimpse of Depiction at 0:25!

Rapid, affordable mapping, simulation and collaboration with the new Depiction 1.3

With improved GIS data support, enhanced customization options and new drawing and data management tools, the release of Depiction 1.3, announced today by Depiction, Inc., makes rapid, affordable mapping, simulation and visual collaboration even easier.

“We’re very happy to provide our users with numerous features they have been asking for in this latest major update,” said Depiction founder and board chairman Mike Geertsen. “These include drawing tools, new labels that can include web links and photos, and tools that make customizing your depictions even easier.”

Depiction 1.3 is a web-enabled desktop program incorporating mapping, simulation and collaboration capabilities, enabling users to build dynamic, interactive location based scenarios, representing historical, hypothetical or even ongoing situations. These capabilities have previously been reserved for highly trained systems engineers, analysts and programmers using complex, expensive, enterprise-level installations, but Depiction, and the enhancements in this new version, changes that.

“Depiction has proven to be an extremely valuable tool during our Search and Rescue Events,” said Gordon McCraw, Emergency Management Director for Tillamook County, Oregon. “The new enhancements in version 1.3, which includes the UTM data specifically used by our SAR folks, will make this excellent tool even more useful and quicker to use.”

“Frankly I have been spoiled and won’t even begin to plan or manage an event of any type without it,” said Doug Carter, an Amateur Radio Emergency Services District Emergency Coordinator from Saint Augustine, Florida. “Because Depiction is an everyday planning tool for me, I am excited about the new features in version 1.3, adding enhanced performance and customization capabilities to meet any and all unique circumstances.”

New features and enhancements included in Depiction 1.3 include:

More >

Conference Week at Depiction

In addition to another little project we’ll be officially announcing tomorrow, this is a conference-heavy week at Depiction.

Wednesday, May 11, Depiction’s own George Rodgers-Clark, along with Depiction Preferred Consultant RIc Skinner and two other friends of Depiction will be presenting during a panel discussion at the Veteran’s Administration Comprehensive Emergency Management Program Evaluation and Research Conference (CEMPER) in Washington, DC.

Then on Friday, May 13, yours truly will be presenting at OpenGovWest in Portland, OR, on a panel titled “The Financial Upside to Civic Engagement & Transparency Technology”. OpenGovWest is a great conference bringing together developers, government officials, non-profits, tech companies and many others around the concepts of increasing transparency, civic engagement, and modernizing government technology. If you’re anywhere near Portland on Friday, and are at all concerned with any of these issues, I’d invite you to come on out!

Mapping helps catch bin Laden

This is a great article about how the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the NGA, helped find Osama bin Laden’s hideout. It’s a great overview of the remarkable things the highly trained NGA technicians do with geospatial data, and how they contributed to Sunday’s takedown.

Now, those folks aren’t using Depiction–but then again, you’re probably not tracking down the world’s most sought after terrorist, either. Our goal at Depiction is to provide some of these same kinds of capabilities to everyday users–small business owners, volunteers, emergency managers, planners and others–who have their own “gutsy calls” to make, but don’t have the NGA backing them up.