Archive for September, 2011

International elevation data available from Quickstart

Some of Depiction’s coolest simulation features make use of elevation data–floods, runoff, antennas and more. In the USA, we’re blessed with excellent elevation data available both from Depiction’s Quickstart and, in higher resolutions, as a download from the USGS.

Things have been a bit tougher elsewhere in the world–the ASTER-GDEM data is useful, but its distribution license means we can’t make it available as a Quickstart source.

But thanks to the good folks here, we are now able to make 90-meter data available through Quickstart for many countries. Specifically, you will find it if you create a depiction in any of these countries:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • United Arab Emirates

Be warned, 90-meter data means that it is based on measurements taken at 90-meter intervals, so this data is very rough and not very pretty. It also is going to make small-scale simulations even less accurate. However, we do think that it is better than nothing for a variety of purposes, and hope our users around the world are able to make good use of it.

Would you like this 90-meter data available for another country? Let us know!

Introducing DepictionPrep!

DepictionPrepWe’re very excited to announce a new software product: DepictionPrep, our easiest to use, most streamlined and least expensive mapping program yet. DepictionPrep is preparedness mapping software, built to help individuals, families and neighborhoods build preparedness plans, and will be available in the Fall of 2011. For more information, you can watch the video below or read the news release. To sign up to be informed when you can get DepictionPrep, visit

*Video:depiction prep promo

National Preparedness Month: LANL uses Depiction

National Preparedness Month is observed each September in the US. It’s a time when Americans take simple steps to prepare for the unknown. Depiction is partaking in this year’s event by featuring Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and how they use Depiction to prepare for such events as wild fire, potential security threats and scenarios on chemical leaks.

This webinar is free to attend! Alan Woodward, EOC Planning Sections Chief at LANL, will highlight several tabletop exercises, scenario simulations and take questions from attendees. This webinar is great for individuals, organizations and companies interested in preparedness planning and consequence assessment. Alan comments that LANL uses Depiction for its “ease of use, flat learning curve, professionalism and fast in-field collaboration capability”.

Attendees will learn how Depiction can be used to create simulations and facilitate ‘in the moment’ cooperation whether for a national laboratory, your neighborhood, fire department, police department, local government organizations or emergency field teams.

Alan Woodward joins us as our guest presenter September 22nd at 10:30am PST. He has worked in the Emergency Operations Division for 10 years as an analyst, emergency planner, and Section chief with over thirteen years experience developing geographic information systems (GIS) and GIS products. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University (in Physics) and a Master of Science degree from Oklahoma State University (in Plant and Soil Sciences). Currently, he is focused on developing GIS applications for emergency responders that can be used in an EOC or at the site of an emergency.

Also joining in to field questions and provide additional information are Rachel Hixson, Dave McClard and Bill Purtymun.

Rachel Hixson is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist with a Master of Arts degree in Geography from Arizona State University.  She is helping to develop the GIS capabilities of LANL’s Emergency Operations Center.  She has also been working on reverse plume modeling for a national bio-surveillance program at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for three years.

Dave McClard works in the EO-EM Group as an Emergency Manager. Current responsibilities: Focus on response management, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) operability, planning and preparedness activities, communication operations, aviation operations, and wildland fire operations. Dave began emergency management work in 1986 as a search and rescue (SAR) pilot and search and rescue trainer. His last five years were spent as the State Emergency Services Director and squadron commander for an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.

Bill Purtymun originally became involved in emergency management as a Firefighter III/ EMT Paramedic.   He graduated from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a BS in Geology. He has been employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1989, initially as a Site Safety Officer for a non-reactor nuclear facility.  In the mid 1990’s he became a LANL Emergency Manager and Incident Commander for the Emergency Operations Division.  For the past several years he has worked in Hazard and Consequence Assessment at the LANL Emergency Operations Center.  In his spare time he volunteers with the local ski and mountain bike patrol and is a Nationally Registered Paramedic.   He is currently working on his masters in Emergency Management through Arizona State University.

Join us on September 22nd at 10:30am PST to learn more about how your organization can be better prepared, cross collaborate more efficiently and benefit from the Depiction software platform.