Archive for April, 2012

The last three webinars have now been posted to the website.

I finally figures out what I was doing wrong and was now able to post the last three webinars to the website.  These covered:

  • Tabletop Exercises
  • What’s new in Depiction version 1.4
  • Water Simulation Elements

You can find them here.

Some feedback from a customer in Maine

Our ARES/CERT Communications group used the Depiction software this past weekend for the first time. It is amazing. The ability to go from topographical, street and satellite imagery is amazing. We were able to track our groups along tree lines and in fields as they did their search. In Maine we had a girl about 20 months old that disappeared during the night. Her father says that someone took her but there was no evidence to support that. The police have done multiple searches for her but have had no luck. There was someone in the home town where the girl disappeared that had seen a car at a business that was closed and he had reported it to the police. They did not search the area where he saw the car. He asked for our help and we responded to his needs. We spent about 5 hours searching an area about 100 to 150 acres. The software along with our Byonics  All in One Trackers was a great mix to allow for accurate viewing of the search and the ability to post positions of interest that we came across. We used Depiction along with APRS Live to accomplish this. There are a few things I would like to see changed for search and rescue use but it is way better than anything that we have had until now.

Thought you might like to hear about our use of your software. Keep up the good work.

Thank you

Bob Gould

Oxford County ARES/CERT Communications

Oxford County IMAT

Maine Communications Unit Leader

Topographical map background tiler going away May 1st, 2012

As we said in our Depiction 1.4 “What’s New” document:

Background Tiling Sources
As you may or may not know, Depiction is not in the data business. Depiction was meant to be a mapping platform that could easily bring in available public data sources and then allow the end user to add their own data.  We attempt to find public sources for QuickStart data to help folks get started easily.  We also use these public sources for our background tilers.  One of the sources we used for several maps was the Microsoft Research Map site know as Microsoft TerraServer.   They provided the following background tiling sources: usgs black and white, usgs urban, usgs topo.
Unfortunately they are going to stop providing these feeds effective May 1, 2012 and so in anticipation of that we have removed USGS Black and White and USGS Urban. We have other imagery sources that are just as good if not better than these. Unfortunately we haven’t found a replacement for the Topographic map and so we are going to leave it in for the moment.  If you use this source a lot we recommend that you zoom and pan the areas that you use a lot in order to get these tiles in your cache. Around May 1st we will be releasing a new version (1.4.1) of the software that will have the TOPO background tiler removed since new customers would not be able to get any tiles from this source.  We will also hope to release a free add-on for those that want to continue to use the TOPO tiles in your cache, that will allow you to still use them.
We will also be looking for new sources of Topo maps for our background tiler and hopefully we will be able to find a replacement source in the near future.  If any of you find a source please let us know.

La Quinta Emergency Preparedness Kits

The City of La Quinta CA is a long time Depiction/DepictionPrep user and has a very active Neighborhood preparedness program. Paul Hess the emergency services coordinator for the city recently sent me info on some new kits they have available.

The City of La Quinta has now announced the release of the New La Quinta PREP Emergency Preparedness Kits:

The City of La Quinta is making it easier than ever to get prepared for an earthquake or other community emergency! Now, the new

La Quinta PREP Emergency Preparedness Kits are available to the public from our City web site:

We have worked hard with the great staff at More Prepared to create this family, vehicle, and Workplace

Emergency Preparedness starter kit that follows our PREP Neighborhood Preparedness guidelines including:

  1. Emergency Water Supplies (To be added by the purchaser according to PREP handout instructions)
  2. Bandaging Supplies for more than a dozen people
  3. Tools including Flashlight, Lantern, & AM/FM radio, pry bar, and hand tools
  4. La Quinta PREP booklets and handouts

We are very excited to have this La Quinta PREP Emergency Preparedness Kit available to the public commercially. You can add anything else you want to customize the La Quinta PREP Kit for your family, neighborhood, HOA, vehicle or work location. We believe it is reasonably priced and is a great convenience to all of our responders, volunteers, and residents. Just add water, and you are ready for any emergency! Remember to have a starter kit at home, in your vehicles, and at your work or day location. For more information on the La Quinta PREP Program and Kit please contact Paul Hess, our Emergency Services Coordinator at 760-777-7061 or at

(Note: the City of La Quinta does not profit from the sale of these kits. They are provided as a public service to increase family and neighborhood preparedness)

New User Manual for Version 1.4

We have posted a new version of the Depiction 1.4 User manual on the website.  It can be downloaded here.

Two New Depiction Add-ons Available Now!

Created as accompaniments to the Recreation Add-on software both Add-ons are related to recreation.  The Aquatic Recreation Add-on software comes with new point elements, which allow you to quickly map locations like kayak/canoe launches and diving points.  You can easily draw vehicle ferry routes yourself or import them from a file.  Of course areas can also be imported as swimming areas or drawn with the user drawn shape – freeform polygon tool.  One element has a behavior; the Lighthouse.  This element additionally requires an interaction (included) to simulate a potential line-of-site zone for safely traveling the waters. Use the Aquatic Recreation Add-on to create a simple map of your visit, or to plan and track the operations of a marina.

The Winter Recreation Add-on software also includes new point elements allowing you to map locations like warming huts and back country access points.  Import various modes of transportation line data, such as snowshoe and cross-country ski trails or quickly draw them yourself; including elements based on the North American Trail Rating System for colorizing difficulty.  Of course areas can also be imported as terrain parks and tubing hills or drawn with the user drawn shape – freeform polygon tool.  Two elements have behavior; the first is the Avalauncher Site.  This element additionally requires an interaction (included) to simulate a potential target zone for conducting avalanche control operations.  The Snowmaking Equipment element can be used to show the intended coverage from a snowgun or general area of snowmaking operations by entering properties for a simple arc calculation (direction, distance, and angle).  Use the Winter Recreation Add-on to create a simple map of your visit, or to plan the year round operations of a resort.  Both of these add-on are now available for $12.95 each in the Depiction Store.

Depiction Reader 1.4 Now Available

The new 1.4 Version of the Depiction Free Reader is now available on the website.
Go to to get your copy.