Archive for April, 2013

Become a Depiction Champion on our GetSatisfaction Forum

Have you visited our Get Satisfaction forum lately? Those in the know use the forum on a regular basis to ask questions, give answers, and participate in great conversations with other Depiction users and the Depiction team! Are you frustrated because you can’t get something to work or you know there is a way to do what you want but you can’t figure it out, well this is the place to ask the question.

Or maybe you are a Depiction user with unique skills — the forum needs you to help newcomers! We welcome your opinions, tips, and recommendations on best practices using Depiction. Maybe you have used Depiction in a unique way. It might be just the thing that someone else is looking to do. Want to ask a question or start a discussion? The forum is a great place to do that, too.

So come on, dig in! If the Depiction team spots you being particularly helpful in the forum, we’ll even make you an official Depiction Champion! We’ll add a sweet badge to your avatar but that’s not all – you’ll also be invited to beta new depiction versions, and if you participate a lot you will be offered free add-ons or discounts on products.

Being helpful could consist of answering someone’s question before the Depiction Team has a chance to, starting a topic to give people great ideas on different uses of Depiction – or anything else that we consider spectacular.

We really do think of Depiction as a community, and we strive every day to make this a great place for all of our map makers. The GetSatisfaction forum is a big part of that, and we’d love to hang out there with you too!

April 24th Webinar Video Now Available

In case you missed the April 24th webinar presented by Russ Deffner on using DepictionPrep and Depiction for personal and family preparedness, the recording is now available on our website and can be found here.

Evaluation of Depiction by a German Fire Department

Recently we worked with a German fire department to work through some of the issues using Depiction outside of the USA. Frank Ruegner of the Dornstetten fire department did a very thorough analysis of how Depiction could meet their department’s needs. The paper can be found here.

Some Reviews of Our Software by Hams from 2011.

Recently came across some reviews of our software at EHamnet.  For the most part they are very positive reviews and we thank the reviewers.  The second reviewer comments that our software is a resource hog.  He says that he got a bunch of files from his GIS department and they bogged down the system.  What he didn’t realize is that Depiction is not a full blown GIS.  It is a mapping tool that will allow you to do many  GIS tasks on a small scale.  Version 1.4 can handle effectively about 10,000 elements. When you start to get more than that you will see performance issues.  Most folks that use our software don’t need that many elements and are quite happy to spend only $199 to get the capabilities they need rather than the thousands of dollars for an ARCInfo system.  The version 2 of our software that is currently under development will allow a 100,000 plus number of elements.

Interesting Paper on GIS and Emergency Management by Dr John Pine of LSU

We have posted an interesting paper by DR. John Pine of LSU on the use of GIS in Emergency Management.  You can find it here.

In this paper Dr. Pine explores how a geographic information system (GIS) can be used to assist emergency managers in planning for and responding to emergencies. This includes creating situational awareness and common operating pictures.  Of course we think Depiction software is a great affordable and easy to use tool for Emergency Managers.

More quickstart sources are back.

We continue to restore the missing quickstart sources.  Now state, county and congressional boundaries are working again.

Quickstart Water bodies is now available again

The quickstart data source water bodies has now been restored. We are continuing to try and get the others restored.

Depiction Elevation Quickstart Working Again

We have restored our Geoserver and have the Elevation Quickstart working again.  The other quickstart data sources we provide from our server still aren’t available but we are working to get them restored.

Youth Preparedness Council Call for Nominations

Youth Preparedness Council: Call for Nominations (Only 8 Days Left!)

The deadline is quickly approaching!

FEMA is collecting applications for the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) and there are only 8 days left to apply or nominate someone – so hurry and submit your application today!

FEMA’s YPC is a unique opportunity for youth leaders to serve on a highly distinguished national council; to complete a self-selected youth preparedness project; to voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national organizations working on youth preparedness; and to participate in a Youth Preparedness Council Summit.

Youth can apply on their own or individuals who are familiar with their preparedness activities can nominate them. Applicants/nominees must be between 12 and 17 years old. Applications should emphasize youth disaster preparedness activities that the applicant/nominee has participated in or can be related to a disaster the applicant/nominee has experienced. Application narratives should describe a specific emergency situation and/or example of a disaster preparedness activity that would qualify the nominee to serve on the council.

The application deadline is April 19, 2013.

For more information about the YPC application and FAQs, please visit

Depiction Tutors Now Available

We have added a new product to the Depiction line-up of products and services – Depiction Tutor. You can purchase 1 hour blocks of one on one time with Depiction experts for $50 per hour.  This one hour can be used all at once or in two sessions.  They can be via a telephone call or as a goto meeting session where the Tutor can see your screen and help you solve the problem you are facing. This can also just be used as a tutoring session giving you one on one help. The tutor will either be a member of the Depiction staff or a Depiction Preferred Consultant.  Once you purchase the time then we will assign a tutor and set a mutually agreeable time to meet and help you with your problem.  You can purchase these blocks of time at