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.
Problems seem to happen in threes. First our geo-server went down, then USGS changed the location of their elevation data and now Yahoo has changed their API which is what we used for geo-coding the starting location for new Depictions. Existing long time users may not notice either of these problems if they are creating new depictions in their home areas because the data may still be in their cache. However, new users and trial users will definitely notice this as will new DepictionPrep users. We have a fix for both problems and the current download on the website is an interim build 12522 which fixes these issues. We will be coming out with an official build next week but if you are experiencing these issues then you can download the new version from the website. We have noticed that the new USGS elevation source is very slow. Apparently they are now returning 1 degree tiles that are 250mb in size and if your boundary happens to cover more than one tile then you could have to download multiple tiles. We hope to have our geo-server up and running next week and so we can have reasonable elevation download times.
It appears that all of our data sources are changing. Now the initial location geo-coding has ceased to function. We use Yahoo and they recently changed their API (application program interface) which caused our malfunction. We hope to have a fix for this in the next day or two. We have actually fixed the problem and are in the process of testing the build to make sure it is OK. We have also fixed the Elevation Quickstart data source. Unfortunately they changed how they are serving out the data and give it out in 250mb chunks and so it takes much longer for it to download. Existing users won’t notice much of a change if your elevation data is in your cache for your area but new users will certainly experience this. We are working to find a solution to this problem as well. We are sorry for any inconvenience these problems cause you.
If you attended our recent Webinar on creating Rapid Situation Maps, we were a bit embarrassed when we found that elevation data wasn’t loading. At that moment we blamed it on a new Beta build that we were running but as it turns out the service where we get the data changed their API and so the elevation quick start source wasn’t working for any build. We are in the process of fixing this problem and will be putting out a new build as soon as we can. If you have downloaded elevation previously for your area then it will probably still be in your cache but if you are a new user or are doing a Depiction in a new area then you will run into this problem. You can still get elevation data directly from the USGS web site. Watch this webinar recording to find out how.
The site listed below provides links to state data repositories for download. You should check out your state and see what is available. It also points to data sources for Canadian Provinces.
We are always on the lookout for free data sources. Here are two sites that are worth checking out:
Check out this article about Apple’s switch.
Google Translate tells me that means ‘more than mapping’ in Norwegian, and hopefully it’s right.
The Depiction 1.3.3 Release Candidate became available this week, and one of the new features added is Quickstart data for Norway–two different topographic maps and a hydrographic map. If you use 1.3.3 to create a new depiction in Norway, you’ll see these new options
You may ask, why Norway? As nice a country as it is, this wasn’t an idea that came out of our own heads–a Norwegian user used the Depiction support forum to point us to a set of data services provided by the Norwegian Mapping Authority.
Quickstart data consists of publicly available data from governments and other organizations–and if you know of data that is being made available that you think we should take advantage of, let us know, either in the Depiction support forum or right here.
In the meantime, if you’d like to explore Norway a little further, download Depiction 1.3.3 and take a look!
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:
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- 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!
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.