Small Business

Ric Skinner, GISP: Depiction Preferred Consultant Profile

Depiction Preferred Consultants (DPC) are a great asset to Depiction and we’re happy to have them as part of the Depiction family. These folks offer services like training, project assistance and even full Depiction implementation to organizations interested in or already using Depiction. We’re writing a series of blogs to highlight the strengths of each of our DPCs to expand on the resources that support Depiction. This week we’re featuring Ric Skinner.

Ric Skinner of The Stoneybrook Group, LLC is a Certified GIS Professional with over 30 years of professional experience in hospital & healthcare preparedness, health geographics and environmental management. While The Stoneybrook Group is based in Massachusetts it is available to provides services and grant collaboration regionally and nationally. Ric is the book editor and a chapter author of GIS in Hospital and Healthcare Emergency Management. He is an active member of the International Assn. of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Urban & Regional Information Systems Assn. (URISA), and other professional organizations and their listservs. Following the old adage “if I give you a fish you will eat for one meal; if I teach you to fish you will never go hungry,” Ric’s consulting objective is to teach others how to use GIS to meet their needs for assuring that the right people, have the right information, at the right time and in the right format. While he has used ESRI GIS software since the late 1980s, he recognizes that many small organizations and budget-strapped municipalities cannot afford the investment of money and people for a GIS that has many features and functions they really don’t need. That’s why he now focuses on the “leaner and less costly” GIS capabilities that Depiction provides.

I have had the pleasure of working with Ric both virtually and in person. I appreciate his knowledge of GIS, healthcare and policy affecting both, and his desire to foster collaboration and effective use of Depiction. Ric is very enthusiastic about GIS (he has been called a “GIS evangelist”) and about Depiction, both in its current functionality and its potential. We have featured him in two Depiction Perspectives interviews (June 2010 and June 2011), and several blog posts.

For the past year or so, Ric has been working with Chris Floyd of Disaster Resistant Communities Group, to put on the Formidable Footprint online tabletop exercise series. He uses Depiction to produce interactive and static maps that illustrate the location and effects of the disaster for each innovative, free monthly event.

Please contact Ric Skinner via email with any questions and visit The Stoneybrook Group, LLC to learn more about his company.

Hurricane Biz – an online tabletop business continuity webinar

Hurricane BizOn September 13, Depiction, Inc. and the Disaster Resistant Communities Group, two of the companies behind the Formidable Footprint series of national neighborhood tabletop exercises, are offering businesses in hurricane-prone regions an opportunity to assess the capabilities and capacity of their disaster response plan in regards to a hurricane.

During the exercise, management and staff will have the opportunity to work together as a unified disaster response team. The team will work through the various activities associated with preparing for, then responding to and recovering from, a category two hurricane. Whether you have a disaster plan in place that you want to assess, or if you are looking for a compelling reason develop one, “Hurricane Biz” will provide you with both the tools and experience to help you reach your goal.

The exercise will be facilitated online using the ON-Line eXercise (ONX) System, and will also make use of Depiction’s mapping capabilities to help businesses better create plans that take their unique geographic location into account. To learn more, visit

Mapping Employees with Depiction

The Small Business Add-on is an easy way to get started using Depiction for business purposes, from strategic planning to business continuity and more. We’ve put together a new tutorial on how to use the Small Business Add-on to map employees–though you can follow the same instructions to map employees without the add-on, or to map anything in a spreadsheet, not just employees!
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“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.

Depiction for Small Business

The new Small Business page at the Depiction website has several resources to help small business owners use Depiction, whether for business preparedness, market analysis, or any of the other other location-based decisions that they make every day. Take a look at this new 90-second video describing just one of the possibilities.

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