May 28th Webinar recording now available.

The May 28th webinar which was a demo and Q&A about the Depiction version 2.0 is now available and can be found here.

How to create your own background tiler.

A few weeks back I posted how a German fire department was using Depiction.  He had discovered a way to take maps and make them into background tiles.  He has written a paper on how he did that and has graciously allowed me to share it. You can find it here.

A user story.

Recently a long term Depiction user wrote to me how she was using Depiction.  She uses it for a variety of different and unusual reasons and just shows how flexible Depiction is and as she points out is ‘more than mapping”.

I am not a GIS expert. The concept of a story was puzzling to me and using maps was just as puzzling. After I retired I wanted to write stories about my family and activities. At first I thought I needed to have a file with a name for my stories. After using Depiction for awhile I found that using maps was far better as one can remember much easier the people in the story by the places they have lived at or been to. I can insert pictures and copy large amounts of information into my Depictions. I can use Depiction for my personal preparedness which is always there when I want to access it because the information is saved in a Depiction on my computer. I can use Depiction to plot out locations and scenarios when I see major news stories. I find it much easier to add a location as Depiction places the location directly on the map.

With Malaysia Flight 370 in the news, I used Depiction to follow what was going on. It was so much easier than using the online maps which are too “busy” for me. Since I already had the Depiction on Flight 370 saved to my computer, I did not have to recreate the maps again which made it much easier to follow. I could just open up my Depiction each day and add information. Using the coordinates and locations given on the news, I was able to follow along to see what was going on and make my guess as to where the plane was. With the elements available I was able to key in important information. Using the Route elements I was able to see the distance involved which helped to see where the plane might be located.

Depiction is more than Mapping. It is fun to create maps, write notes, and visualize what could happen in familiar surroundings. It is like a game for me sometimes such as searching for treasures. I have used Depiction work on contests for locating treasures. All the info I key is right there and I can continue again without having to take notes again as they are already there which has saved an enormous amount of time. I can use Depiction as an address book. I just key in names, addresses and other info and I know where it is because it is in the location my Depiction is saved so I don’t forget. Using my home address to start I put in addresses for people all over. I just key in an address and Depiction locates it for me. I then use the element properties for keying in all the information.

Now I am retired and look forward to using Depiction for writing my stories! I hope all of you that are using Depiction,  enjoy it as much as I do.

Video of Depiction Webinar by Michael Craig of Pemstar now available.

This webinar was about how Michael Craig used Depiction more than mapping software during the planning for and as a common operating picture and situational awareness tool to support the New Jersey MACC for the SuperBowl 48. You can watch it here.

April 22nd Webinar – Michael Craig and the Big Game

Please join us on Tuesday April 22nd, 2014 at Noon PST/3pm EST for another informative Depiction 101 webinar.

The webinar will be how Michael Craig, Owner of PEMSTAR was asked to be the GIS Technical Specialist for the MACC (multi-agency coordination system) for SuperbOwl 48. The MACC is the fusion center for all emergency medical and health service. It was assigned to monitor, support and coordinate all incidents within New Jersey and New York. Michael Craig used Depiction as his primary GIS mapping software. Michael used almost all the assets that Depiction has to offer, publish to web, live reports, customizable elements creation and more. The Department of Health and Human Services, FDNY, New Jersey EMS task force, FEMA and the New Jersey Department of Health were just some of the event participants. During the week of the SuperbOwl, Michael Craig not only had to coordinate the SuperbOwl events but a quarantined cruise ship, and a large number of white powder incidents.

If there is time available we will also be available to answer general questions.

You can register here.

Email from a German Fire Department using Depiction

Hi Richard,

I want to give you some information of our first “proof of ability” of the Depiction software we bought some time ago.

The county Freudenstadt (115 055 inhabitants, 870.68 km² area)

did a region wide exercise with a simulated winter storm event.

The proposed situation was that a winter storm with heavy snowfall and strong wind crossed the county.

Rising temperatures and beginning rain complicated the situation.

The local fire brigades are confronted with flooded roads and cellars, damaged buildings, traffic accidents and so on.

The dispatchers of the rescue coordination center (red cross/fire dept.) were faced with over 560 calls for help during the 5h exercise.

Over 850 firemen were sent out to help the resident population.

The fire brigade from Dornstetten used the Depiction software to manage the 36 events in their municipal area.

The incoming tasks were put into the depiction and geolocated automatically.

We used a user created element for representing a tasks location.

The ongoing state of such a task was shown by different colors.

Red: -new alert

Yellow: -work in progress

Green: -work done

The vehicles assigned to that tasks, were placed at the task areas location, when the message from the crew came to our local headquarter, that they start their work there.

So we were able to keep control over our resources and open tasks without any problem.

Our mobile command center was used as telecommunication center. All decisions were taken in the so called “Führungshaus”.

This was installed in our fire station. There we run the depiction software on a laptop with a connected beamer to have an actual operation picture available.

A second Depiction application in our mobile command center was updated via the Live Report function.

So the guys in the field were informed about the ongoing efforts nearly in real time.

This was the first time we used Depiction under real life crisis conditions and it worked like we expected.

Best regards,

Frank Ruegner

March 18th Webinar video now available online

The Depiction 101 webinar presented by Russel Deffner about his time working in Mongolia with the OpenStreetMap Humanitarian Team.  You can find it here on our webiste or here on YouTube.

February 25th Webinar Recording Now Available

If you missed the Depiction 101 session “Getting Started with Depiction – the Basics” you can now watch the recording on our website. You will find it here.

This webinar covered the following topics.

  • How to find info on the Depiction website,
  • Discussion of Add-ons/ Elements/Icons
  • How to ask for assistance or report a problem
  • Review some of the add-ons and icon packs that are available
  • How to download and install the software
  • How to find free data on the internet
  • Discuss some key concepts
  • How to start a depiction and add information to it.
  • Tips, Techniques and Best Practices when using Depiction

New Getting Started with Depiction Webinar announced for Tuesday Feb 25th at noon PST/3pm EST

Please join us on Tuesday February 25th, 2014 at Noon PST/3pm EST for another informative Depiction 101 webinar. Please note the new day of the week and time. With all of the new Red Cross users, we thought this would be a good time to go over some of the Depiction basics again. This will be a great webinar for those new to Depiction and will go over some key concepts and tips on how to best use Depiction and its many features.

Purchasers of Depiction 1.4.3 after 1-1-14 will receive a 75% discount on Version 2 upgrade.

Purchasers of Depiction 1.4.3 after 1-1-14 will receive a 75% discount on Version 2 upgrade. Some folks may think that they want to hold off purchasing 1.4.3 because version of the impending release of Version 2.0. By offering this incentive we hope folks will go ahead and purchase version 1.4.3 and start using the program.  Version 2.0 will operate in basically the same manner but will have increased capabilities and so whatever you learn with 1.4.3 will carry over to version 2.0.