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.
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.
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.
We continue to restore the missing quickstart sources. Now state, county and congressional boundaries are working again.
The quickstart data source water bodies has now been restored. We are continuing to try and get the others restored.
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 (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 http://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness.
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 www.depiction.com/tutor.
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.