Posts tagged geoaligning

Tools to Improve your Depiction Experience

One of the great features of Depiction is geo-aligning images (click here to see a tutorial video on the subject). But how does one get those images?

An easy way to get images is to capture them off the Internet (being respectful of copyright laws, of course). The first way I learned to do this was with the Print Screen button, which puts the screen into the clipboard, then you paste it into MS Paint where you can save the image as a jpeg for Depiction. This doesn’t give you much editing control, and all of those windows bits you may not want in your depiction are in the image. Then someone in our office found Snag-It, a great utility that gives one lots of capturing and editing power for a fairly small price tag. Today ZDNet.com featured Gadwin PrintScreen 4.4 in their Downloads email. I’ll let you read more about it in their review (where you can also download it), and it looks to me like a great option for these tough economic times and Depiction users.

Note: this is not a product endorsement.

Happy Depicting!
George

Map Your Neighborhood & Depiction

Last fall all of our neighbors gathered for a Map Your Neighborhood meeting. I live in a rural neighborhood of 1 to 5 acre lots in the San Juan Islands. The information was collected and a month or so later I received a hand drawn map with house #’s and approx locations and propane tank locations. After I got a copy of Depiction I thought it would be a perfect application for this. So I created an excel file and entered the names and addresses of all of the neighbors along with their skill sets and resources they had. I then saved that file as a CSV file.

Then I made a copy of that file and eliminated the skill set info and replaced it with Propane tank size and then saved that file. I opened up depiction and created a story for our neighborhood. I created a new element for Propane tanks and found an icon on the internet doing a google search for propane tank icon. The aerial photo that Depiction brought in wasn’t very current so I went out to Google maps and did a print screen of the same area. I opened the image in Picasa and cropped it to show the area I wanted and then saved it as a JPG. Then I imported that image as an image file in Depiction and then geo-aligned it (see this tutorial for details). I also had a parcel map jpg of the island which I opened in Picassa an cropped down to the area I wanted and saved it. I imported it as an image file and geo-aligned it. Then I imported my two excel files.

Since I only had property addresses the geocoding didn’t place the icons in the exact locations, since the Tiger file only approximates the location based on street number. So next I moved each house icon to the location of the houses and the propane icons to the location of the propane tanks. When I was done I had a much more accurate visualization of the neighborhood with more exact locations and an easily update able spreadsheet of neighborhood information. All in all I think Depiction is a perfect fit for Map Your Neighborhood.