Posts tagged OpenStreetMap

New Webinar Videos now online

Videos of our November 28th and December 5th webinars are now available on our web site. The November 28th webinar covered Depiction and OpenStreetMaps and the December 5th covered how to download higher resolution elevation data form the National Maps website.

101 Webinars

New OpenStreetMap Add-on now available – only $9.95

The new OSM add-on adds five quick start data sources to your quick start list. The cost is only $9.95 and you can buy it here. You will need to have Depiction version 1.4 or later installed to use this addon.

Here is a screen shot  of the results for a section of Los Angeles

The various elements will only be brought in to your Depiction if the point of interest is in the OSM data base.  You can determine which ones will be brought in for your area by  using the OSM street map as your background tiling source and zooming in to an area.  If the POI is there then it should come in as an element icon when you use the Quick Start. Below I have highlighted in yellow the POI’s that would be brought in for this area of Los Angeles.

It should also be noted that when people enter Points of Interest into Openstreemap they can enter them as a point or as polygon to show a building or property footprint.  Depiction will bring both in, one as a point and one as a polygon.  See the example below.

So what happens if the POI’s for police, fire, schools, hospitals or places of worship aren’t there?  You can go to the OSM website and add them yourself.  This is pretty easy.  You go to If you don’t have an account you will need to create one.  Log in.  Go to your area of interest. Choose edit from the drop down menu.

In the example below, I know there is a fire station at the point highlighted in yellow below.

So I drag a fire station icon to that location. Enter the fire station name and click save.

Now the next time I do an import using the OSM add-on that fire station will be brought in.  So by adding points of interest to your town or community you will be contributing to the OSM community effort and other Depiction users in your area will also benefit from your work.

The place of worship element is a new element and will be included in the upcoming version 1.4.2 release of Depiction.  In the meantime a place of worship icon is included with the add-on. We hope you find this add-on useful and if there are other OSM points of interest that you would like to be able to be brought in to Depiction, let us know and we will develop additional add-ons.

What’s Happening at Depiction?

We have been busy behind the scenes for the last few months. Below are some of the things we have been working on.

Laying groundwork for Version 2.0

Our dev team is busy laying out the groundwork for our next version.  In the next few months we hope to have a list of potential features and hope to get your input on what you would like to see.  But you can always give us that feedback via the Depiction get satisfaction site.

Some of the major features we are considering are:

  • Increased number of file formats for import and export
  • More sophisticated printing
  • Custom initial boundaries ie irregular polygons
  • Resize boundaries
  • A custom tiler – allow user to enter api info for a custom tiler like google
  • Local Source tiler – allow the use of local tiling sources ie streets and trips
  • Being able to view many more elements ie 100,000s
  • Categorized elements ie elements with behaviors and other categories
  • Improved EID handling – ie ability to change existing property name to EID or to designate a property as the EID property.
  • General simplification and user friendliness enhancements

We have scores of other minor changes on the list as well.

Version 1.4.2

I had indicated in an earlier post that 1.4.1 might be the last free update.  I think I was overly optimistic. The reality is that the service providers that we get the free data from have a tendency to change how they serve out their data which in many cases requires us to change our program.  USC geo-coder is the service we use to geo-code addresses and they are changing their API and so we will have to come out with a new version. So we might still have have several minor releases before Version 2.0 comes out.

New Web Site

I don’t know if all of you have been as frustrated by our front page as I have been and finally we are doing something about it.  Hopefully by mid to late July we will have a new website with a navigation bar.  The front page is going to be very different but most of the inner pages will have pretty much the same content.  Below is a shot of the new front page.

This is a screen shot of our new front page.

New Add-on

We have a new add-on in development.  This add-on will let you draw on the data that exists within OpenStreeMap.  OpenStreetMap has many data elements such as police stations, fire stations, schools, hospitals etc.  With this add-on it, will add specific quickstart data sources to your list.  The one down side of this source is that since it is crowd sourced it may not contain all of the data for your area.  One solution of course if for you to go in to openstreetmap and enter all of the data and then it would show up.  We will have more on this later as we figure out exactly how it will work.


So that is just a brief summary of what is going on at Depiction.  We want to thank all of you for continuing to be loyal Depiction users.

Apple starts using OpenStreetMap in Iphoto

Apple switched from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap a few months ago.  Depiction has been using OpenStreetMap for several years.  OpenStreetMap is a crowd sourced map of the world.

Check out this article about Apple’s switch.

What’s new in Depiction 1.3.3

Depiction 1.3.3 is out and available for download! If you own the software, you should just be able to run the Depiction Update program to get the latest version. If you don’t, what are you waiting for? There are quite a few nice updates in the new version, but I want to highlight a couple.

The first one you’ll notice is a new background street map source. This is the MapQuest Open street map, a “re-skinning” of OpenStreetMap created and provided by MapQuest. This is a much cleaner and smoother version of OpenStreetMap, though it does have less detail–both are useful to have on hand, and now, you do!

Washington, DC in OpenStreetMap

Washington, DC in MapQuest Open Street Ma

Another new tiling source, also from MapQuest Open, is the OpenAerialMap imagery. This is largely a combination of the NAIP and Landsat imagery that Depiction users are likely familiar with, now in a single tiling source. One very cool addition, though, is the ‘blue marble’ style tiling you get when you are zoomed out far enough.

MapQuest Open OpenAerialMap Imagery

Another nice change is the new method for downloading OpenStreetMap road network data–this should both increase the speed of the download and processing, and enable you to bring in road network data for larger areas more consistently.

I’ll wrap up with the improvements made to the settings menu. While there’s no actual change to the functionality, we’ve made things much clearer and easier to use. This is the largest of a number of ease-of-use changes that were originally developed as part of DepictionPrep but that have been brought over into Depiction 1.3.3 as well.

Settings, before

Settings, before

Settings, after

Settings, after

You can see the rest of the new enhancements and fixes at our What’s New page.

Depiction Workshop at State of the Map 2011 in Denver

State of the Map is OpenStreetMap’s annual international conference and we’re super excited to be a part of this year’s event held in Denver, September 9-11!

Join our Preferred Consultant, Russell Deffner on Friday, September 9th at 11:50am for a 40 minute workshop introduction to OpenStreetMap and Depiction. Hurricane Coast, VP of Sales and Marketing, and avid OpensStreetMapper will be there too!

We’ll work with the audience to create ‘what if’ simulations, table top exercises and demo new tools available with the latest release! Tickets are almost sold out, so be sure to register soon!

The entire weekend is chock full of fun map related events, talks and workshops with over 250 attendees from around the world. Check out the schedule for September 9-11.

OpenStreetMap is an integral part of Depiction. Using free, open source software is vital to our business. Plus, OpenStreetMap data is the most current, up-to-date available for both vector and road data. Come join us at the greatest gathering of open source map enthusiasts and learn how it can benefit your business or cause!

See you in Denver!

Welcome to Hurricane Coast!

We at Depiction are very pleased to announce today that Hurricane Coast is joining the company as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. All sorts of excellent details are in the official announcement. Hurricane was previously the program manager of the Open Initiative at MapQuest, has served as Community Ambassador at Cloudmade, and is currently a member of the OpenStreetMap foundation and the State of the Map 2011 organizing committee. She has been a contributor to OpenStreetMap since 2008.

We first met Hurricane last fall, when she joined us for an OpenStreetMap and Depiction webinar, and sat down for a Depiction Perspectives interview. We’re very glad that she’s going to be putting her considerable talents behind Depiction.

Depicting Fukushima Video

Tim posted a new video on YouTube, discussing his depiction of the Fukushima Daiichi plant issues.YouTube Preview Image

This is a powerful use of our software, I must say. Please comment or contact us if you have any questions.

Latest webinar videos, OpenStreetMap & Election Mapping

Video from our two most recent webinars is now available. First up, “OpenStreetMap & Depiction” with Special Guest Hurricane Coast:

And fresh from yesterday, Hyperlocal Election Mapping Made Easy with yours truly.

Depiction & OpenStreetMap Webinar

Hurricane Coast, who will be a special guest presenter during our Depiction & OpenStreetMap GIS Day Webinar, has posted a bit more about Wednesday’s event on the MapQuest blog:

In the past months, we have been excited to talk about MapQuest’s involvement with OpenStreetMap. But what exactly is this project about and how can you be apart of it you ask? This Wednesday, November 17th, at 2PM EST, Hurricane Coast will co-host a free webinar that will help new folks get started with OpenStreetMap (OSM).

The webinar is a perfect way to get your hands dirty in a hands-on style. The hour long session will cover everything from history about OSM and cool stories of how the project ‘saved lives’ to walking you through the sign-up process and showing you how to make your first edit.

We’re excited to be hosting this, and we hope you can make it!