Posts tagged quickstart

More quickstart sources are back.

We continue to restore the missing quickstart sources.  Now state, county and congressional boundaries are working again.

Quickstart Water bodies is now available again

The quickstart data source water bodies has now been restored. We are continuing to try and get the others restored.

Depiction Elevation Quickstart Working Again

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.

Geo-coding of initial location not working in version 1.4.2 and earlier

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.

Initial Location Geo-coding currently not working.

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.

Elevation data currently unavailable in Quick Start

If you attended our recent Webinar on creating Rapid Situation Maps, we were a bit embarrassed when we found that elevation data wasn’t loading.  At that moment we blamed it on a new Beta build that we were running but as it turns out the service where we get the data changed their API and so the elevation quick start source wasn’t working for any build.  We are in the process of fixing this problem and will be putting out a new build as soon as we can.  If you have downloaded elevation previously for your area then it will probably still be in your cache but if you are a new user or are doing a Depiction in a new area then you will run into this problem.  You can still get elevation data directly from the USGS web site.  Watch this webinar recording to find out how.

Some Quickstart Sources not working at the moment

Our geo-server that serves out some of the quick start data was infiltrated by some geo-worms and had to be put down for awhile.  We hope to have a new server up shortly.   The main one that many people use is the Elevation (Depiction)  there is however an alternate elevation source which is the one you should choose for the moment. The following are the QuickStart data sources that are affected.

  • Elevation(NED 30m – Depiction
  • Historical Hurricane Tracks
  • State and Province Boundaries
  • Tornado Tracks
  • US Congressional Districts
  • US County Boundaries
  • Water Bodies

We will let you know when this has been resolved.

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.

Mer enn kartlegging

Google Translate tells me that means ‘more than mapping’ in Norwegian, and hopefully it’s right.

The Depiction 1.3.3 Release Candidate became available this week, and one of the new features added is Quickstart data for Norway–two different topographic maps and a hydrographic map. If you use 1.3.3 to create a new depiction in Norway, you’ll see these new options

You may ask, why Norway? As nice a country as it is, this wasn’t an idea that came out of our own heads–a Norwegian user used the Depiction support forum to point us to a set of data services provided by the Norwegian Mapping Authority.

Quickstart data consists of publicly available data from governments and other organizations–and if you know of data that is being made available that you think we should take advantage of, let us know, either in the Depiction support forum or right here.

In the meantime, if you’d like to explore Norway a little further, download Depiction 1.3.3 and take a look!

International elevation data available from Quickstart

Some of Depiction’s coolest simulation features make use of elevation data–floods, runoff, antennas and more. In the USA, we’re blessed with excellent elevation data available both from Depiction’s Quickstart and, in higher resolutions, as a download from the USGS.

Things have been a bit tougher elsewhere in the world–the ASTER-GDEM data is useful, but its distribution license means we can’t make it available as a Quickstart source.

But thanks to the good folks here, we are now able to make 90-meter data available through Quickstart for many countries. Specifically, you will find it if you create a depiction in any of these countries:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • United Arab Emirates

Be warned, 90-meter data means that it is based on measurements taken at 90-meter intervals, so this data is very rough and not very pretty. It also is going to make small-scale simulations even less accurate. However, we do think that it is better than nothing for a variety of purposes, and hope our users around the world are able to make good use of it.

Would you like this 90-meter data available for another country? Let us know!