Thursday, July 09, 2009

Depiction: GIS Software used as educational tool

Using Depiction, new software that costs less than most college textbooks, universities across the globe are enabling professors and students to build, use and present custom, interactive maps and simulations.

"Depiction is the first software tool I've found that leverages the wealth of online geographic data while also offering amazing power and ease of use," said Dr. Timothy Hare, a professor of anthropology at Morehead State University. Dr. Hare will be using Depiction in regional analysis and geographic information systems (GIS) education, as well as in workshops for business and local government professionals.

"Depiction looks great. I really envision using it in my Emergency Management course," said Dr. Thomas Mueller, Director of the Institute for Analysis of Safety and Security Issues using Spatial Technologies at California University of Pennsylvania. "In the fall I can start working on some step-by-step labs." California State University, Long Beach is also piloting the use of Depiction in their Emergency Management Master's Program.

Educators are using Depiction to enhance student learning with scenarios and labs because it offers the unique capability of combining real world geography, data and other information with "what-if" possibilities, from rising sea levels to terrorist attacks. This makes it particularly useful for training emergency managers and first responders, but fields as varied as anthropology and GIS education are also finding Depiction to be an invaluable tool.

"We're excited to see pilot programs like those at Cal State developing new and exciting ways to use our software's interactive maps and simulations," said Depiction, Inc. CEO Mike Geertsen.

With Depiction software, professors, teachers and students can:

* Build living maps by merging some of the tremendous amounts of freely available online data with their own;
* Turn spreadsheet columns into living elements that interact with their surroundings;
* Update their depictions onscreen with live field reports sent in from colleagues around the world.

Easy-to-use and affordable--at only $89--Depiction creates visual "stories" in a living, interactive map environment. Depiction is everyday software purchased and downloaded over the Web--it runs on Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Vista laptop and desktop computers. Current users can update their copy of Depiction to this latest version for free. Visit today to download Depiction's free 30-day trial, to check out example scenarios for applications such as sharing situational awareness, or to develop your own scenarios.

To learn more about Depiction, sign up for a weekly webinar with Depiction staff on Wednesdays, starting July 8. Additionally, on July 23th, attend a special scenario depiction webinar, and see how Depiction can be used to develop and present flooding, wildfire and security scenarios.

About Depiction, Inc:
Depiction was developed by a privately-funded team in the Seattle, WA area--including former Microsoft staff, computer science PhDs from the University of Washington, a retired US Navy captain and base commander, active-duty firefighters, and a world-class team of software developers--all of whom are inspired by a deep belief that technology should be meaningful and accessible to everyday people. Designed to be a software platform, Depiction can be extended by its users, computer programmers and industry consultants who can create, share and sell their own "what-if" add-ons.

Watch this video: Predictive what-if mapping software created visualization of possible placement of seawall, breakwaters and locks to save New York city proper, and what areas would fall outside those flooding barriers.


Post a Comment