Depiction 101: Images Outline

Download the PDF outline

One of the powerful features of Depiction is that you can bring any map or image into a depiction file and align it to the maps and imagery we provide. In some places OpenStreetMap has not been updated from its base data taken from the TIGER Census data, though you can help update it. Google or Bing Maps often provide more detailed maps and imagery. Or, perhaps you prefer the hybrid imagery/map they provide.


Windows Vista, 7 and XP Tablet Edition provide the Snipping Tool, which is very handy for collecting images from any online source or file. Other options include SnagIt, Easy Capture, Gadwin PrintScreen and Print Screen with MS Paint, PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress.

Here is another trick for getting an image from Bing Maps:

  • Go to your desired area and zoom to the imagery level you'd like to have in your depiction
  • Select the Print option
  • In the preview window that comes up, right-click on the image and select Save As
  • Make sure you save the image in a directory you can find again easily
  • Now import it into Depiction

Aligning the image in Depiction (there is a helpful video in our tutorial section on this):

  • Click the Add button on the menu bar
  • Select File from the options on the left side of the menu window
  • Click Browse in the From Source section and navigate to the image file, select it and click OK
  • Select Image as the Element Type and click Add
  • The Manage menu will open to the To be geo-aligned tab
  • Select the image and click Geo-align
  • The image will appear over your depiction background
  • Use the lollipop at the top of the window to rotate the image, and the edges to resize the image
    • You may need to de-select the Preserve Aspect Ratio option so that you can change the width without affecting the height, or vice versa
  • Change the size of the image by rolling your mouse scroll wheel with the pointer over it
  • Change the zoom level of the background when the pointer is not over the image
  • When you are satisfied with  the alignment, click Finish
    • You may also click cancel at any time to abandon your alignment and start over

Now the image will be in the background of your depiction. From here you can:

  • Put it in a Revealer and compare it to the background,
  • Have the image as your sole background,
  • Double-click on it to refine the alignment (new in 1.3),

among other things.

If you have any questions, post them on our support page or email George.

Download the PDF outline or return to the Images session or the Depiction 101 page

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