Photo credit: Jyi1693 on Wikipedia

5 Tools To Enhance Your RISE Presentation

October 01, 2014

Using images, photography, illustrations, video, and simulations, etc. could all add that extra something special to your RISE presentation. There are many free tools online to help, but some have steep learning curves. We decided to review some free online tools that can be mastered in a just a few hours. Sophie and Nicole from the RISE team spent a couple of afternoons in the office exploring and reporting on them. Read below to find out how they got on and find inspiration for your RISE visualization.

Google Earth

An amazingly powerful program. The default view when you load Google Earth is the world globe. To narrow down to a more specific area, use the search function and type in your desired location. The first thing you notice is that there are many additional features displayed on the map e.g. landmarks. To edit these features, go the left hand side under “Layers” and turn off or on the desired functions. The top right hand side has a zoom in and out tool and also a function that adjusts the angle of the map. In our example (left) we used the polygon tool to highlight a region. You can adjust the colour, opacity, width etc. under the tab of “style, colour.” We drew this polygon around an area in Steveson and exported the result as an image.

Find out more about Google Earth.

Adobe Photoshop Express Editor

A great option if you have a photo that needs simple editing such as crop, brightness, contrast, colour, etc. When editing a photo, the original picture is displayed so that you can compare the difference between the new and the old picture. There are many other tools in Adobe Photoshop Express Editor that we didn't have time to review but looked worth exploring.

Try Adobe Photoshop Express Editor.



Flood Map

Flood Map is a very simple tool to visualize how sea level rise affects affects land use. Using the control in the top left hand side you can select a range of sea level rise going up in one-meter increments. The areas affected by sea level rise are shown by a blue overlay to show areas of inundation.

Make your own Flood Map.




More advanced programs

Here are some other great programs that may take more time to master, but can create some really interesting visualizations to help communicate your ideas.


SketchUp is a great tool to use for 3D models. You can add base layers, draw shapes, animate simulations and export videos. The example below illustrates a walk around of some planned infrastructure near the coast.

Try SketchUp.


This website is a great way to get inspiration for creating posters. There are various templates provided to choose from or you can start a new document. There are plenty of styles and choices, so this site offers great flexibility for creating infographics.

Get started with Easelly.

- Words and images by Sophie and Nicole, SFU Public Square

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