Category Archives: Storytelling with Maps

Story Maps: 5 Tips and Tricks

Story maps are a great way to harness the power of maps to tell your stories. Here’s 5 simple tips and tricks to help you maximize your use of this exciting platform for geographic storytelling.


1. Add YouTube Videos to Your Story Map Tour

The Story Map Tour supports the ability to use videos from a variety of sources. Here’s an overview of how you can add YouTube videos to your Story Map Tour.

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The Changing Face of Health, in Five Story Maps

Using GIS to Identify Gaps in Care, Increase Food Security, Combat Big Tobacco, and Much More

Complex health data is no longer restricted to static forms and tables. Today’s health and human services professionals interpret facts and figures in a geographic context. Interactive maps and spatial analysis help them prioritize spending, site service locations, identify vulnerable populations, and tell their stories.

The following five story maps illustrate some of the ways GIS is modernizing and transforming health throughout the world.


Mapping the Story of Health Disparities

Everyone deserves to be healthy. Unfortunately, factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and geographic location can prevent people from getting the care and resources they need. Unequal differences in health status and gaps in care, known as health disparities, put vulnerable populations at a higher risk for preventable diseases and health conditions.  Continue reading

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Journalists Embrace Story Maps

Advancements in mapping and GIS technology have created a new medium for interactive storytelling and reconnecting people to place.

Maps have long been a valuable tool used by journalists to illustrate and enhance written stories. And with new advancements in mapping and GIS technology, the use of maps in the media now has even more potential for engaging with audiences.

Story maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story.

Journalists are already starting to embrace story maps as a powerful new medium that lets them tell engaging stories.  And it’s easy, too. There’s absolutely no programming required to build a story map: simply choose the best application template for telling your story and start building it interactively.

Let’s take a look at how some journalists have leveraged the power of story maps to help tell their stories. Continue reading

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Simple Real-time Dashboards Built with Story Maps

From traffic cameras to scientific sensors, story maps are a fast and simple platform for creating real-time dashboards that let the viewer see sensor data in geographic context.

New technologies are emerging and combining to enable the real-time collection and sharing of data. The result is a dynamic platform for real-time visualization, analysis, and understanding of our world.

Esri offers many options for the consumption of real-time data across the ArcGIS platform. A simple and effective—yet often overlooked — tool for the display of real-time data is Esri’s story maps technology.

Let’s take a quick look at four examples of real-time dashboards built with story maps. Continue reading

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Seven maps that will change the way you look at history

Maps are powerful tools for answering questions, solving problems, advancing our understanding, and communicating more effective stories.

These seven interactive maps seamlessly blend stories, images, and geography to present new perspectives on some well-known historical happenings.

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Geography, Class, and Fate: Passengers on the Titanic

A century ago the Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. This interactive map of travelers’ hometowns reveals the immigrant status of most third-class passengers, who also suffered the highest fatality rate. Continue reading

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Five Compelling Story Maps for Earth Day 2015

At Esri, we believe that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future. Governments, industry leaders, academics, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) trust us to connect them with the analytic knowledge they need to make these critical decisions that shape the planet. Our technology enables organizations to create responsible and sustainable solutions to problems at local and global scales.

Celebrated annually since 1970, Earth Day events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental conservation and protection. “The celebration of this day is important for Esri as an acknowledgement of our fragile planet, but also to recognize the work our staff and our users are doing to make the world a better place,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Thank you for all you do.”

On this 45th anniversary of Earth Day, we invite you to take a few minutes to explore these five compelling interactive maps created using Esri’s story maps technology that detail how our planet is changing. Continue reading

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Six Trending Topics in Web GIS

Content, 3D, Story Maps, and Other Trends Offer New Opportunities to Re-imagine What’s Possible with GIS

The web has had an enormous impact on how we obtain information, connect with others, and work every day. Clearly GIS has also been transformed by the web—it’s enabling easier access, better workflows, and supporting diverse applications and new types of data, all leveraging flexible service-based architectures.

The web has also increased the value of GIS and the work we do as GIS professionals by making GIS pervasive and driving its importance to become an integral part of the decision making process. But the web has also added new challenges, creating not only demand, but also setting expectations and nudging us forward to consider what we do in new ways.

So what’s happening right now in web GIS? Here’s a few topics that are currently trending.

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The Story Maps Life Cycle

From custom beginnings to templatization: The evolution of a Story Map template

Story Maps can inform and inspire your audience. They combine interactive maps and multimedia content into elegant user experiences. One of the latest Story Maps—Geography Bee: A Global Gallery of Pollinators—uses the context of geography to present a spectacular collection of bee portraits by USGS scientist Sam Droege.

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Story Map Journal: A Geo-Multimedia Extravaganza

In July the Esri Story Maps team released the Story Map Journal, a new storytelling app that enables users to combine long-form text with rich multimedia content. Among the app’s features:

  • A “main stage” for large visuals, including maps, photos, videos, and websites
  • A “side panel” that accommodates titles, text. photos, and videos
  • A builder function that enables users to create media-rich stories without needing to have either GIS or web development skills
  • Ability to switch between layout options, and to make other refinements to color scheme, logo use, and more
  • Responsive design, making the app work on all screen sizes including smartphones Continue reading
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Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis via Story Maps

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Last update: August 7, 2015 Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the “numerical recipes” which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we can pose questions and derive results using … Continue reading

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