Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis via Story Maps


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 pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools to help us understand and compare places, determine how places are related, find the best locations and paths, detect and quantify patterns, and even to make spatial predictions.

As Chris Cappelli duly notes: “The greatest potential for change and success occurs when we all understand and speak the same language—the language of spatial analysis.” And what better way to speak that language than by way of a story map? As people continue to explore and share their world using the medium of story maps, some are venturing beyond the simple map tour mode of points linked to photographs, toward “stories” that examine, explore, and showcase the results of a spatial analysis. We’ll likely see more of these analytical stories as the story map medium is introduced into more GIS courses, particularly at the university level.

See the original Esri Insider blog post for a small catalog of analytical story maps.

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