How To Cascade

Cascade is a new scrollytelling app from Esri’s Story Maps team. Story telling is an inherently intertwined aspect of cartography. Cascade lets you focus on the narrative of your story, enabling maps to be more than lonely overburdened information graphics with heavy decoder rings, but rather context-building visuals as you guide readers through the adventure of what and where.

In this set of How To Cascades, you’ll dive into the hows and whys of some Cascade features, each presented in a Cascade story. That’s pretty meta.

How to Cascade: Media | Maps, Photographs, and Video, all smashed together, elevate a story map to more than the sum of its parts. There should be a word for that.

How To Cascade: Map Legends | Don’t let big clunky legends steal all the fun of telling a story with maps. Plus zombies. Wait, what?
You will click on this blinking zombie hamster image...

How To Cascade: Multi-View Maps | Cascade is super-simple for your readers. They scroll; you show them what you want them to see -no blindly hoping they click the right thing or zoom to the right place.
This dog desperately wants you to learn about Multi-Map Views...

How To Cascade: Transitions | Cascade has some fun transition effects; learn how and where to use them.
Transition over to this Cascade about transitions...

How To Cascade: Sections | Check out the various ways you can construct your story into chunks of goodness. Bet you didn’t think you’d be reading “chunks of goodness” today, did you?
How could you not click this adorable hamster?

Feel free to check out the Cascade gallery to see the amazing stories people are already telling.

Happy Storymapping! John

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  1. alansink12 says:

    Hi John. It looks as though the content for the “How to Cascade: Map Legends” has been moved or disabled. This was a great example of showing off narrative legends. Any chance to re-enable the content?


    • John Nelson says:

      Wow, thanks for the heads up! It’s all fixed now.
      This is actually a really good case in point for a newish feature of Story Maps, which is the ability to upload media directly. The reason this Story Map’s content was unavailable was because I was hosting my images on Dropbox -and they changed something on me. But, in a more recent version of Cascade, you can just add media directly to you story and ArcGIS Online will optimize and host it for you.
      Thanks again, and please enjoy the zombie hamsters!

  2. patrick1941 says:

    Has anyone collected data on a Story Map Cascade. For example. the number of visitors, time spent viewing the StoryMap.positive feedback or resulting actions?
    Along the same line, what is your sense of using 2-3 photographs in a line? Best type size? Immersive text? How does the your presentation look on different screens ranging from a computer to tablet or phone?

    I would be interested in working with a group on analyzing the effectiveness from a layman’s perspective of my work and other stories.

  3. meredith.payne_noaa says:

    I really loved these “How To” story maps for Cascade. Are there similar How-To demos for other story map types?

    • John Nelson says:

      Thanks Meredith! These “How To” Cascades were made in the early days of the Cascade release, because as I was thinking of writing instructional blog posts, I was all, “It would be so much easier just to show this directly in a Cascade. Wait just a second here…” So that’s how they were born. The Cascade form factor lends itself more to a narrative style of Story Mapping, so it was a natural fit. More natural than other template types. There aren’t similar tracks for the other story map types, but it is a cool idea.