Category Archives: Storytelling with Maps

Nine things you didn’t know you could do with Story Maps

There’s lots of unique and interesting ways to use Story Maps—some obvious, and some not so obvious

Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with text, images, and multimedia content, and make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story. Story Maps can be used for a wide variety of purposes; for advocacy and outreach, virtual tours, travelogues, delivering public information, and many more. You can browse a large collection of examples by visiting the Story Maps Gallery.

Many of the ways you can use Story Maps are obvious, but others aren’t. Here’s a list of nine things you can do with Story Maps that you might not have thought of before. Click the image to open the Story Map. Continue reading

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Eight Ways Communities Can Make Elections Smarter

Empowering the Democratic Process with Intelligent Mapping

Elections are the foundation of democratic society. 21st century elections leverage technology at every step in the process to insure accuracy, openness, timeliness, and fairness.  From operations and public outreach to redistricting and campaigning, intelligent maps effectively serve the public and meet expectations.

Here are eight things you can do today to leverage the power of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to make elections smarter in your community.


1. Locate Early Voting Centers

Early voting centers allow participation by voters who may not be able to vote on the set Election Day. The availability and hours of operation for early voting centers can vary by jurisdiction, and registered voters are more likely to participate in a given election when they can find an early voting center located conveniently near their home or place of business. Continue reading

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Lifting the Veil on Cuban Trade

A new story map lets us see what has happened in the past, and what might happen in the future, as the US trade embargo with Cuba is lifted.

Finding itself under the magnifying glass of world economists after recent political changes, trade with Cuba deserves a fresh look. Almost a year has passed since the United States and Cuba announced that diplomatic ties would be restored after nearly half a century of trade embargo between the two countries. There are some interesting opportunities for the US and implications for other nations too.

One change many economists expect is that US agricultural exports to Cuba will increase, driving economic growth and an appetite for higher-value commodities that will benefit both economies.

Let’s take a look at Cuba’s trade through the years and see if we can gain some insight into the future by looking at information from the past. Working with partner Datamyne, we created a new story map to easily view trade statistics. Continue reading

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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

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.”

In honor 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.

Continue reading

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