Tag Archives: story map

Five Things to Consider when Creating a Story Map

Story Maps let you combine interactive maps and scenes with rich multimedia content to weave stories that get noticed. Here are some things you should consider when creating story maps.

Think about your purpose and audience

Your first step is to think about what you want to communicate with your story map and what your purpose or goal is in telling the story. Who is your audience? Are you aiming your story at the public at large, or a more focused audience, like stakeholders, supporters, or specialists who would be willing to explore and learn about something in more depth?

Spark your imagination

Go to the Story Maps Gallery to see some examples handpicked by the Esri Story Maps team to inspire you and highlight creative approaches. You can filter and search the gallery to check out how authors have handled subjects and information that may well be similar to yours. Explore. Get a gut feel for what makes a good story.

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From Raptors to Butterflies, Esri Map Gallery Wows Attendees

They came to mingle, learn a thing or two, and see good maps. 

By: Ian Bramlett

After the Esri User Conference plenary on Monday, attendees flocked to the San Diego Convention Center Sails Pavilion to witness the marriage of science and aesthetics at the Map Gallery Opening and Evening Reception. Geographers and GIS professionals strolled the gallery with drinks and finger food, examining hundreds of maps created by Esri users with ArcGIS. Some were made by seasoned professionals while others were the handiwork of university and high school students—a testament to the broad use of GIS in academia. All of the individual pieces added up to a stunning collection that resembled a fine art show.

Entries from the younger map authors were on prominent display in the pavilion. Winners of the Esri Young Scholars Award showed why they were recognized for cartographic excellence; their maps told the stories of urban energy consumption in Italy, trajectories of accident patterns in Malaysia, and the need for GIS deployment in United Kingdom classrooms. The contributions of these budding cartographers were a melting pot of topics that truly spanned the globe.

Other maps showed concentrations of water main leaks for utility asset maintenance; flight paths of raptors to improve endangered bird species conservation; parcel values in Maui, Hawaii; the influx of luxury car brands in Tokyo, Japan; traffic data from highways in Turkey; population growth in Louisiana; and the dispersal of Bay checkerspot butterflies throughout San Rafael, California.

The point wasn’t lost on gallery visitors: name any topic, and a map can tell that subject’s story better than any other medium.

The 90,000 square-foot exhibit space was not only the perfect venue for hundreds of large-format maps but also a meet and greet with UC keynote speaker and author Andrea Wulf. Signing copies of her critically acclaimed book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, Wulf shook attendees’ hands and expounded on her scientific expeditions.

Whether you’re a UC attendee this year or plan to attend next year, consider submitting a map to next year’s Map Gallery. You might already have a map in the works that will earn its spot in the Show of Cartographic Shows.

Explore photos of the Map Gallery Opening and Reception on Esri Flickr.

 

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6 Maps Fighting the Buzz

This year, National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is June 26, 2016 – July 2, 2016. Mosquito Awareness week highlights the importance of mosquito control to further bring awareness about efforts to prevent and protect residents from mosquito borne diseases. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Mosquito vectored diseases include, malaria, and viruses such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile virus and Zika virus. Below you will find six examples of organizations keeping their communities informed about vector aid and vector control efforts.

1.  Direct Relief

Recently, Zika virus is exploding across the Americas. Direct Relief is reaching out to their partner network in affected regions to offer resources. In this map, one can click on the partner network icon and see the partner name and location to get resources such as painkillers, insect repellent, and birth control.

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The Online Mapping Revolution

Maps are important. Everyone understands and appreciates good maps. GIS people work with maps every day. Maps provide the basic experience and practical interface for the application of GIS. Maps are also the primary way that GIS users deliver their work.

Maps provide a critical context because they are both analytical and artistic. Maps carry a universal appeal and offer clarity and shape to the world. They enable you to discover and interpret patterns and share your data.

Online maps can be created by virtually anyone using Web GIS—and can be shared with virtually everyone. These maps bring GIS to life and can go with all of us everywhere on our smartphones and tablets.

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The Power of Apps

Focused Tools that Solve Problems

With billions of users worldwide, apps are a technology trend that has captured the world’s attention. Online maps provide the information that powers the use of GIS. And every map has an interface—a user experience for putting that map to use. These experiences are apps, and they bring GIS to life for users.

The Rise of Spatially Intelligent Apps

Apps are lightweight computer programs designed to run on the web and on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. GIS apps are a special breed; they’re map-centric and spatially aware. Seemingly overnight, apps are ubiquitous. Billions of people worldwide run them in their web browsers, on computers and, of course, on their mobile devices. Creating interesting geographically aware apps is now within your reach. From the intuitive Story Map app and Web AppBuilder to the app collection for your smartphone and tablet, the technology required to deploy highly effective apps that can really engage an audience is accessible.

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Mapping the Prescription Drug and Heroin Epidemic

Eight years ago, I lost my little brother, J. T., to the prescription drug epidemic that is growing and has been killing our families and friends. J. T. was the most charming person you could ever meet: an amazing musician, compassionate to all, and the best man at my wedding. He became addicted to the powerful painkiller called OxyContin. Before 2007, I had no idea what OxyContin was, but I’ve found that his story of becoming addicted was all too familiar to many others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 28,000 people died from prescription drugs alone in the United States in 2014—far more than car accidents—and many more addictions continue to impact families at home. I spoke very little of this topic during the first several years after J. T. passed, and I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be writing about it on a mapping blog. However, if our country, our families, and our friends are to truly address this issue, we must understand what it is and where it’s happening. I’ve become much more vocal in sharing this painful story, and maps have been my voice to raise awareness about the problem.

Associated with this epidemic is a definite stigma that needs to be refuted. This is happening to people everywhere—rich and poor, north and south, and within every demographic—so I started a memorial story map, Celebrating Lost Loved Ones. It shows a very small sample of bios written by people I’ve met who also lost loved ones to this epidemic, and the story map has been growing via social media. Each lost loved one has a picture and a bio with details about what made them special. Family members contribute by writing to CelebrateLostLovedOnes@gmail or contacting the community Facebook page. Grieving families in Canada have also started their own story map, and I have been collaborating with them to update the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map. The map I created shows both prescription drug and heroin deaths. It is well documented that many people who start with opioid pills move on to heroin when it becomes harder to find pills, as the two drugs are very similar chemically. So the prescription drug epidemic and heroin addiction are bound together, causing massive impacts.

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Creating and Customizing a Story Map — From a Non-GISer

Our friends at GISi recently published a great post about how one of their non-GIS people created a story map. One of our writers had just created a Halloween-themed story map and we thought it would be interesting to learn more about his experience.

Guest Post by Robby Deming

As a writer, I never thought I would create a story map. I have some technical knowledge, but the artistry and rich functionality behind some of our story maps just seemed way out of my reach. After creating The Geography of Horror story map, I’m now proud to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is it easy to create a story map, but it’s also relatively easy to put your own unique touch on one.

The Geography of Horror

The hardest part about creating this map? Collecting data on nearly 250 movies.

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Story Maps Speak In Many Languages

Stories are spoken in many languages, and the same is true for Story Maps. The results of a story map competition held at the recent Esri France SIG 2013 conference offered some compelling examples for me.

The winning story map merged themes of culture with urban and industrial heritage, but my favorite was a photographic tour of the Paris Metro. This was a tough selection to make over my second favorite story map about the seasonal migration (or transhumance) of people and their sheep. Of course all of these story maps are in French. Continue reading

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Story Map Marks Gettysburg Sesquicentennial

Fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg marked a turning point in America’s Civil War. Fought in a small market town in Pennsylvania,  the battle involved about 164,000 men, and was the bloodiest of the war with over 51,000 casualties.

Marking next week’s sesquicentennial of the battle, a new Battle of Gettysburg Story Map has just been published. The story map represents a collaborative effort with Smithsonian, Anne Kelly Knowles of Middlebury College, Alex Tait of International Mapping, and Esri’s story maps team. It offers a new way to explore the Battle, and provides insights as to how elevation and visibility played an important role in its strategy and outcome.

The story map can be viewed on Smithsonian’s website and can also be opened as a standalone story map application. You can explore other story maps at Esri’s Storytelling with Maps website.

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A Living Atlas of the World

Atlases have long been used by people to help navigate and understand our world.  A traditional atlas consists of a collection of static maps portraying various aspects of geography, bound together in book form and updated with new information at long intervals.  The geography covered, in terms of both themes and extent, is set in stone for any given atlas, and the thematic information is typically created and authored by a select few authoritative sources.

These traditional atlases have served us well for many hundreds of years.  But today, the world is changing rapidly, and it’s difficult for traditional atlases to keep up with the pace of that change.  To help us keep pace with our evolving planet, our concept of what exactly constitutes an atlas must also evolve. Continue reading

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