Tag Archives: storytelling

Celebrating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

lincoln

“Four score and seven years ago” began what time would remember as a milestone in American history. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, a speech that many consider among the most eloquent and important of … Continue reading

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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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Smithsonian’s Story Map Examines the Shale Gas Boom

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is transforming communities across the US above shale rock layers that trap natural gas and oil. Fracking involves the injection of millions of gallons of water and other fluids into shale deposits under high pressure, causing fracturing of the surrounding rock and the release of gas through nearby wells. The extraction technique is controversial, and the resulting changes to nearby communities are argued as both good and bad.

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Linear vs. Non-Linear Storytelling: The Map Tour Template

We’ve been developing story maps for over a year now, and from the start we’ve defined the term liberally. Many, even most, of our stories are non-linear; that is, they allow the user to browse and wander through the story at will. We’ve organized these stories using elements such as headlines, text blocks, map legends, and user interfaces that help guide the user through the map. But there’s no “correct” sequence by which users are supposed to navigate through these story maps.

Traditionalists might insist that a story is by nature linear. Written or oral stories are in fact linear narratives. Even stories that jump back and forth in time are written and read in a linear fashion. The mediums of text and the spoken word require it: you can’t tell, read, or listen to a story all at once, or back to front, or at random. It’s at least theoretically possible, perhaps, but doing so makes comprehension difficult.

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