Let me be brutally honest. I did not like the first set of Esri story map templates released. They were far too GIS-ey. When I shared them with my non-GIS, non-mappy friends there were a few raised eyebrows: “How do I use this bloody thing” I heard often. In my mind, story maps were a good idea, but the early releases missed the mark.
What is the idea behind story maps?
A story map is a multimedia presentation of information. Maps are a core component. Multimedia data presentations can be very powerful. They can help convey complex information in an understandable manner. They can also be very impactful.
Long, long ago, we at WebMapSolutions built our own multimedia map based application. A story map of sorts. Centred on travel it combined video, a linked map and description. As the video played, pins appeared on the map at the video location with links to information about that place.
Ok, we were a little ahead of our time.
Have story maps finally come of age?
Story maps are very appealing. As the title suggest they help tell stories using maps to provide guidance and context. The new generation of Esri story maps have really caught our attention, in particular the Cascade story map. Less map-centric this template allows the story to unfold beautifully. Easy to use and combining video with images, text and maps this story map makes you sit up and take notice. We’ve just built out a Cascade story map for Trout Unlimited. Looking to tell the story of the potential impact of mining in British Columbia, the story map includes beautiful imagery, instructive video and powerful maps:
Author: Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and intelligent maps around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:
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