Thursday, July 12, 2012

Using GIS for Storytelling

Using GIS to Create Storytelling Web Maps

The summer edition of ArcNews, a newsletter published by GIS software manufacturer ESRI, details how users can create story maps with ArcGIS Online.  According to the article, “storytelling is rapidly becoming one of the most important reasons that organizations use GIS.”

A story map is an interactive GIS map that combines various data to tell a story about the world.  The maps include “web-enabled maps, text, multimedia content, and functionalities that enable users to interact with them.”  Organizations are creating these maps using ArcGIS Online and the storytelling map templates created by ESRI and available on the  site and ArcGIS Online.

Some examples of story maps created using ArcGIS Online and viewable at are guided tours of Olympic host cities, interactive maps of obesity and diabetes in the United States, access to healthcare, tornado zones, locations of uninsured Americans, and mapping the origins of snacks from around the world.  A story map about the sinking of the Titanic (shown) allows viewers to click on locations to see passenger lists, destination cities, and travelers’ class status and survival rates.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides GIS resources that support research and learning.  The GRMC offers access to the leading GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.  The GIS Research Area in the GRMC includes 28 computers and is available for personal or classroom use.  For more information, please call 765-285-1097 or visit the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.

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