StoryMap is basically a website building tool that focuses on building a site to help tell a particular story. It allows user to add interactive media, specifically maps, to help advance their story and visualize the information. It’s a fun way to illustrate a story that would typically be told through plain text.
StoryMap is best used on stories that involve location. The map feature is extensive and allows users to create custom maps with many different points, line, and even images to illustrate their journey. It is easily added to the site itself and very user friendly. I figured it out within minutes, and I’m not a mapping expert at all. I would use StoryMap for it’s mapping feature alone. It’s much easier to use than advanced GIS mapping systems and great when you just want a quick easy map.
I found the website generally easy to use, so easy that I’m worried I may be missing the point. Adding content is as quick as pressing the plus button and I like the fact that the content layout is already done for you. For some people it might be frustrating to not be able to move things just where you’d like them, but for someone who doesn’t like graphic design: it’s perfect.
On that note, however, I do wish there were more options to customize your site without paying for a subscription. I would have liked to have been able to change my background color. There are only 4 options in the free version: white, cream, green, and blue. Honestly, I want more.
In my opinion, this is a very cool way to visualize a story for a presentation or class. It definitely achieves what it was going for which is a program to visualize story content. However, I don’t really see myself using it in the future. I’d rather tell a story orally than try to display it with graphics. But if it comes down to just text or this, this definitely wins.
- Go to StoryMap’s website: https://storymaps.arcgis.com
- Create an ArcGIS Public Account
- Start a story
- Title your story
- Add content: options for paragraphs, headings, maps, images
- When adding maps place points from the tool bar to help advance your story
- Publish your story from the button in the top right!
Here’s my example: