The Stories Maps Tell

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All maps tell a story, and with the latest tools, anyone can make maps to tell their stories. Traditional cartographers are increasingly being joined by "neocartographers" who haven't had any formal training in cartography to populate the web with millions of maps.

Neocartographers often map stories that are personal and subjective with little consideration of cartographic quality, and they are sometimes their own audience. They use publically-generated data and open source tools to make the maps they want to make showing things the way they want to. In contrast, traditionally-trained cartographers follow cartographic conventions, use authoritative data sets, master complex software, and always strive for objectivity and accuracy. The tension between the unconventional style of neocartographers and the prescribed methods of traditional cartographers provides fertile ground for exploring maps in today's online environment.

Using a combination of neo- and traditional cartographic approaches, I tell the stories of Canadian canoe voyageurs as written by Dr. Gerald Patterson in "Free and Easy" (2013). Dr. Patterson's canoe voyages were inspired by his "fascination with the stories about the 18th-century trading routes in northern Saskatchewan" and the vague tales he had heard about "the vast reaches of Tundra prairies in the Northwest Territories and the great rivers that cut through them on the way to the Arctic Ocean". The online story maps that accompany "Free and Moving" attempt to capture these inspirations and the adventures of Dr. Patterson and his fellow voyageurs.

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  • All maps tell a story, and with the latest tools, anyone can make maps to tell their stories. Traditional cartographers are increasingly being joined by "neocartographers" who haven't had any formal training in cartography to populate the web with millions of maps. Neocartographers often map stories that are personal and subjective with little consideration of cartographic quality, and they are sometimes their own audience. They use publically-generated data and open source tools to make the maps they want to make showing things the way they want to. In contrast, traditionally-trained cartographers follow cartographic conventions, use authoritative data sets, master complex software, and always strive for objectivity and accuracy. The tension between the unconventional style of neocartographers and the prescribed methods of traditional cartographers provides fertile ground for exploring maps in today's online environment. Using a combination of neo- and traditional cartographic approaches, I tell the stories of Canadian canoe voyageurs as written by Dr. Gerald Patterson in "Free and Moving" (2013). Dr. Patterson's canoe voyages were inspired by his "fascination with the stories about the 18th-century trading routes in northern Saskatchewan" and the vague tales he had heard about "the vast reaches of Tundra prairies in the Northwest Territories and the great rivers that cut through them on the way to the Arctic Ocean". The online story maps that accompany "Free and Moving" attempt to capture these inspirations and the adventures of Dr. Patterson and his fellow voyageurs.
  • But all three are really parts of a single whole: Consider web maps as incorporating all of them
  • FIRST: What is your story? What are its goals? Who is your audience?
  • Putting ArcGIS desktop maps up as services is now easy!
  • Arrows are linear, but there’s lots of back and forth
  • The Stories Maps Tell

    1. 1. The Stories Maps Tell Exploring Online Maps through the Adventures of Canoe Voyageurs in Canada aileen buckley | professional cartographer esri | 380 new york street | redlands, ca 92373-8100 O: 909.793.2853 x2997 | C: 909.289.1798 abuckley@esri.com
    2. 2. Demo Voyages Map Interactive Map
    3. 3. Demo Groups
    4. 4. 1 What are Story Maps?
    5. 5. Story maps inspire and inform They’re built with care and thought about your audience Compiled on ArcGIS Online from desktop maps, services, CSVs Web map Story maps combine web maps with web applications and templates that incorporate text, multimedia, and interactive functions Intelligent Repeatedly refined map design, configured popups, edited titles and descriptions Published into websites, apps, and templates that provide context and user experience Story map Story maps inform, educate, entertain, and inspire people about the world
    6. 6. Story map templates They provide… Social media links A place for title and subtitle Branding Multimedia and text windows Web map placement and controls Most importantly, a simple user experience that supports the story
    7. 7. “Map Tour” Template Now accommodates web maps
    8. 8. Demo Storymaps.esri.com
    9. 9. 2 Compiling a Story Map
    10. 10. Compiling a Story Map Raw Materials Map services Tabular data Desktop map Base map Multimedi a content Text
    11. 11. Compiling a Story Map Raw Materials Web Map(s) Shared on ArcGIS Online Map services Tabular data Desktop map Base map Multimedia content Text Ingredients: • Basemap • One or more services • Point data from spreadsheet • Maintains source info • Lightweight, versatile
    12. 12. Compiling a Story Map Raw Materials Web Map(s) Apps/templates Apps provide: Map services Tabular data • Format for title, text, legend Desktop map Base map • Key functionalities, e.g., swipe tool, timeline Multimedi a content Text
    13. 13. Compiling a Story Map Raw Materials Web Map(s) Apps/templates Audience Map services Tabular data Web Desktop map Base map Tablet Multimedi a content Text Mobile
    14. 14. Demo CSV file Make a story map
    15. 15. 4 Other Templates
    16. 16. Where to Find Templates Template gallery at storymaps.esri.com Storytelling Templates group on ArcGIS.com Application options in “Share” function on AGOL
    17. 17. About Story Map Templates • Javascript: They’ll work across platforms • Open source: You can download and configure them • We’ll continue to refine existing templates, and add new ones
    18. 18. Demo ArcMap ArcGIS Online
    19. 19. Stay Tuned… • “Shortlist” template • “Briefing Book” template • “Story Builder” mobile app
    20. 20. Thank you!
    21. 21. 5 Call to Action
    22. 22. The Story Maps Effort is Part of a Bigger Shift GIS is emerging from the back office • Enabled by the Internet, the Cloud, mobile • Accessible to many more people • Available for new uses It means that your roles are changing It means thinking and acting in new ways
    23. 23. Traditional GIS • Decision support • Asset management • Planning and analysis • Field mobility • Situational awareness • Public awareness
    24. 24. The New GIS • Decision support • Asset management • Planning and analysis • Emancipating data • Field mobility • Briefing colleagues • Situational awareness • Involving constituents • Public awareness • Informing • Inspiring • Entertaining and now…
    25. 25. Affecting Change • GIS has been quietly changing the world • It’s time to drop the “quietly” • The old excuses are gone: - The bandwidth is inadequate - The tools aren’t there - • I don’t have the data People aren’t connected Now is the time!
    26. 26. Thank you!

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