The new year is only a couple of days away, and I thought it would be a good idea to review all the projects I worked on in 2015.
But instead of doing an article here, I utilized ESRI’s Story Map templates to walk you through all the places I’ve have the opportunity to work in.
To be honest, I didn’t go to all the places listed in my story map. For most, I simply created maps from the comfort of my home office. But I had the chance to visit Ethiopia (twice), Kenya, and Chile this year. And though it wasn’t for work, my husband and I visited Pacific City, Oregon as well.
How I Did It
In case you were wondering, utilizing ESRI’s Story Maps is fairly simply, but it does require an ESRI ArcGIS Online account. If you don’t have one, you can’t do it. But if you do, in a nutshell, here are the steps involved in creating an interactive story map:
- Log on to your ESRI ArcGIS Online account and create a new map. Choose a base map that best works with the data you intend to upload. For example, earlier this year, I created a Censorship on the Internet Story Map. Because of the “dark” subject matter, I went with the ESRI’s Dark Gray Canvas. It features white labels over gray continents on near black seas.
- Next, upload your data. You can upload a geodatabase or shapefiles, but your shapefiles will need to be in a zipped folder.
- Once the data is loaded, you’ll have to symbolize and configure any data pop-ups. ESRI makes this fairly simple, but if you don’t get it right the first time, you can always change the layer parameters by hovering on the layer name. When the edit icons appear, choose among them to change the symbology or functionality.
- If you are happy with how your map looks and functions, the next step is to save the map (title it, add tags, and describe the map) and set the sharing option to public.
- To create a Web Map, you can do this several ways and you can even create a Web Application (similar, but different). But for now, let’s keep it simple. With my project story map, I decided to host this on ESRI’s account server (my address is dms-usa.maps.arcgis.com). I also decided I wanted a simple Story Map that just walks people through the various projects I worked on for each month of 2015. Here are the steps I went through to create my story map:
- From the My Contents page, click on the ‘Create’ drop-down arrow, then click on ‘Apps’, and then finally on ‘Using a Template’.
- A pop-up window will appear called ‘Create a New Web App’ and it asks you “What do you want to do?” Below that, click on ‘Build a Story Map’.
- There are several option here. I went with the Story Map Journal because I like how it combines text, images, and the map in a vertical scroll. I could have went with the Story Map Tour, but I don’t have images for each of my projects other than the maps I created themselves, which I don’t want to share (because of client confidentiality concerns).
- Fill in the title, tags (these help folks find your map), a summary of what your map conveys, and then specify where you want to save it (depending on how you have your account organized, just use the default account folder). You can use the same info you entered when you created your online map above.
- Once you click ‘DONE’, you are taken to the online Map Builder. Depending on which template you chose, you’ll be presented with several options. From here on out, it is fairly intuitive, but can get complicated. This is your chance to create your masterpiece! Take your time and utilize photos. You can save your work any time and no one sees anything until you make it public. For this story map, I went with a Floating Panel, I chose to use the online map I created above as my “main stage content”, and I customized each location based on the month I completed a project. Then I added text and pictures in the side panel. Alternatively, you can start out with an image or video. Get creative and make a story map that entices and intrigues by, well, telling a story!
Click through to visit the interactive map. You’ll get a chance to virtually travel the world with me.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!