In collaboration with BTU—Baltimore + Towson University, the TU Center for GIS recently held a Lunch and Learn for the campus community to demo creating ArcGIS StoryMaps for use in higher education.

TU Center for GIS staff recently held a Lunch and Learn for the TU campus community to demo creating ArcGIS StoryMaps.

StoryMaps are a great way to share one or more maps with built in context such as text and images, to provide a seamless, enriched experience in which the map viewer is given the tools and context to make the most of exploring your map. So, instead of a map standing alone, you can do things like store a collection of maps in one place, or use text hyperlinks to zoom to areas of interest and open informational pop-up windows.

With ArcGIS StoryMaps, users can create presentations and simple, professional maps (or connect to maps stored in ArcGIS Online) through a user-friendly browser-based interface.

In the higher education setting, we see a few potential roles for StoryMaps:

  • StoryMaps can be used to build and share presentations or reports. These can include interactive maps built in ArcGIS StoryMaps, maps from ArcGIS Online, or static map images (or no maps at all).
  • StoryMaps could be an interesting way to share mapped research findings, providing an overview, context, images, and other multimedia to help viewers grasp the significance of what they’re looking at and provide a means for guided exploration of mapped data—all in one place.
  • StoryMaps can be used to share the geographic reach or impact of a particular program or initiative, like the BTU Partnerships StoryMap.
  • For maps designed to share information about campus resources and infrastructure that support querying or more complex functionalities, StoryMaps can be created to help map consumer use and get the full benefit of the information.

Getting Started with ArcGIS StoryMaps

The ArcGIS StoryMaps gallery is a great place to start for a wide variety of examples that can be used for inspiration, learning, and teaching.

While there are many great resources out there, we created a quick StoryMap to explain how to create a StoryMap for the lunch and learn event. You can check that out here.

ArcGIS Online and StoryMaps for higher education

ArcGIS StoryMaps are part of the ArcGIS Online mapping platform, a browser-based mapping platform for creating, sharing, and collaborating on interactive maps. An ArcGIS Online account is required to start building a StoryMap.

TU students, faculty and staff are eligible for TU-affiliated ArcGIS Online accounts. Contact to request an account. More information about the GIS resources and tools available to the TU community can be found here.

Free public ArcGIS Online accounts can be created by anyone. However, these accounts have limits on usage and capabilities.