There's some debate in the scientific fraternity as to when humans first started to speak to each other. Estimates differ wildly from as long ago as 2 million years and the beginning of the human genus, or a little over 50,000 years ago. But regardless of the true date, you can be sure that stories have always played a substantial part in any communication because stories are an amazing way to teach and learn.
Today stories are told through many different mediums, whether through written word, by engaging orators, via cinema, theatre or perhaps even PowerPoint. In the digital age stories seem more engaging than ever as multiple mediums are used to tell the story and in the world of location technology, Esri are leading the charge to combine stories with the most basic of data points: location.
In 2019, over 400,000 story maps were created, in some cases over 3,000 were created in a single day. The sheer magnitude means that almost every subject is covered, whether it be mapping Mount Everest, mapping women’s suffrage, mapping the geography of wine or mapping the far side of the moon. Simply put, there is a story for everyone. Esri have provided a link to their top story maps for 2019 here. They have also announced the grand prize winner of the 2019 Story Map competition.
Esri understand that to create a story map, you don’t need a Masters in GIS - indeed it's possibly better that you don’t! Story tellers can come from anywhere within your organisation, and Esri have recognised this by introducing a new user type called the "Storyteller".
So if you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you may not be a GIS geek, but you can tell a good story, then this might be the user type for you?
Check out an example of one of our story maps for "Safe Intersections", plus there's more examples on our website. Feel free to touch base with our team if you would like help telling your story using location technology.
Blog written by Chris Morris, Spatial & Technology Group Manager