Learn how to use the Story Maps App

A great new way to tell news stories is by downloading the Story Maps app by Esri. This application, allows you to combine maps with texts, include images and videos on maps, compare different areas, make an interactive map, name specific locations or events, mark the map area where a natural disasters happened, compare two towns and the features that differentiate them, and many other amazing features.

A good example to incorporate this app is when you are doing a complicated news story, and you want your audience to better understand what happened. For example when a massive fire happens, you can signalize by coloring or marking with a fire sign the specific area where the fire took place for the viewers to know exactly the location you are talking about.

Another example is depicted in the tweet below, you can create animation movements in specific areas to depict an event or situation, the best case we can incorporate this type Story Map type is when we have a hurricane and we want to show our audience its category and the areas it is predicted to affect.


“Everyone has a story to tell. Harness the power of maps to tell yours.” -Story Maps


Here is a list of steps you should take in order for you to create a descriptive map:

  1. Create a ArcGIS Public Account.
  2. Click “Create Story” (a picture like the one below should show up, so you can click “Create Story” when you see this picture.

3. There are many different layouts! Pick the one you think would resonate more with the type of story you are trying to tell.

4. For this example, I chose the Map Series option. Choose the location of the images you want to embed in the map, in any of the options the picture below gives you. You can upload a video already posted on You Tube or a picture from your gallery in the “upload my images” tab.

5. For every image or video uploaded, you get to place in the map where you want that picture to show up.

6. To be specific, you can enter a caption that would also come up when you click on the location of the map that has one of the photos or videos you placed in your map.

7. When you are finished, you can save or share your news creation with others! By clicking the save button on the top left corner.

8. You will get a URL for you to go back and see your creation, or if you have a class presentation and want to show the map you can quickly open it up with the URL link.

Click this link for details on how to use the Story Maps App.