Saturday, 6 October 2012

Story Maps are your friend

Simple story maps help scientists make important work a lot more relevant to their audience, by putting their story at the front. The maps and data are there in their completeness, but out of the way as supporting materials. This adds a twist to a growing list of  on-line map stories and community maps, and I was motivated by past work with reporters to better cover news.

My simple map of the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe & Middle East raised a comment that spurred me onto creating a map story. I added as a backdrop the UNESCO World Heritage sites for a global context of historic interest.  This is a free and easy way to create mash-ups explained previously (click on points below to get more details):




But why stop at a map when you can have an app? my neo-geo friends would say. Esri makes that easy too, as Owen commented in my previous post. I created one from stock arcgis.com adding the story and legend as side panels:

click image to launch app

ArcGISserver also helped Owen tweak a map story into what linguists anthropologists might look for. The map is still there... but it has been put behind a button!

click image to launch app

Best of all, it works perfectly on smartphones and tablets: The story and the map are sequenced, rather than crowding the screen all at once. Try it... entering bit.ly/PU0135 is easy! Or select it on this blog that reads well on mobile devices too...

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