Story Maps: Shaping the Next Generation of Storytelling Apps

Nov 01, 2018

Esri Story Maps have come leaps and bounds since their infancy in 2011. The applications evolved organically from research and development efforts seeking to understand maps as communication tools. Today, Esri Story Maps are used broadly within the ArcGIS community.


Left: A popular, early experiment for a time-enabled story map. Right: A recent Cascade-style story map.

The Story Maps team is thrilled to watch our authoring community continue to grow in tandem with the platform. Each year, more and more community story maps wow us with their refinement and effectiveness. They’re accomplishing great things, big and small, from keeping organizations briefed internally to prompting action on pressing humanitarian issues.

With the success of over half a million stories hosted on ArcGIS Online, we now ask your help to shape the next generation of Story Maps.

Contribute your voice—tell us what you need to excel in your work through our digital storytelling survey and we’ll share our findings with you after the survey period completes.


Research is one way that we’re making sure access to our tools continues to expand. If you follow our official Twitter channel @EsriStoryMaps, we invite participation from authors with weekly one and two question polls. During the month of November, our 13-question form survey will expand upon these short polls and explore emerging trends, pain points, and needs for digital storytelling.

Through these multiple efforts, we seek to capture a holistic, data-driven understanding of the digital storytelling field. We’ll be using this information to shape how future generations of Story Maps will look and perform.

Every day our developers labor away, happily, over hot compilers. With your input, they can better advance the existing applications—and create entirely new ones.

See some of the great stories authored by the community; check out our favorite community story maps from 2017.