Ten Surprising and Useful Ways to Use Story Maps

Esri Story Map apps let you combine authoritative maps with text, images, and multimedia content. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story. Advocacy and outreach, virtual tours, and delivering public information are just a few ways you can use story maps.

While many uses for story maps are obvious, others are not. Here are 10 things you can do with story maps that you might not have thought of before.

Bergmann Associates showcases its portfolio of architectural, engineering, and planning projects using a story map.

1 More Compelling Briefings and Presentations

When you want to use live maps during a briefing or presentation, a story map is a unique and compelling way to make your point without having to switch back and forth from Microsoft PowerPoint to a map or app. You can also export PowerPoint slides and use them in your story map.

2 Introduce Your Staff

Use a story map to introduce your staff to your customers or the public. The map can provide background information on staff members and demonstrates the expertise of your company.

3 Promote and Market Events

Attract attendees to your event with a story map that lets potential attendees explore event venues or attractions and can be embedded directly into the event website.

4 Showcase Projects or Business Activities

A story map can be used to showcase your business activities or projects whether your organization is in the public or private sector.

5 Interactive Annual Reports

Annual reports deliver a comprehensive summary of a business or an organization’s activities throughout the preceding year. With story maps, reports can be enhanced with maps and lots of different media.

6 Multimedia Teaching Tool

A story map—especially the Story Map Journal app—is a great choice when you have lots of maps and media. Topics can be organized into sections and viewed sequentially.

7 More Engaging Resumé

You can introduce yourself using a story map as an interactive resumé. It is an especially compelling format for a GIS professional who can include examples of GIS work through interactive maps.

8 Effective Public Relations Tool

Elected officials who need to keep their constituency informed or charitable organizations that are rallying supporters for a cause can both benefit from story maps to effectively reach their audiences.

9 Dashboards That Show Current Conditions

Dashboards provide a heads-up display of information, often including live feeds, to show current events or conditions. Story maps can provide a current overview of a situation.

10 Dynamic Atlas

While a traditional atlas is a collection of maps bound in a book, a story map atlas can use dynamic rather than static maps and provide a framework for enhancing the atlas with rich text and interactive media.


There are many other ways to use Esri Story Map apps to better meet your presentation, communication, or visualization needs. Use these suggestions as a springboard for your own creative use of story maps. Visit the Story Maps Gallery to browse a large collection of examples.