ArcGIS StoryMaps want to move. They have the music in them. Here’s how you can orchestrate some movement into your narrative to take readers on an immersive ride through place and theme…
Here is a formula to consider…
- Don’t lead the story with a map. Provide some context first with text and images.
- Add a “sidecar” block (found in the “immersive” group)
- Add the map (or image) to the sidecar’s first slide. No thematic data yet, just introduce the geographic area of interest.
- In the next slide(s) add thematic data, one layer at a time, introducing each layer.
- Then some slides to show some extremes, or interesting patterns, and describe them. You are the host and this is your party.
- Close with a slide once more returning to an overview perspective of your area of interest and a summary statement wrapping it up with a bow.
- Exit the sidecar element then write some segue text for your next section.
Here are some details to consider when choreographing your sidecar…
- A sidecar slide should either navigate or add a thematic layer. Avoid navigating and adding layers in the same slide. Keep them separated.
- Sometimes keeping the map’s position fixed over a series of slides, adding a layer each slide, lets the reader feel grounded and more likely to spot patterns. Plus it has a cool sense of gravitas.
- Use the position of the map and floating narrative panels to avoid covering important parts of the map/data.
- Narrative panels are useful places to insert small images or legend graphics or overview graphics to help contextualize the map.
- Don’t make sidecar blocks too long (loads of slides); your reader may start to feel claustrophobic. Come up for air with a new separate block of text/image once in a while.
Lastly, rules are meant to be broken. So if any of these tips or suggestions don’t fit with your story’s energy, then toss them out the window and do your thing.
Here are some of the examples you saw in this video…
- Challenger Deep
- NYC taxis
- World happiness
- What do you call a mountain pass?
- Social vulnerability
Curious about how I made the Life Expectancy used map in the example? Learn about that thing here.
Happy Choreographing! Love, John