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6 Examples of Story-telling with Maps

Blog | 06 Dec, 2016

Recently we had the pleasure of attending an event organised by The Drum, ESRI and Comic Relief and took part in some challenges.

The aim of the day: use ESRI’s story map function to help Comic Relief increase donations and engagement. You can see a write up of the event here. It was a success all round with Comic Relief going away with plenty of inspiration.

To follow on, we thought we’d collate some great examples of companies and organisations using maps to tell stories fo their own.  

Malaria in Africa

Created by the Oxford Big Data Institute using ArcGIS, this collection of maps look at Malaria in Africa. Covering the years 2000 to 2015, you are able to see how things have drastically changed.

You can look at how the diseases’ reach has shrunk or how bed net coverage has expanded. The whole project is a great example of how maps bring a story to life. The data is made far more powerful through the medium and offers a better understanding of what’s happened more than the written word ever could.

Immigration Flow to Europe

A topic that has dominated the news this year, this map by Emilio Garcia from Carto shows just how much of the world plays their part.

From Mozambique to Scotland, the map details immigration flow routes and the locations where people have died and gone missing. With the ability to zoom in on a singular events or look at the whole picture, this piece helps people get to grips with this issue and its effects.

Yanukovych on the Run

Created by The Times using StoryMap, this collection of maps charts the ex-President of Ukraine as he fled Kiev in the face of massive protests.

This tool is an excellent way to give context to a news story that is quickly zipping around the world. With the above you’re easily able to learn about what was happening, but also keep a clear idea of the specific location.

Where Did Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From?

This map comes from the Smithsonian and was also created with ArcGIS. They use USDA data to plot where Americans get their sweet potatoes, turkeys, green beans, and cranberries from.

In one way it’s a nice and light piece perfect for a bit of fun and to pique some curiosity, but it also gives us a great insight into the agriculture and connectivity of the United States.

Game of Thrones: Arya’s Journey

We don’t have to stick to the real work with cartography. This was created using the Gigapixel feature of StoryMap and charts the Game of Thrones character Arya Stark.

As anyone who has read the books or seen the TV show will tell you, thanks to the length and mass of characters it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on. With this map, you can get a quick refresh within minutes.

Britain’s Royal Navy in the First World War

This map created using Carto by Simon Tokumine details the Royal Navy before, during and after World War One. It’s an incredible piece that took many hours of work from the general public transcribing old log books.

It not only lets you see the war play out and identify military hotspots, but it also shows the build-up and cool down of the war as violence loomed and eventually died out.

Content always works best when it’s worthwhile and as you can see, maps are versatile and powerful. With the right idea you create something that not only shows off your business, but drives traffic, generates press coverage and gains links – all the while showing off a piece of work you can be proud of.

Get in touch today if you are looking for advice on your content strategy or any other digital marketing needs. 

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