Capturing and sharing life’s experiences often requires multiple platforms and tools, which can result in disjointed storytelling. To serve creators’ needs to control their dynamic, interactive narratives in one place, Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, released StoryMaps, a powerful, personal storytelling tool. The product extends Esri’s creative capabilities to anyone who wants to tell their story and share it.
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“The National Geographic Society has a long legacy of storytelling, and it remains fundamental to our mission work today as we further our understanding of our planet and each other”
Using Esri’s mapping technology, this new software brings the geographic approach to any content that creators are passionate about. From documenting their ancestral journey to capturing aspects of daily life or planning a first big post-pandemic trip, StoryMaps helps capture life’s moments in a way worthy of those experiences.
“At Esri, we understand that sharing stories is a part of life, that everyone is a storyteller,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Every moment and memory we treasure is connected to a specific location, which is why we’re making it easier to transport people anywhere in the world through richer storytelling.”
Esri allows authors to control their narratives with built-in privacy to protect data and automatic content ownership and create them in versatile ways that reflect the experiences themselves. People can creatively combine text with multimedia like images, videos, audio, and links to easily share their personal experiences, hobbies, family history, ancestry, portfolios, travels, and more.
The National Geographic Society (NGS)—which for more than 130 years has been illuminating and protecting the world through science, exploration, education, and storytelling—is partnering with Esri to bring StoryMaps to its members.
“The National Geographic Society has a long legacy of storytelling, and it remains fundamental to our mission work today as we further our understanding of our planet and each other,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, National Geographic Society chief executive officer. “Our partnership with Esri enriches this legacy, empowering our members to share their unique stories and experiences through this innovative geospatial tool.”
Esri designed StoryMaps to enable everyone with varying digital skills to create custom content without requiring cartography or web design experience. StoryMaps allows authors to
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- Build a story in one place. Make versatile stories of any length using your assets (text, photos, videos, audio, etc.) or leverage Unsplash for ready-to-use images.
- Publish and share your story with any audience. Make a private journal, create a shareable unlisted link for family and friends, or publish on all popular social media platforms. Authors can also embed stories on websites and blogs.
- Add custom interactive maps. Bring readers along your journey by adding a map with graphics and pop-ups or create a thematic map to visualize trends.
- Incorporate engaging features. Display content in different ways using flexible components including a timeline, image gallery, swipe, and quotes. All content can be organized into collections that act like folders.
- Customize the look. Choose from built-in themes or customize a design with a different font, color, and layout options.
- Keep it current. Update and publish stories easily with new features and capabilities every two weeks. Future features will include geo-ready data from wearables to show off your latest outdoor activities.
A free basic plan is available with essential storytelling capabilities to ensure all storytellers have access at any time. When new users sign up, they have free access to Premium features with enhanced storytelling capabilities for the first 30 days. After, they can decide to purchase a monthly or annual Premium subscription to StoryMaps at $10 or $100, respectively, or downgrade to the free, basic storytelling option.