The Merits of Story Mapping in the Classroom: A case study from the Economic Geography of Latin America

Authors: Jamie Worms*, Smith College, Julia Alfiere , Smith College
Topics: Geography Education, Economic Geography, Latin America
Keywords: Story maps, Economic Geography, Latin America, pedagogy, GIS
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Iris, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The purpose of this paper is to introduce the merits of Esri Story Mapping in the classroom. Esri Story Maps is a cloud-based GIS platform that acts as an effective teaching and learning tool. During fall 2017, my special studies course entitled, Landscapes of Work, Wealth, and Power: The Economic Geography of Latin America sought to tell the story of select commodities that shaped the economics of Latin America. Relying on four primary texts, the ultimate deliverable for this course was an interactive Story Map that showcases the 1) distribution of wealth caused by the rise and fall of commodities, 2) the social and cultural dynamics produced through the extraction, manufacture, sale, and consumption of these commodities, and 3) a discussion of the inevitable environmental impacts that ensued. This digitized Story Map combines a historical narrative with maps and photographs to draw out themes that tell the story of Economic Geography in Latin America. Using this experience as a case study, this paper looks at Story Maps as a teaching and learning tool from the perspective of the teacher as well as from the student. Ultimately, this paper argues for the continued use of Story Mapping as a pedagogical tool in the classroom, its use as a platform for extracurricular learning, and its place within the larger technological framework of geography and beyond.

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