Story Maps as an Academic Publication Venue in Higher Education

Authors: Steven Moore*, Center for Spatial Studies
Topics: Geography Education, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Higher Education
Keywords: Story Maps, Higher Education
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Riverview II, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


At the University of Redlands, Esri story maps are increasingly used in undergraduate education as term-paper replacements, summative portfolios for Spatial Minor students, and a preferred platform for conveying spatially relevant research and narratives. To help students and faculty in this endeavor, guidelines for creating authoritative, visually appealing, and cartographically interesting story maps have been developed by the Center for Spatial Studies and communicated in workshops for students, faculty, and administrators. This effort to improve the rigor of story map development reflects the growing status of story maps as an effective platform for communicating serious academic work. It also foreshadows a near-future scenario where faculty and advanced students choose story maps over conventional journal articles as a venue for publishing spatially relevant research. This presentation explores the opportunities and challenges encountered by academics as they consider preparing their work for story map publication. The opportunities include better integration of multimedia in the narrative; inclusion of live maps that can be explored by readers; and more lively representation of maps, multi-layered and networked analyses, and 3D visualizations than can be conveyed in static journal articles. Barriers to academic story map publication (e.g., lack of time, unfamiliarity with digital and spatial storytelling, insufficient understanding of GIS and multimedia development, and promotion and tenure considerations that favor traditional publication outlets) will also be presented and discussed. The presentation will conclude with strategies for helping faculty to overcome barriers and take advantage of the benefits of conveying spatial narratives with story maps.

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