A close-up of the LoMap community geo-story.
A geo-story is a map-based, multimedia presentation that communicates important information about our world -- from global to local.

Geo-stories allow anyone, anywhere with a low speed connection to experience and explore your projects, research, opinions, and ideas. They make static data dynamic, complex subjects easier to grasp, and useful (often hidden) information easily accessible.

Users can access or download geo-stories:

  • online directly from your website or BFI's EARTHscope Library
  • on CD
  • in computer kiosks, or
  • as email attachments (in theory)
Geo-stories combine highly interactive maps with narrative copy, illustrated scenarios, and supporting media (graphs, images, sound, video, web pages & more) to turn conventional documents and data into high-impact, low-bandwidth presentations of social and scientific issues. Researchers, community groups, institutions, and other organizations can publish their geo-stories on the Internet to meet a wider variety of audiences.

Time Control and Scenarios
A special feature of geo-stories is the ability to illustrate change over time. Sequential data and time-series maps can be played together as animations, run frame by frame, or even viewed backwards using the EARTHscope's unique timeslider.

Historical and future trending add a third, chronological dimension to your maps. Alternate timelines and "what-if" scenarios can bring even more depth. Illustrate your projections of future outcomes based on the choices we make today, or show how history might have gone things gone differently. Supporting text and other media help users understand conditions that lead to the stories played out on your maps.

Community Geo-Stories
Geo-stories can be written to educate, entertain, influence decisions, and illustrate information that is otherwise hard to find or grasp. They can also be used for strategic planning, or to help focus project goals and outcomes - particularly in community settings where local people can participate in the process. Ideally, a community geo-story:

  1. Conveys the history, present state, and possible future scenarios for a social, cultural, or environmental issue impacting a community
  2. Leverages the universal power of maps to reveal community resources and social or system dynamics
  3. Portrays change over time and/or trends in context
A community geo-story should also:
  1. Document the value of the participatory process used to gather, interpret and render the data
  2. Acknowledge the contribution made by the various stakeholders in the community mapping and research process
  3. Describe how the geo-story-building process and data is being used or can be used to make a difference in the community

Tying all these elements together not only makes for an engaging presentation, it can add depth and direction to your overall process.

RBF's Geoscope    
Team & Advisors    

whats new
Content Pipeline    

Geo-story Design    

Tech Spec    
New Features    
Content Spec    
Long-Term Vision    

ES Initiatives
ES Library    
ES K-16    


EARTHscope is project of the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI),
and the leading edge of our spaceshipEARTH initiative.