A geo-story is a map-based, multimedia presentation that communicates important information about our world -- from global to local.
|A close-up of the LoMap community geo-story.
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:
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.
- online directly from your website or BFI's EARTHscope Library
- on CD
- in computer kiosks, or
- as email attachments (in theory)
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.
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:
A community geo-story should also:
- Conveys the history, present state, and possible future scenarios for a social, cultural, or environmental issue impacting a community
- Leverages the universal power of maps to reveal community resources and social or system dynamics
- Portrays change over time and/or trends in context
- Document the value of the participatory process used to gather, interpret and render the data
- Acknowledge the contribution made by the various stakeholders in the community mapping and research process
- 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.