A model story map using Map Actions for educational use

11-12-2021 07:32 AM
Esri Notable Contributor
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I created this story map that takes advantage of the new map actions capabilities to illustrate the educational possibilities of map actions.  Map actions allow for something to happen as the user interacts with your story map.  In this case, the user is guided through a series of landforms in a geomorphology investigation, but I encourage you to consider other themes and topics, and the maps and images that could support those topics, that you are seeking to teach with using these same techniques.  In the story map, I provide the 2D map and 3D scene that supports the landforms investigation and quiz for further exploration, as well as a link to guidelines for creating the map actions.  


I chose geomorphology for this example for several key reasons:  First, geomorphology touches on human-environment interaction and can be used to effectively teach about change over time, how the landscape influences humans (settlement patterns, land use) and how humans influence landscapes (direct and indirect modification).  Those of you who have known me for years probably remember when I worked at USGS, I used to carry around an enormous roll of 100 paper topographic maps held together by some massive rubber bands to teach these same concepts.  Second, using these digital USGS topographic maps (one of the basemaps that you can access in ArcGIS Online) in a story map is much more versatile (and lighter to "carry"!) than being tied to those paper maps.  In addition, students and faculty can change their scale, add data to them (such as land cover, precipitation patterns, population density, and more), and perform analysis on them (such as create watersheds, trace downstream, and calculate viewshed).  



 Story map with map action on an educational theme (geomorphology).Story map with map action on an educational theme (geomorphology).A section of the story map referenced above using map actions.  The scale and location change, in this story map, when the map user clicks on the boxes above or elsewhere in the map, strings of text.

I look forward to your comments below!

About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.