Clearing Data from Crowdsource Story Maps

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12-09-2016 07:01 AM
Esri Frequent Contributor
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I have been using crowdsource story maps frequently as a networking tool in face-to-face and in online courses.  For example, I ask the participants in these courses to add a photograph to a map that shows the view out their window, shown below and linked here.  The first screen indicates what they are to do and displays a "Add Your Landscape" button in the upper right:

Crowdsource story map - front screen

The map allows us to have discussion on the diversity of landforms, land use, vegetation, and weather in the location where the participants work.  It also allows us to have a discussion on web GIS, story mapping, and how crowdsourcing works.  We discuss ideas of what they could do with crowdsourced maps--from mapping trees, shrubs, litter, or light poles on their school or university campus, broken sidewalks, "little library" kiosks, or pedestrian counts in their community, locations of major tsunamis of the past century, or to conduct a brief poll in class (indicate 1 location in the world where you think that water availability (or biodiversity loss) is at a most critical need right now), or other data from local to global scale.  Some of the responses on my web map are shown below, including my own photograph from the Esri building in Colorado:

Crowdsource Story Map - Editing

But let's say for some reason you as the author of the map want to delete some or all of the contributed photographs and points from the map.  When you first set up the map, you are presented with options to review each contribution as it submitted or not.  In my case study above, I want the map to provide instant gratification and feedback to those participating, so I chose not to review the submittals as they come in.  But now let's say I want to use this map for a different course.  Or, if I were mapping trees, maybe one of the trees was not actually on my campus at all, or the image was poor, or it was in the incorrect location.  For whatever reason, I want to remove some or all of the contributed "crowdsourced" information.  This is easy to do.  

Go to the story map that you wish to edit.  It is easiest to use the "My Stories" zone on http://storymaps.arcgis.com.  Edit your story map, and look in the upper right under "review new contributions."  You can review and approve all of them here, or only the new ones since you last reviewed.  In my case, I want to delete all of the contributions so I can use this map for another course with new participants.  I would therefore select All Contributions, as shown below:

Crowdsource Editing, continued...

Then, I select each of the contributions and reject, including the beautiful photo I took in Colorado, as seen below:

Crowdsource Editing, continued - approving or rejecting

I encourage you to do two things:  (1) Consider using crowdsource story maps in a variety of ways in your instruction.  (2)  Use the above method to easily remove or review the contributions to your maps.

--Joseph Kerski

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Esri Frequent Contributor

You can, alternatively, delete all of the points at once from the editable feature service created when you create a crowdsource story map, using My Content in your ArcGIS Online account.  This is faster but requires caution.

--Joseph Kerski

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.