Storytelling through/with Maps

I’m fascinated by the use of maps for telling stories and I’d like to experiment with them in my own storytelling, especially on my big Farm project. As a way to get me experimenting, I’m tentatively planning on working with my daughter RJP to tell one story of our Utah trip through an interactive map/maps.

Why Maps?

They provide a nice contrast to my imaginative renderings of space as symbolic place. Plus, they offer other ways to “tell” stories about land: it’s elevation, degree of isolation, proximity to home

As I’ve been researching interactive documentary tools, I’ve encountered a few different tools/platforms for map storytelling:


Story maps combine interactive maps and multimedia content into elegant user experiences. They make it easy for you to harness the power of maps to tell your stories.


Odyssey.js is an open-source tool that allows you to combine maps, narratives, and other multimedia into a beautiful story. Creating new stories is simple, requiring nothing more than a modern web-browser and an idea. You enhance the narrative and multimedia of your stories using Actions (e.g. map movements, video and sound control, or the display or new content) that will let you tell your story in an exciting new way. Use our Templates to control the overall look and feel of your story in beautifully designed layouts.


The Map component creates a full-width map with custom location markers, including the option for the map to follow you as you scroll down the post.

Now I have two days to figure out which of these to use!?

2 thoughts on “Storytelling through/with Maps”

  1. Update: I tried using Story Maps this morning, but was immediately frustrated by the limitations–particularly the fact that photos must be published online first (with the free account), but instagram isn’t one of the options. You can use Facebook albums (no thanks), Flickr or YouTube. I also didn’t like how you had to sign in and create an account (wish I hadn’t already done that). I’ve decided to move onto Odyssey. It’s going to take some time to figure out, so I’m stopping for now. So far, I like it. Only one problem: it doesn’t seem to be responsive. Is that a deal breaker? I’ll have to see.

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