Thursday, August 04, 2016

Mapbox Story Maps


A very quick way to create an effective scroll-driven story map is to use Mapbox GL. The advantage of using Mapbox GL over some other mapping libraries is that Mapbox GL allows you not only to zoom and pan the map but to rotate the map to provide different perspectives on your featured locations

If you want to create a Mapbox GL story map there is also the added advantage that Mapbox has provided a great template in their list of 'example' maps. The Fly to a location based on scroll position map in the Mapbox GL examples provides a neat demo of the possibilities of a Mapbox GL story map. All you have to do to create your own story map is copy & paste the provided code and change the content to suit the story you want to tell.

For example, this week the Baltimore Sun used Mapbox' example map to quickly create a story map to report on the devastating flood which hit Ellicot City on Saturday evening. The Ellicot City Flood Map provides a chronological mapped timeline of the evening's events and the damage caused by the flood.

As you scroll through the chronological narrative the currently active information boxes become visible and the map pans, zooms and rotates to provide aerial views of the areas being discussed in the timeline.


Another example of a Mapbox GL story map is Birmingham Eastside's Gentrification in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Birmingham Eastside has used the Mapbox GL demo map to create a mapped guide to how gentrification is affecting Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

As you scroll through the map you are taken on a tour of the neighborhood, highlighting some of the biggest changes in the area. The Gentrification in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter map also features map markers which provide another level of interactivity to the map. These markers provide additional information and media - such as audio recordings of interviews with some of the individuals featured in the side-panel content.


Mapbox have also used their own story map format to create a map of the intriguing case of Robert Durst. Durst was arrested on a first-degree murder warrant. If convicted he could face the death penalty.

Following the Life and Death of Robert Durst plots the key movements and actions of Robert Durst since his first wife 'disappeared' three decades ago up until his arrest in New Orleans. As well as the scroll-driven narration and up-dating map 'Following the Life and Death of Robert Durst' uses map markers and polylines to track Durst's movements around the country and to connect all the featured locations together.
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