Using Story Maps in Genealogy

March 23rd, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Historical Context, W155, “StoryMaps: Using Web Maps to Tell Family Stories,” 4 pm, Wednesday, 10 May 2017

About your speaker: Charlie Wells, CG(sm) is a full-time genealogist who combined his passions for genealogy and maps after completing a 31-year career as a geographic information systems (GIS) professional with industry leader Esri.

The Story Maps approach to presenting family stories brings a new dimension to the use of maps in genealogy. A knowledge of the geographical context in which we conduct our research has long been recognized as essential to gathering and analyzing evidence effectively. But with the easy-to-use Story Map application, maps combined with text, images, and videos become central to communicating family stories. Story Maps can be published on the web and shared with selected users or publicly at the choice of the Story Map author.

The presentation will start with a brief review of how maps have been used by genealogists, and then introduce the Story Map application. A number of examples will illustrate their use. Various types of Story Map templates will be summarized, and simple steps for configuring the templates will be demonstrated. The workflow to create Story Maps will be described, including planning, gathering data, creating web maps, and assembling and sharing the Story Map.

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of what you need to create and publish effective Story Maps. Emphasis will be placed on using simple, no-cost or low-cost approaches to producing Story Maps, with some guidance also provided for more advanced users. To gain a basic understanding of Story Maps prior to the presentation, go to the following link on Esri’s web site: