Digital Story Mapping to Advance Educational Atlas Design and Enable Student Engagement

Article English OPEN
Margo E. Berendsen ; Jeffrey D. Hamerlinck ; Gerald R. Webster (2018)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
  • Journal: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (issn: 2220-9964)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/ijgi7030125
  • Subject: story mapping | data-driven storytelling | atlas | interactive maps | place-based learning | geographic education | Geography (General) | G1-922

Storytelling is recognized as a valid and important method of communicating information and knowledge gleaned from volumes of ever-accumulating data. Practices of data-driven storytelling in journalism and geovisual analytics have contributed to the development of geovisual stories; also called story maps. The benefits of student-focused multi-thematic atlases and digital storytelling methods in education can also be realized in story maps. An online, interactive version of the original paper version of the Wyoming Student Atlas was developed using story mapping technology. Studies on best practices for data-driven storytelling and web map interaction were used to inform the transition of the atlas from a traditional paper format to a collection of story maps. Evaluation of the atlas story maps for educational purposes was conducted by observing students from multiple classrooms as they used the story maps in a lesson. The students and educators responded to a survey after using the story maps. Results of the survey show positive responses to the atlas story maps, including ease of use and preference over a traditional paper atlas. However, certain types of interaction with the map resulted in increased negative or uncertain responses from students concerning their perception of the atlas story maps.
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