Graphics Supervisor: /Graphic Artist: Jen Hiatt
Web Developer: Natalie Bednarz
Client: City of Orlando Historic Preservation Board
This was a little bit of a passion project for myself that took me way out of my comfort zone. Not only did I (finally) find a good way to represent interactive maps on our website, but I also built the City’s first StoryMap for the Downtown Historic Walking Tour using a platform I was completely unfamiliar with.
So, from the beginning. For about the past 6 months, Natalie and I have been researching different options for interactive web maps. In the past, City departments published PDF versions of walking tour maps, transportation maps, points of interests maps, etc., on our website. Ad we migrated to WordPress, we were really trying to limit the number of PDF links on our site, so we began seeking other options/formats for these maps. I also wanted the maps to be mobile (or web) friendly.
We needed the mapping platform to be easy-to-use (due to time constraints), but still flexible enough to allow coding to our specifications/needs. We looked at Google Maps, but they lacked customization options. We experimented with a couple of “multi-media interactive” apps, but they were more story-telling and less way-finding. Long story short, we didn’t love anything and nothing quite fit our needs. Enter our Green Works team – in a completely unrelated thread, they passed along a interactive “green” map of Tacoma that they thought was pretty neat and a good possible future project. I noticed that the map was built in ArcGIS Online, so I went to our GIS team to see if this was part of our subscription plan. It was, and it was a platform the GIS team was just starting to utilize for web maps. We scheduled a short “training” with the Esri/GIS Online reps and they introduced our team to StoryMaps – a great communications tool that combined story-telling and way-finding in different easily, customizable maps.
Having just finished an updated version of our Historic Downtown Walking Tour map, I decided to use this map as a “guinea pig” to test out one of the StoryMaps apps, Story Map Tour. I already had all the approved assets (content, addresses and photos), so the web map came together quickly.The StoryMaps app was very user-friendly, and we loved the mobile-friendly walking tour web map it produced.
After exploring what we can produce using ArcGIS Online, I am excited at the possibilities and opportunities to showcase more of our data, maps and story journals in these apps. I think the real power in these maps are how mobile-friendly they are, and I look forward to putting this technology to use in future projects!