Hi everyone!

Once again, it is Manpreet from UW. This time, I would like to discuss my experience of giving a lecture on Esri story maps and conducting a workshop with undergraduate students in one of my graduate courses this term. This was the first time I was giving a full lecture to undergraduate students, so it was a new and unique experience for me. For my lecture, I based it around creating story maps on ArcGIS Online. The goal of the lecture was to introduce a new topic to students in the course that they did not learn about in the course. The course was called GeoWeb and Location Based Services. Story maps was not a topic discussed in the course and since I learned about story maps in a fourth year Special Topics in GIS course that I took at McMaster University, I decided to base my lecture around that. In my lecture, I discussed what a story map is, why story maps are useful, what makes a good story map and some pitfalls to avoid when creating a story map.

After the lecture, the main part of my presentation was conducting a workshop of creating story maps with the undergraduate students. The goals of the workshop were for the students to understand the process for creating a web mapping application, organize the provided dataset in different ways to view different phenomena and prepare the data for consumption within a web mapping application. I discussed during the lecture that a good story map requires a web map. In the workshop, students would use the provided dataset of fatal traffic collisions from 2007-2017 in the city of Toronto, Ontario, to create a web map and display the data in different ways. The first step for the students was to create a free user account on the Esri ArcGIS Online website. The next step for students was to download the dataset. The students would then create a web map using the data provided to them. They would add in the shapefile of the traffic collisions across Toronto on to their web map. The students would choose an attribute that shows the type of collision that has occurred or any other relevant variable depending on the purpose of the web map and what they would like for the web map to display. For example, they could select by attribute in the attribute table of the shapefile to choose one year in which they would like to display the collisions that have occurred in the city of Toronto. Next, students would configure popups to display the most relevant attributes. When they finished editing they would save the map with a title. The map would then be shared with everyone to make it public, so the students could use it in their story maps. The final part of the workshop was for students to create a story map on ArcGIS Online. They would then choose a type of story map depending on the purpose of what they want to tell their audience. I gave students the instructions of creating a story map based around the rise of traffic in urban areas and the problems it causes and to include the web map they have created as an example for Toronto. I gave them a tip of choosing a map journal for their story map so that they could include their web map that they created earlier, images, videos, web pages and text.

Overall, I think the lecture and workshop went well. The students had a few questions I was able to answer. I also learned a few new things from the students’ questions about some of the functionalities in ArcGIS Online. The one issue I ran into was trying to filter the data on ArcGIS Online. Since I had students work with a public account and not an organizational account, there was not as much functionality when filtering the dataset to create a web map. For next time, I would try to have the students join an organization, in this case, UW, and create their accounts from there. Through this way, students would have more freedom to play around with the provided dataset and create unique web maps and story maps.