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A typewriter containing a piece of paper showing the question: What's your story?

August 2022’s top five tales told in ArcGIS StoryMaps

Nanet Pagsanjan | August 2022

With StoryMaps you can include text, photos, and even multimedia components like video clips.  Even as you scroll down a page, the screen can take you to a map, or photo or a more detailed explanation. The potential is limitless it feels.

If you didn’t know, StoryMaps is part of the ArcGIS family of software that enables a sharing of maps in a story.

The following stories are recommended for your viewing based on a criteria that includes wonderful images, an interesting story, and the maps included.

Simply, the stories are delightful.

So, have a look and make a list of your own favourites because you won’t be able to stop at just the stories featured here.

You’ll be compelled to keep clicking.


  1. Warning: This is deep

Space is usually referred to as “the final frontier”, but this story explains why perhaps the ocean should be classified as such, instead.

It’s a visually rich story, with imagery that will make you pause. It also includes a video montage of a submersible vehicle starting its journey and as it reaches its destination— the bottom of the ocean floor 10,925 meters from the surface.

You’ll also read about Kathy Sullivan the only woman to have walked on the moon AND made this 10,925-metre journey.

The area she’s dropped into is considered the deepest pocket of the deepest trench in the ocean. That’s deep, right? It’s called Challenger Deep nearly 200 kilometres east of the Mariana Islands near Philippines. If you can’t visualise how deep Challenger Deep is, consider six Grand Canyons deep and you’ve just about got it.

A few fun facts—12 people have walked on the moon and to date 13 people have made the Challenger Deep journey.


  1. A StoryMap story about wild animals & livestock

Have you ever considered the ratio of humans to animals, wild and domestic?

This story, beautifully told in ArcGIS StoryMaps, crunches some numbers for you. It also tells you pictorially where most of the world’s livestock are raised and consumed, and the proportion of humans, to livestock and some wild animals based on the biomass of these groups, just to name a few.

Chickens are by far the most farmed type of livestock in the world and, to  give you an idea of numbers, there are three for every human. They are farmed on every continent except Antarctica where they are banned for fear of their diseases being passed onto the penguins.

Then it starts to break down where the most common farmed animals are. The story also goes on to explain why particular livestock thrive in their respective habitats referring to eating habits, and religious beliefs, climates, and size.


  1. An homage to trees

This StoryMap blog was just too good not to feature.

This story is a part of a multi-part series about the impact we have on the planet, and provides jarring, yet beautiful pictorial examples of our ineffective stewardship.

It goes so far to summarise the history of human existence starting some 4.5 billion years ago to 10 million years ago when our human ancestors first made an appearance to now.

Have a read and enjoy the splendour of the images.

You may also like to learn about the series, or even read the first and second chapters.


  1. StoryMaps: a vehicle for sharing

Here’s a deliciously inspiring story about the Mexican restaurants in New York City.

The story throws around some numbers including 27,556—this is the number of restaurants in New York City. Then there’s 977, the number of which are Mexican restaurants.

These statistics are from the summer of 2020, which is in stark contrast to the early 1980s when there were just 2500 Mexican restaurants in the whole of the US. As the Latino population increased so did the hunger for familiar tastes of home.

Included in this story are interactive maps, the first showing the proliferation of these restaurants starting in the 1930s. The other maps are equally as interesting and illustrate where Mexicans were living in relation to the restaurant locations, the prices of the food and the history of the increasing costs and, lastly, the prevalence of the food trucks in the boroughs.


  1. Earthquakes and how our dwellings fare

Did you know that multi-story buildings generally perform badly in earthquakes? This story told in StoryMaps highlights the deficiencies and vulnerabilities and why they are renowned for collapsing.

It’s all about the “soft-story” created by the weaknesses of the parking under these apartment buildings.  

This story shows you a map of active earthquake faults, where these types of buildings are located in relation and the impacts of these damaged buildings on the economy and the environment in the US.