Newspapers and blogs cannot contain a picture to accompany every change in location, regardless of if it is across the street or across the globe. StoryMap JS addresses that problem. The digital storytelling tool allows users to create interactive maps where an audience can follow a story that traverses geography.
This type of location-specific storytelling has been used by all kinds of news stations for all kinds of topics, from The Washington Post's coverage of ISIS to a fan-designed map of a Arya Stark from "Game of Thrones."
StoryMap JS lends itself especially well to stories that are historical or travel-based. My first crack at the program included building an navigable map for the story of Jeremy Ault, the alumni of the Trinity Fellows Program at Marquette University whose profile is part of the #loweclass semester project. Ault has lived in several states and the Czech Republic, so StoryMap JS's feature of moving across a world map worked well to show where Ault was and what he was doing.
The interface for using StoryMap JS was shockingly easy for a complex finished product. After tagging locations on a map, a user can add text and pictures to provide color for each geographic shift. The most difficult part of the entire process was clicking between the edit and preview modes of the program to check each paragraph for widows or orphans. The tool was more user-friendly than Storify and, in my opinion, a more unique style of journalism.
A chance to see the world from the perspective of a 6-foot-2, aspiring human rights journalist. Will include lessons learned and reflections.