Name: MapStory
$: Free
Examples: LRA Killings, Village Destruction in the Darfur Region (featured image)
Level: Intermediate
Use For: Visually representing research; Telling a story with a geographic or time component


MapStory allows the user to join an online mapping community and create interactive online maps. Maps are comprised of StoryLayers which is what a set of data is called. All data that is uploaded can be used by others on MapStory. Maps are called MapStories. MapStories combine StoryLayers and annotations, which can include text, photos, and video.

StoryLayers can be uploaded as an ESRI Shapefile, CSV, Raster, or Zip. When creating a MapStory the user can use their own StoryLayers or the StoryLayers that others have uploaded. Other StoryLayers can be searched by keyword, map extent, or time range. The user can choose from a variety of basemaps, add annotations, and choose whether or not to display a timeline. Which annotations are shown can change as the map changes over time.


Maps are published to the MapStory website, can be shared through a link, or embedded. If the map includes a time component the viewer can control how quickly time progresses and the time range they want to see. MapStory is a great free way to create maps with a time component and to share geographic information.