Digital Tool Tuesday

Digital Tool Tuesday Welcome to a new weekly feature of SFJ, in which we share tips about a digital tool to leverage for lifestyle and arts and entertainment coverage. The tool: Storymap

Storymap screenshot from the Burning of Columbia

Storymap screenshot from the Burning of Columbia

What does it do? Creates clickable map that allows you to tell a story at each point.

What’s cool about it? Embed video and photos at each point, bringing a map to life.

How to use it: It seems simple and intuitive. The landing page lets you click to start a Storymap. Each window will have an easy place to upload photos, add headlines and text, and pinpoint your places (via Google maps). Save that page and move onto the next one by clicking ADD on the left hand side. It mimics a Powerpoint presentation. Once you’re done, you may go back to edit it. Tips: — You must have a Gmail account not associated with work. That will allow you to save it and return to it. At McClatchy, we found our associated Gmail accounts didn’t work because of restricted access to associated images stored in Google Drive. — Your images can be loaded onto a web page and have a URL associated with it, or you can upload them via Google Drive. But they must be posted somewhere to work. — Hit Save often; and check out your progress by hitting Preview often — Add links when you can to archive stories. — Add an image to each point in your map. Makes it pretty. Advance work would include shots of the places along the way. — You can embed the map within a story, but check with your online folks to make sure it works on desktop, tablet and mobile. In our case, it’s worked well on all platforms.

How it’s been used: Our reporter, Joey Holleman, used it to take readers through a new trail. Map link

We also used it to show readers the path that Sherman’s troops took through Columbia 150 year ago. The map is at the end of this story. We embedded it in several stories about this subject.


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