The Story on Story Maps
More than one reader asked me to get the story about the MapStory/Story Maps situation. Those who track Esri may know of the GeoStories project from National Geographic, which evolved into Esri’s Map Stories project, which is now called Story Maps. Those who track other efforts may have learned of MapStory, an effort of Chris Tucker (APB coverage).
There was a collision of names that can best be described as an honest oversight. Once Esri learned that Tucker had the MapStory name before it did, the Esri MapStory team set out to find a new name. It settled on Story Maps, since it fit well with Esri’s use of terms like web map and intelligent map. To the best of my knowledge, that’s the whole story.
Juliana Rotich’s Ushahidi Presentation at Ed UC
A reader requested I cover Juliana Rotich’s presentation, (her slides) during the lunch break on the first day of Ed UC. She’s the co-founder of Ushahidi. She addressed the history of Ushahidi and some of its use by students, but mostly focused on its various uses to make the world a better place by giving voice to those who may not have one. She did mention The Cost of Chicken Project, (blog) which has been used in schools to explore the cost food in different geographies.
Of note, a surprising number of attendees had not run into the project. Several used the question time to thank Rotich for sharing it with them. Also noteworthy, Rotich may not be, as one attendee put it to me, the right person to discuss its use in education. I think it’d be great to have session, perhaps next year, with educators sharing how they use Ushahidi, and its sibling CrowdMap, in the classroom.
Reaction of Educators to ArcGIS Online
The most common term I heard from educators describing ArcGIS Online was “potential,” as in “ArcGIS Online has great potential in education.” No one I spoke with was ready to deploy it in class this fall. There was concern about just how to map some or all of what’s currently taught in ArcGIS for Desktop to ArcGIS Online. The sense I got was that ArcGIS Online might be used in courses that use just a bit of GIS, perhaps those in science or social studies, first. I’ll be curious to hear who was implemented what with ArcGIS Online next July.
Twenty Years Ago
Twenty years ago, in 1992, I joined Esri. That was the same year Charlie FItzpatrick and Mike Phoenix and Carl Sylvester were hired. It was a full year before Safe Software was founded. That last factoid gave me pause because I think of Safe as always having been around! As Safe approached twenty, it’s changing one aspect of its software delivery. The company has always made daily beta builds of its software available. That served its early, very technical user base well. Now that user base includes some of those techies and some slightly less technical folks in production environments. So, Safe is formalizing service packs. To address the move to ArcGIS Desktop 10.1, the company took the last stable FME release and make only the changes needed to support the new release. The result is FME 2012 Service Pack 3. (press release)