Connecticut’s Changing Landscape
CLEAR has been creating and sharing land cover for decades. Our websites and methods for slicing and dicing and displaying the data have evolved along with technology. One thing has remained constant through the versions – the maps (now up to six dates covering 25 years) are a rich set of information with loads to be learned. But how to display all this in a way that is inviting, easy to understand and actually interesting? Enter the newest, and arguably best, way to do it – the Esri Story Map Journal.
A story map, a format created and provided by Esri, is an interactive way to combine maps, graphics, text, media and more in a self-contained mini-website, or story. A good story map is visually appealing and catchy, is easy to understand AND information rich, guides the reader while allowing for exploration and is a multimedia, interesting experience. Perfect for Connecticut’s Changing Landscape.
I have been working with the land cover for years and I have become somewhat desensitized to the numbers. But as the story map reached its audience and beyond, I was reminded of how meaningful these figures and maps are. High level administrators did some quick calculations, people were exploring their towns, and even my mom said “not only was it well done, I learned a lot.” In technology, mom is the barometer. These comments reminded me that it is not just about the technology and the presentation, it is about the story. The story of the land. The story of change. The story of the place we call home.
Visit the Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Story
Bonus: The Award
The Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Story received first place in the Science/Technology/Education category of the Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest. What a surprise and an honor, especially after I visited the other amazing story maps in the pool. Many thanks to Esri and the fantastic story map team for creating the medium to tell the story and for the award that brought it to new audiences.
And I must mention the other half of the “we” and “our” is Chet Arnold, co-author and originator of many ideas.
For more about the making of the story map, visit
Part 2: Creating the Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Story
Part 3: Customizing the Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Story