Why We Love It

Maps, photos, and digital artifacts tell the story of one man’s experience serving in the Australian Imperial Forces during World War I. The story map journal follows his route from Australia to Egypt, Greece, and the Dardanelles. We love the use of a linear narrative and strong visual style to evoke a sense of tragedy from the conflict that claimed the lives of more than 28,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

Why It Works

The Story Map Journal template is ideal for maps that trace linear events over a period of time. It allows us to work through the story at our own pace, in an ordered manner. As the story builds, the map updates as each page forms part of the overall narrative. An important detail of this map is the basemap, modified to show the geography of international boundaries and place names as it was in 1914.

Important Steps

Add locations to an Excel spreadsheet that can be converted to a dataset of points and symbolized.

The lines between points are digitized on-screen, for display rather than to indicate an actual route. Points and lines are shared to ArcGIS Online as features.

Build a custom basemap from a dataset of world outlines (without administrative boundaries) and 1914 administrative boundaries added as linear features.

Country and place names can be added to help describe the geography of the time. Cache layers and share to ArcGIS online as a tiled map service at a range of scales that support the map.

For a little extra impact, add the ArcGIS Online hillshade to give texture to a dark basemap.

Assemble content into its final form using the Map Journal template from Story Maps.



You can effectively organize content by using a template built specifically to support maps that allow people to move through events in a sequential way.


The story map template provides the framework for telling the story one step at a time. Points, routes, boundaries, and place names are evaluated for their contribution to the story.


This map is all about collating the digital content so map time is a function of that process. The features and tiles were built in a day.

Strong Visual Elements


Use strong visual elements to support the emotions you’re trying to evoke in your map.

Color and Style


Color and style can reflect the mood of your subject matter. Think about the mood you want to imbue and design your map to support it.

More Information

Map Author

Kenneth Field

Ken Field

@kennethfield | LinkedIn

Professional cartonerd, amateur drummer and snowboarder. Lifetime encourager of cartographic quality not quantity. Map with the times while building on the past.

Start making maps with a free 60-day trial of ArcGIS.

Try ArcGIS →