GIS (Spatial) story maps and Disaster Management


An important part of disaster management is the communication of information to stakeholders. It can by disaster management practitioners and/or the public. Mechanisms to do this must keep up with the times. The question is also what format of reporting will enhance the ability to utilize data or information from disaster risk assessments?

What happen to the hardcopy reports after the assessment? Does in gather dust in the cabinet? How fast can you retrieve information from the report? Can you easily link information from the report to a specific location? Can you apply your own thinking to do analysis on the data in the report?

This post is about the investigation if story maps, as used in ESRI online, can be used for reporting results of disaster risk assessment.

Story maps

What is story maps?

“Esri Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story.”

Disaster risk assessment’s story is about the description of hazards and risks and showing the possible impact areas including communities, environment and infrastructure. What better way to describe the impact by doing it with maps linked to a narrative describing the impact.

This is where story maps comes in.


The following images show screenshots of a story map.  The story starts with a dashboard show some information of possible risk per ward in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipalities area of jurisdiction.  This dashboard is interactive and depends on information from risk assessments.  The following tab shows the risk value per ward.  The third map shows the location of possible water pollution points in the municipality.  A narrative is added to describe the map which can include for example disaster risk methodology, recommendations and/or standard operational procedures.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *