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ArcGIS Online Challenge (learning path)

Explore potential uses of ArcGIS Online in your research and teaching at Ohio State

Learning Objectives

Module 5 provides an introduction to Dashboards and StoryMaps, two ArcGIS Online apps that can be used for visualizing data and telling a compelling and impactful story about your work.


Through completing this module, you will:

  1. Describe potential use cases for Dashboards and StoryMaps as data visualization and communication platforms
  2. Recognize how Dashboards and StoryMaps are integrated with other components of ArcGIS Online
  3. Create an engaging and interactive digital product using Dashboards or StoryMaps, based on the perceived relevance of these apps to your own work


Complete this series of short readings for an overview and example use case of visualizing data and crafting spatial narratives with Dashboards and StoryMaps.



Based on what you learned from the readings and the likely relevance of each of these apps to your own work, choose one of the following tutorials to gain some hands-on experience with Dashboards or StoryMaps. Each tutorial includes steps associated with adding web maps, formatting additional content, and sharing your finished product.


  • Dashboards tutorial: Make a Dashboard to Monitor Wildfires (est. 30 min.)
    • Maps, graphs and tables can show data in different ways. If you combine these elements alongside one another, you can create a dashboard to help you monitor events, make decisions, share information with others, and see trends on a single screen. In this tutorial, you will create a dashboard that includes a map, an indicator to monitor the number of current wildfires, and a chart to identify where the largest ones are. (Credit: This tutorial was originally developed by Esri's Learn Team.)


  • StoryMaps tutorial: Create an Endangered Species Story (est. 30 min.)
    • In this tutorial, you will create a map to show the habitat area of an endangered species in the United States. The map, along with text and images, will be added to a story using ArcGIS StoryMaps that tells a more complete and engaging story about the endangered species. (Credit: This tutorial was originally developed by Esri's Learn Team.)

Brainstorming Questions

Think about the following questions, and reflect on how you might transfer what you are learning to your own work.


  1. What value could a Dashboard or StoryMap add for communicating the results and impact of your research? How might creating such a digital product enhance your ability to share your work (in terms of purpose, audience, etc.) compared to more traditional venues of scholarly communication?
  2. If you are an instructor, can you think of an existing assignment that could be adapted to include the use of Dashboards or StoryMaps (for example, allowing students to create an interactive dashboard rather than a static poster, or a story map instead of a traditional term paper)? How could the incorporation of these technologies (and a spatial perspective) enhance student learning in your course?

Additional Resources


Curious about other ways you can share your work using ArcGIS Online? Read a short blog post that discusses key considerations for choosing between the ArcGIS Online app builders, and explore two more apps included with your organizational account:


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