City of Boston Takes Grand Prize in Storytelling with Maps Contest

by | Jul 22, 2015

Redlands, California, July 22, 2015 ” Esri revealed the winners of its Storytelling with Maps Contest today at the Esri User Conference, highlighting grand prize winner Joyce John’s Snow Journal story map for the City of Boston. John’s story map incorporated data-rich maps, videos, photos, and text to craft an engaging story of how the city dealt with historic amounts of snow in Boston earlier this year.

As the grand prize winner, John, a member of the City of Boston’s GIS team, will receive a one-year ArcGIS Online subscription for five users plus a plaque and certificate.

“Story maps harness the power of geography to tell stories in the most engaging ways,” said Allen Carroll, program manager, storytelling. “The winners of our Storytelling with Maps Contest demonstrate the endless ways people can use this rich medium to share their stories with the world.”

Storytellers from around the world submitted more than 400 entries that covered the full gamut of Esri Story Map templates. Contest judges selected the following 18 story maps as winners from across the five contest categories:

Best Travel, Destinations, and Recreation

  • First Place: Elizabeth Frank for Living on the Edge: The Extremes of Human Inhabitance
  • Second Place: GIS Team, County of Simcoe (Ontario, Canada), for Matchedash Bay Loop Trail
  • Third Place: Daragh McDonough, Donegal County Council, for The Hills of Donegal, Ireland
  • Honorable Mention: Yasser Ayad, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, for Al Qahira: A Trip to the Past

Best Infrastructure, Planning, and Government

  • First Place and Grand Prize: Joyce John, City of Boston, for Snow Journal
  • Second Place: Alberto Fiorillo, VeloLove/Legambiente, for GRAB: Grande Raccordo Anulare delle Bici
  • Third Place: Pat Landrum, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), for LOSSAN: Coastal Rail Corridor
  • Honorable Mention: Cassie Hansen, FireWhat, Inc., GIS Team, for Rapid Damage Assessment

Best Science, Technology, and Education

  • First Place: Emily Wilson and Chester Arnold, University of Connecticut, for Connecticut’s Changing Landscape
  • Second Place: Garry Simmons, Wilmington Grammar School for Girls (UK), for Journey into Danakil: Hottest Place on Earth
  • Third Place: Anna Mölter, Colorado State University, for Pittsburgh”Health Impact of Black Carbon Air Pollution

Best Culture, History, and Events

  • First Place: Chris Ingram, Santa Clara County Fire Department, for The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake and Fire
  • Second Place: Mark Gallant,, for Ottawa’s Eyewitness: Thomas Burrowes
  • Third Place: Gordon Campbell, COGS/NSCC, for Pilot Francis Mackey and the Halifax Explosion

Best Conservation, Environment, and Sustainability

  • First Place: Greenbelt Land Trust and FLO Analytics for Bald Hill Farm: A Legacy for Corvallis, Oregon
  • Second Place: Dan Kelly and Sylvia Busby, The Nature Conservancy, for Ogooué: Field Notes from Gabon’s Great River
  • Third Place: Thomas Skowronski, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, for Cooperative Solar: Driven by Cooperative Principles
  • Honorable Mention: Lindsay Withers and Carolyn Ives, The Trust for Public Land, O’ahu Projects

Submissions were judged on a range of factors. Each selected story map combined design, user experience, impact, and overall creativity with an interesting and engaging story.

All first-place winners will receive a GoPro camera. Second- and third-place winners will receive a copy of the Esri Press book Cartographica Extraordinaire: The Historical Map Transformed. All winners will also receive a plaque and a certificate in honor of their award-winning story maps.

For more information about Esri Story Map, visit To view all 18 winning story maps, visit


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