Groin Field Impacts at Sheridan Park

As a kid, science was always my favorite subject. Particularly, I was drawn to the natural processes of climate, weather, and hydrology. My dreams of doing a mapping project rooted in Earth science came to fruition as I got involved with the UW Seagrant. I led the design of the storymap with a team of two civil/coastal engineers (Briana Shea, Adam Bechle) and a planner David Hart. The project was aimed to inform coastal planners and engineers about the deleterious effects of implementing coastal groin structures. My role in the project was to translate the ideas and knowledge of our storymap team into a coherent narrative. I created all the graphics in the story besides the splash page video of water. I also pieced together the story map with our myriad of text, photos, maps, graphics, and interactive pieces. The orthophotos were rectified and edited by me to ensure the spatial representation was accurate. I spent the most time creating the set of static and animated maps. The animated maps are gifs created by sequencing a set of images created in Adobe Illustrator.

I began the process by reading a master’s thesis that a civil engineer wrote to document the short and long-term changes of our study area. Next, our team met to flush out key takeaways from the thesis. From there, I drafted a storyboard of the narrative with my team member Briana. Given the complexity of the story with two major areas of interest and three different timelines, we decided to dedicate an act to each timeline that covered both areas. The acts were all structured the same way starting with a header followed by a summary topic sentence outlining the major change in that time period. Each act then had two sections covering the changes per area consisting of a set of (animated) graphics supplemented with text followed by a before/after image slider showing historic orthophotos. The organization of these acts and their sub-components was the most challenging part of the process. Sketching and peer feedback were my best friend. Once we had the narrative laid out, I switched gears to design mode. I spent hours configuring ArcGIS Storymaps and more time in illustrator working on the graphics. I developed the graphics after many sketches and conversations with my team to visualize the coastal processes in an accurate yet simple way.

Honorable Mention: 2020 CaGISDavid Woodward Digital Map Award

Created using ArcGIS StoryMaps