Maps Telling Stories?

Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, David Fairbairn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Maps are good at representing geographic space, but texts have a stronger affordance of telling a story than maps. Telling stories is, however, important to make information more personal and to arrest the map user's attention. This paper contrasts the map and the text media in order to understand why texts are good at telling a story but conventional maps are not. We demonstrate that, by a modification of maps, appropriate structural features of the text media can be transferred to maps, which makes them more suitable for telling stories. This new concept for map design can lead to new interaction possibilities and provide insights into how maps can be used more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-57
Number of pages22
JournalCartographic journal
Issue number1
Early online date10 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Map
  • Narrative
  • Text
  • Story
  • Structure
  • Story focus

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