StoryMap for Images

You can use StoryMap to tell stories about photography or art, or to show a journey on a historic map. Learn more below the example.

How do I make one?

To preface the instructions, the gigapixel feature of StoryMap is not as easy to use as most of our other tools because it requires hosting a folder of images on a web server. If you are unable to serve your images and make them accessible through the web, you won't be able to use the gigapixel feature of StoryMap.

You'll start with a large image for your gigapixel project. It doesn't actually need to be a gigapixel image, but images you take with your phone won't be big enough to be interesting. You need to know the image width and height in pixels as part of starting a gigapixel StoryMap.

Once you have a large image, export it as tiles. Windows and Mac users can use the Zoomify Express app. Or, if you have Photoshop, you can use its "Zoomify" export feature. (show me how) More technically-minded users can use command-line tools such as ZoomifyImage or VIPS.

This is when you'll need to be able to put your image folder onto a web server. (Tell me more) You'll use the base url of the image folder for your exported tiles to make your gigapixel StoryMap.

After you have your image tiles up on a server, go to make a new StoryMap and choose the "gigapixel" button. (). Give your new project a name and enter the base url of your image tile folder on the web. Then enter the image width and height mentioned above, and you're ready to tell your gigapixel story.

Zoomify Help

  1. Open your image in Adobe Photoshop
  2. Note the pixel dimensions of your image:
    1. From the Image menu, choose Image Size
    2. If the dimensions aren't in pixels, use the menu next to "Dimensions:" to set it to pixels.
    3. Make a note of the dimensions: the first number is width, the second is height.
  3. From the File menu choose Export > Zoomify.
  4. Set the output folder and click OK. Take note of (or edit) the "Base Name". Photoshop will create a folder with that name in your output folder. Later, you'll need to put that "Base Name" folder on a web server.
  5. After you click OK, Photoshop will open a page in your browser showing your Zoomify export. You can ignore this.

Serving Your Tiles

We've found that many people in our audience have never had to manage files on a webserver before, so this can be where things get complicated. We've tried to explain things as best we can.

Previously, Gigapixel tiles were able to be hosted on Google Drive and Dropbox. Both platforms have since changed their rules, and now no longer suporting hosting tiles. Outside of hosting your tiles yourself, we have found two alternatives: