ArcGIS StoryMaps provides a platform for sharing maps, images, videos and narrative content with your peers and the world. This tutorial provides a step-by-step instruction document introducing ArcGIS StoryMaps. The subject matter for this storymap includes multi-media pieces describing the treacherous journey Laura Secord took to save her country. For inspiration, watch this heritage minute video https://youtu.be/_L-vL5NFkYA
Let’s get started!
HINT: Right-click the link > open in new tab. Then click the download button on the right. Navigate to your Downloads directory and right-click > Extract all.
HINT: Click Your ArcGIS organization’s URL; enter Brock to complete the URL; click Brock University (this will take you to the Brock authentication page.
NOTE: ArcGIS StoryMaps performs autosave every few seconds.
Introduction: On the 22nd of June, 1813, Laura was busy tending to the militia bunking at her homestead in the small town of Queenston. Being a woman, she was not suspected of espionage and so she learned of a sneak attack the Americans were planning later that week in Thorold. With her husband unwell, Laura resolutely decided to make the treacherous journey on her own to warn Lt. Fitzgibbon and save Upper Canada.
The map seen here depicts one interpretation of the route that Laura took on June 22, 1813. There were supposedly 5 phases: Queenston to St. Davids, St. Davids to Homer, Homer to Shipman’s Corners, Shipman’s Corners to Power Glen, Power Glen to Decew House
It must’ve been early in the morning on June 22nd, 1813 that Laura headed out to save her country. Being a woman wouldn’t cause suspicion in her travels and some say that she brought her cow along for the journey… at least part of it. No doubt, she hurried to her relatives’ home in St. Davids where she would’ve sought the help of her half-brother, Charles. However, Charles was sick and so Laura’s niece, Elizabeth offered to accompany her. And off they went to Homer.
Repeat section six for each of the phases, adjusting the map action to suit the particular phase. Details below:
Phase Two: St. Davids to Homer
Historical maps show the most direct route would’ve been via Queenston Rd although some would argue that York Rd was the more popular link. At any rate, this segment of the journey included reference to the “Black Swamp”. The map below depicts the region in 1818 with labels and symbols for swamp landcover. Although the landscape has changed significantly, it is a fact that there were many streams and rivers indicative of low-lying land and perhaps ‘swamp-like’ terrain.
Phase Three: Homer to Shipman’s Corners
Having lost her travel companions (documents indicate that Elizabeth turned back at Homer and likely brought the cow with her), Laura continued over Ten Mile Creek toward St. Catharines and Shipman’s Corners (modern day Ontario St and St Paul St). At this point, she would face crossing Twelve Mile Creek and likely used a ‘low level’ bridge.
OPTIONAL: insert image “Crossing-the-Twelve.jpg”
Phase Four: Shipman’s Corners to Power Glen
Having descended the banks of the Twelve and crossed over to the southwest side, Laura likely ascended the embankment to follow the trail (Pelham Rd) to Power Glen. Although this route is indeed circuitous, there is no doubt she consulted her husband and brother regarding the journey. At first glance, we may wonder why she didn’t take a more direct route, but there were enemy troops to consider.
Phase Five: Power Glen to Decew House
The final leg of her journey would’ve been arduous, to say the least. The terrain would’ve been hilly and forested with another crossing of the Twelve Mile Creek, this time by a fallen tree, rather than a sturdy bridge! And then to face the Indians! After describing her plight, she was escorted to Decew House and shared her intel with Lt. Fitzgibbon. Imagine the exhaustion! And how did she get back home?
OPTIONAL: insert image “MeetingWithFitzgibbon.jpg”
Inserting swipe map content.
Twelve Mile Creek Painting https://bit.ly/3eBkc7Q
Map of Laura Secord’s walk https://bit.ly/3f9tZCn
Alun Hughes https://bit.ly/3gKtYXP
Laura Secord’s Famous walk https://bit.ly/3eGtsr0
Laura Secord, Legendary Patriot https://bit.ly/3xxujmM
Crossing the Twelve https://bit.ly/3t02gZN
Talking with Fitzgibbon Painting, Lorne Kidd Smith
Friends of Laura Secord https://bit.ly/3eBlhfU
ArcGIS StoryMaps offer various preview options (desktop, tablet, mobile). See how your story behaves using each option.
This tutorial was written by Sharon Janzen, email@example.com
This tutorial is brought to you by the Brock University Digital Scholarship Lab. For more information on the DSL check out our website at www.brocku.ca/library/dsl/ or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.