Public art displays are a popular addition to many communities during the summer months. Generally, a particular theme for the overall display is chosen and local artists and businesses craft the artwork that will be publically displayed at select locations throughout the community. For the summer of 2015, the Environmental Commission of the Village of Glen Ellyn, IL presented Bike It!, an outdoor exhibit using bicycles as pieces of art. To help alert residents of the locations of the bikes, while also showing off the artwork of local residents and businesses, the village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) department created a story map for display on the village website.
A story map is an interactive map that is viewed online and provides the viewer with the ability to interact with the map elements. When viewing the Bike It! story map, a resident can click on the location of the bike, bring up a picture of the display, and also get information about the artist or artists that created the piece. The resident can also zoom in to a particular bike location by clicking on a picture of the corresponding bike on the bottom ribbon of the map, displaying more information on what other features are around that bike. This provides more information visually than could be gleaned from a traditional, static map product. Moving forward, this type of interactive story map will be a valuable addition for promoting and providing information for other community events.