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Idea: Map Your Way to Content Success

At Hammock, we are fans of maps and the stories they help tell. We’ve created or used maps to accompany content, both print and digital, ranging from how America was formed to how food journeys through the digestive system. If you haven’t thought of maps as being a powerful storytelling medium, here are two examples we’ve seen recently that can help you view maps in new ways.


“This American Life” Story Globe: This map on the public radio show’s website demonstrates that the term “repurposed content” no longer means “old, retread content sitting on a shelf.” Good content can have multiple purposes as long as you’re willing to look for the multiple needs it can fulfill for an audience. In this case, the Story Globe provides a geographical interface to the show’s 10-year archive of stories. Lesson: New ways for connecting customers to content can emerge based solely on viewing the “table of contents” as a map instead of a chronological list.


Ebola 2014 Outbreak Map: This map from HealthMap.org is using Google Maps Engine to track the current Ebola outbreak. Impressive in its use of multiple real-time data sources, it is equally powerful in its use of data visualization techniques that make the information easy to understand and navigate. Lesson: Maps can be the foundation for new ways of telling an unfolding data-driven narrative.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Maps are no longer merely sidebar illustrations. They will continue to evolve (rapidly) as stand-alone content platforms, formats and channels. Think of them as a part of your storytelling toolset, equal in importance to text, video, audio, photography or any other powerful medium.

Credit: The map at the top of the page is a portion of an early map of the Louisiana Purchase from the collection of our client, the DAR Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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