Celebrating GIS Day has become an annual tradition at Ball State University. For nearly 20 years, we have celebrated the day by having student poster competitions, guest speakers, faculty and staff presentations, hands-on workshops and Map-a-thons.  This year we decided to show case the work that our faculty, staff and students are conducting by creating an interactive online GIS Day Showcase.


Faculty and staff had the opportunity to submit short presentations, videos, webpages or other interactive multimedia presentations to the showcase. Entries were a varied mix that centered on specific research interests, grant related geospatial projects, and departmental offerings.

Students were encouraged to submit entries for a Story Map competition.  Story Maps are web-based storytelling applications that combine spatial data visualization, in the form of interactive maps, with rich narratives, embedded videos, webpages and other audiovisual materials. Story Maps have been a huge success in academia, because they offer an easy-to-use and comprehensive way for researchers to present their work in an intuitive and easily maneuverable stand-alone website, which is also embeddable into other online applications.

This year’s competition had six entries, and saw participants from various departments and programs at Ball State.  Each student who entered received free software from ESRI to use post-graduation, and in addition to the software, the winners received gift cards, coffee mugs and other goodies donated by various campus departments.


Best Story Map created by an Individual:

Heroes in Life, Honored in Death by Samantha Shepherd.

  • Samantha is a senior undergraduate student in the Department of History. Her Story Map was created for HIST 240: Intro to Public History, and analyzes the project to restore an African American Veteran’s Cemetery and its place within the community it’s located.


Best Story Map created by a Small Group:

The Narcotics Trade of Muncie by Griffin Hamilton and Samantha Kidder.

  • Griffin and Samantha are undergraduate students in the Department of History, and created this Story Map in the summer of 2022 for a Teacher – Scholar program as an analysis of narcotic’s effects on American society at the turn on the nineteenth century.


Best Story Map created by a Large Group:

Edinburgh Downtown Revitalization Project submitted by Dakshata Shahi.

  • This Story Map was created by graduate students enrolled in the ARCH 607 Preservation Studio taught by JP Hall, and focuses on downtown Edinburgh, Indiana.