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Transforming a website story to an interactive Story Map

WWF is one of the leading organizations working on conservation globally.  Kafue Flats is one of the designated RAMSA sites in the Zambezi River Basin. The Kafue Flats, covering an area of 6,500 sq. km in Zambia are faced with a number of competing demands from various users. For instance, they host the Kafue Gorge Dam that produces about half the hydropower electricity generation for Zambia. In response to raising awareness to the already stressed Kafue Flats, WWF Zambia led a campaign to highlight some of the shared challenges in the Flats and to bring to light to where our water is coming from! WWF Zambia received technical support from GISCorps for our Journey of Water Campaign in 2017.

Mission of the Project

The support was aimed at developing a story map (GIS) for the Zambian Journey of Water Campaign. The campaign was both an online and offline campaign with the latter being between run 21st-24th June 2017. The aim of this campaign was to raise high-level awareness of the value of water in Zambia’s economy. GISCorps dedicated a volunteer to assist WWF Zambia in developing the story map to support the campaign and other work in and around the Kafue Flats of Zambia. This particular project focused on developing a story map for the Kafue Flats and ran from March – September 2017.

Story Map Kafue Basin tab
WWF Zambia Story Map Kafue Basin


  1. Story body – The storyboard was developed taking ideas from a WWF South Africa story map. The Water in the Economy and Kafue Status reports were the main documents used to develop the story map.
  2. Data and document sharing – A common Google Drive was created for data sharing. Faith was responsible for sharing documents and GIS data as required for the story map. Erin spent time to study the documents and to understand the Kafue Flats context. Erin performed data collection and uploaded into a file geodatabase named Journey of Water.gdb. The data was then classified into different map documents for visualization and published as map services. Project management meetings where held during the duration of the project using Skype to clarify and share data.
  3. Story map development – GISCorps, through its volunteer, developed the story map in the ArcGIS online platform for WWF global (GLOBIL). Story map edits and improvements were discussed through Skype and amendments were made accordingly. Similar to the South Africa Story map, Map Journal was used as the overall template for the ‘Journey of Water’ story map. The story was crafted to articulate the significance of the Kafue as water is wildlife, water is agriculture, water is power, water is livelihoods and water is cities.
Story Map Kafue Flats tab
WWF Zambia Story Map Kafue Flats

Each area of significance was a separate page in the map journal, which had an associated side panel and a main panel. The side panel had additional information on the significance. Videos and photos were inserted on the side panels. After review, there was suggestion to display the photos as pop-ups to reduce the panels.

Story Map Water is Wildlife tab
WWF Zambia Story Map Water is Wildlife
Story Map Water is Agriculture tab
WWF Zambia Story Map Water is Agriculture. The map has pop-ups for more information on Hydropower dams, Agriculture locations and water supply points.


The Volunteer added metadata to all the items in AGO and added the following tags to all items plus individual tags; WWF-Zambia, Journey of Water, WWF, GLOBIL, StoryMap, Africa, Water, Zambia. For the Access and Use constraints, the data and information may only be used for non-commercial purposes, and WWF retains no liability for errors. All the data sources were given credit. Information was added to the summary and description to explain the items, which also included a link to the story map journal.

Story Map ArcGIS Online Description Page
WWF Zambia Story Map ArcGIS Online Description Page


The development of the story map was a success and is an important product for WWF Zambia Freshwater work going forward. The support provided by GISCorps through their volunteer is much appreciated, considering that this will be one of the first story maps to come out of Zambia. WWF International is currently encouraging its global offices to develop story maps for their critical river basins, and we are happy to be part of the countries ahead of the pack!

Once a final review on the design and the content of the story map was completed, all items in AGO were made public. Full documentation and a detailed status report was provided to WWF-Zambia throughout the project.

Team members

  • Imakando Sinyama – WWF Water Stewardship Manager:  Overall JOW Zambia lead
  • Faith Chivava – GIS analyst for WWF-Freshwater Zambia: To assist the volunteers with data and story map body for the Zambia context
  • Erin Goh Bing Bing – GISCorps volunteer for Zambia: Story map developer
  • Leslie Zolman – GISCorps: to guide the story map development process.
  • Shoreh Elhami – GISCorps: Overall management
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