'Uniting Americans through Service: How California is Leading'

California's Chief Service Officer discusses the California Volunteers' initiatives -- the impact CalVols is having in the state, and how it serves as a model nationwide at Jefferson Educational Society Global Summit event at the University of Redlands.


That empty space next to highways? Put solar panels on it.

Roadside solar fields across the country could power up to 12 million electric vehicles.


A Year in Renew, A Year-in-Review: The Stories from 2022 of American Renewal

The Our Towns team looks back at the stories of local-level ideas that are driving and inspiring renewal nationwide.


2022: A Year in Renew, Continued!

A continued look back at the stories of local-level ideas that are driving and inspiring renewal nationwide. 


Unlocking Potential

At-risk youth in North Carolina hold the keys to flipping a decommissioned prison into a sustainable farm and community asset.


Another Look Into the ‘Heart’ of America

First, a geographic perspective. Then, the country's struggle to recognize ways in which it is changing—and might be improving.


Inside Our Towns: Allen Carroll and Story Maps

Evan Sanford explores the origin and evolution of Esri’s story maps with the innovative storytelling tool’s creator, Allen Carroll.


An Outsider Works with Insiders: Examples from Akron and Cleveland

Mac Love, who has spent much of his life outside Ohio, uses new technologies to bring community residents and college students together. That collaborative approach is now helping citizens’ voices be heard and is driving meaningful change in their neighborhoods.   


‘Mapping Common Ground’: What I learned this summer in San Diego

New reason to “think globally, and act locally.”


Past, Present, and Future on the Water: Using StoryMaps to Explore Bucksport, Maine

What does a mile-long stretch along the Penobscot River tell the walker about Bucksport, Maine? As it turns out, a lot.


Story Maps are at the Center of Community Collaboration in Kent, Ohio

New digital tools give communities innovative and engaging ways to tell their own stories. In Kent, Ohio, a community-wide collaboration among Kent State University, Main Street Kent, and the Kent Historical Society & Museum uses story maps to teach residents about the town's rich history. 


Never Too Soon: Engaging America’s Youngest Citizens Early and Often

Americans know that retaining their young people requires getting them involved in the civic process early and often.


Why Story Maps Matter

People understand the world through stories. People absorb their stories in ever-expanding ways. Here is a preview of a powerful, emerging form of digital story-telling, which we’ll be using frequently in this space.

Civic Life

Bring in the Refugees

The most encouraging front-page headline I’ve seen in the New York Times in a long time was this, from Labor Day. It was on a story by Miriam Jordan and Jennifer Steinhauer, and it said: For the moment, let’s set aside the obvious complications and caveats: Who exactly made it out of Afghanistan, and didn’t. When and where […]


We Find Our Way With Maps. But How Can Mapmakers Know Where They're Going?

A "geo-historical narrative" captured the imagination of many children in mid-20th century America. Maps have always had power to shape perceptions of reality. A memoir about their influence--and an introduction of what's to come.

Local Institutions

Geo-Journalism Illustrates & Expands the Story

An interactive map of the Columbus, Ohio Library system illustrates the power of maps in reporting.