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No coding Family HiStory Maps using ArcGIS for Desktop

Using Data Driven Pages and Geodatabase Attachments to tell your story

Family HiStory Maps are a type of Story Map that uses GIS to follow the paths taken by your ancestors.

Prior to taking this 60 minute course it is recommended that you view the YouTube video entitled William Slight: Engraver at Map Office: A Family HiStory Map and the FREE Introduction to Family HiStory Maps.

The course shows you many techniques for making Family HiStory Maps using ArcGIS for Desktop, and uses no coding. Techniques include:

  • Writing a Storyboard
  • Adding ArcGIS Online Basemaps to provide a background map
  • Creating a File Geodatabase into which we will:
    • Import shapefiles
    • Edit features for Locations (points), Movements (lines) and Slides (polygons)
    • Attach photos and other documents to Locations
    • Use URLs to hyperlink from Locations to websites
  • Using the Slides layer as an Index for Data Driven Pages that let us step through a slide at a time, or jump to particular slides
  • Using Definition Queries to show a subset of features that are relevant to our story from two Natural Earth datasets
  • Using Page Definition Queries to use the current page name to define the Movement that matches a particular slide
  • Using the HTML Popup tool to drive the presentation of a Family HiStory Map
  • Packaging a Family HiStory Map to share it with another user of ArcGIS for Desktop

The course is recorded using ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Desktop but can be undertaken using version 10.1 or later. To capture attachments (e.g. photos linked to locations) requires a Standard or Advanced level license but, once authored, only a Basic level license is needed to view or present a Family HiStory Map. The ArcGIS for Home Use Program provides a very cost effective route to obtaining an Advanced level license of ArcGIS for Desktop for non-commercial purposes.

After taking this course, you may want to consider learning how to write a Python AddIn Toolbar that provides additional flexibility for composing and stepping through the slides of a Family HiStory Map. The course for that is Writing Python AddIns for Family HiStory Maps using ArcGIS for Desktop.


Your Instructor


Graeme Browning
Graeme Browning

Graeme provides training, consulting and support in:

  • ArcGIS for Desktop;
  • ArcGIS Pro;
  • ArcPy/Python and ModelBuilder/Geoprocessing generally;
  • ArcGIS Online and Story Maps;
  • Family HiStory Mapping; and
  • Google Earth .

He has been using Esri software for over 25 years (18 of those with Esri International Distributors in the United Kingdom and Australia), and Google Earth for more than 5 years, and works with the latest versions of the ArcGIS platform and Google Earth.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

This course is not open for enrolment.