Apps and sites for digital story-telling – the mountains are calling!! Blog Post # 7

I am on the search for great story-telling tools!

Sometimes you need to spend a whole day to find just the right tool.  I think I found it – Kuula – a great interactive tool, which unfortunately will not embed to a WordPress blog! – link to the interactive version.

This find is the result of a day-long search to find apps that will allow me to easily share interactive photos from my upcoming climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro.

It is great that we are all raising money for different charities – mine is the Sens Foundation and specifically, Rec LINK, an organization that does terrific work in our community, linking families up to recreational opportunities for their kids.


From their website, they outline their mission for their community:

1 in 5 children in Ottawa lives in poverty and many more face barriers that make participation in after-school sports, recreational or social programs difficult. Rec Link aims to help children and youth participate in social recreation activities during the critical afterschool hours by working to effect change on three levels: system, community, and individual.

 I understand the importance of this work.  For over two years, I worked in the community they support.  Kids in our neighbourhood simply do not get the opportunities to play sports and take part in enriching activities due to the lack of resources available to families.

So, while it is important to raise money for Rec LINK, I also need to tell the story of the journey to the top of Kilimanjaro.  I am doing this for the kids I used to work with and for all those wonderful people who are supporting me.  To date, 82 people have contributed $4082.00 to Rec LINK – my goal is $6000.00 and I am going to make it.

Now, back to story-telling.  I continue to look for ways to tell the story. Kuula is really important because it is really difficult to share 360 photos. These photos are really important as you can manipulate the picture so you can get a 360 degree perspective on what is going on in the photo.  The photos are taken using the Ricoh Theta S – a wonderful camera that takes 360 photos and videos.  I have the photos worked out now but still learning how to do interesting 360 videos.

The jewel in the story-telling crown is certainly ESRI Story Maps.

The story map is supposed to embed to web pages, but it won’t work here which is a problem.  The opening page looks like this


The actual story map will scroll down as you add to your story.  You can embed maps, photos and of course 360 interactive photos and videos!

I hope to use this tool as a way to share the actual climb with students back in Ottawa.  With the aid of an InReach Satellite Communicator  I will actually track our progress up the mountain.  To do it on a 3D map would be the best – however, I don’t know how to do this yet.

3D Imagery from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
3D Imagery from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Another story-telling tool I am experimenting with is Sutori.  This tool has lots of interesting features that are not included in ESRI Story Maps and it might be a better way to interact with students.  Sutori allows you to add collaborators to write with you.  It has functions that allow you to add forums for questions and music. Like ESRI, you can’t embed the story to your website which is certainly more engaging.  You also can’t embed photos which is a problem.


screen shot of the Sutori Page


I will keep searching for good ways to bring this story to life. I can’t imagine doing this without sharing as much as I can.

If you have good ideas on tools I should be using, I would love to hear what you know!


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