2022 Student Showcase Guidelines


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SCAG recognizes the effectiveness of simple yet powerful ways to inform, engage and inspire people through data and map-driven storytelling.

With this in mind, SCAG is proud to invite student participants to conceptualize, create and submit ArcGIS StoryMaps using SCAG’s open data. This is a meaningful way to tell a story or provide insight, showcase plans and projects, engage supporters and stakeholders, illustrate the possibilities of data, and highlight the usefulness of open data at the regional level.

What Are Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps?

Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps are web applications that let authors combine maps with narrative text, striking images and multimedia, including video. The applications are designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them great for education and outreach, either to the general public or a specific audience.

Additional information can be found here: esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-storymaps/overview

Why Should I Do This?

In addition to allowing students to have access to a robust set of regional data not normally available to the public, this provides an opportunity to partner with the largest metropolitan planning organization in the nation and share data insights to elected officials and decision-makers in Southern California. It is a chance to also help shape policy.

How Do I Get Started?

There have been several StoryMap training sessions with Esri professionals since SCAG launched the Student Showcase concept. The most recent training on Feb. 23, 2021 was recorded and is posted on SCAG’s YouTube Page: Toolbox Tuesday: StoryMapping – Transforming Data Into Interactive Stories. This recording highlights the importance of storytelling and features several examples of StoryMaps with a quick tutorial at the end.

Obtaining a ArcGIS StoryMaps Account

Create an account at developers.arcgis.com/sign-up or contact your university ArcGIS licenseholder to create one and start mapping.

Accessing SCAG’s Data

  1. Entrants must utilize data from SCAG’s GIS Open Data Portal, gisdata-scag.opendata.arcgis.com and can also integrate other relevant data from outside sources as appropriate.
  2. Users can download datasets from SCAG’s portal and work with them through any Esri platform (e.g. ArcPro, ArcMap), for eventual integration into an Esri ArcGIS StoryMap.
  3. Entrants can also opt to directly load the data into an ArcGIS Online Web Map. SCAG’s layers for use in this competition can be located by searching for layers generated by scaggisadmin.


SCAG is requesting abstracts for student-led projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to sustainability-related planning issues on a local or regional scale. Eligible submissions include any applied projects or research.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustainability: Promotes sustainable practices including emission reductions, land use and transportation integration, natural resource conservation, active transportation, energy efficiency, and housing innovation.
  • Innovation: Introduces a new concept and/or challenges or improves upon current planning processes.
  • Transferability: Strategies/concepts that can be applied to different locations or programs.
  • Feasibility: Project has realistic potential to be implemented.
  • Presentation: Excellence in writing, visual content and overall organization.

StoryMap Competition Rules

  1. This contest is open to college students who are currently enrolled in a university, community college or graduate program within the SCAG region taking classes towards a degree objective or who have graduated within the previous 12 months. All work must be completed by students, not faculty or university staff.
  2. Submissions must be completed on an individual basis. Group submissions will not be accepted. Individuals may submit more than one abstract for consideration.
  3. The project must use SCAG data for all or part of the StoryMap. Administrative Boundaries may be used freely, but do not count as using one SCAG dataset.
  4. Any documents, images or videos must be used within the StoryMap only with the permission of the respective author and must be properly attributed.
  5. Entries will be judged on their innovative use of SCAG data and Esri StoryMaps, relevancy to Southern California’s regional economy, transportation system or housing supply, and potential value to local stakeholders.

Abstract Submission Requirements

Students are required to submit abstracts of their projects, and if selected, SCAG will request a StoryMap to be submitted.

The following are required:

  • Project summary (maximum 500 words)
  • Contact information:
    • Primary contact person
    • Name and contact information for faculty advisor
    • Name of college or university

Abstract submissions will be reviewed on Feb. 22, 2022 and applicants will be notified beginning Feb. 23, 2022. Submit abstracts at: https://form.jotform.com/220247231182041.

Submitting Your StoryMap

When your StoryMap has been completed, applicants must generate a written user guide that details background information on the application, demonstrates with engaging text and screenshots the application’s comprehensive functionality, and lists all data sources or media elements included in the StoryMap (with relevant documentation on the authorship of all elements and their year generated)

List of required elements in the user guide:

  • Primary contact person
  • URL of StoryMap
  • Participant’s college or university
  • Background information on StoryMap (3-5 sentences)
  • List of data sources with authorship and year generated

Abstracts Due: Feb. 22, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. (PST)
Final Projects DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 29, 2022 at 5 p.m. (PST)

Submit all abstracts and final projects at: https://form.jotform.com/220247231182041.


For more information on the Student Showcase, please contact:

Lyle Janicek
Phone: (213) 236-1966
Email: janicek@scag.ca.gov