New Story Map Showcases The Region's Thriving Communities

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Thrive 2055 and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC) on Thursday released a new interactive map that takes a compelling virtual journey through eight communities in the tristate, 16-county region. The Thriving Communities Story Map, produced by the UTC Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology (IGT) Lab, uses photography and videos to highlight the communities that are participating in the inaugural Thriving Communities project.

The map was composed by UTC Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst Charles Mix, using a new web-based application from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) that combines mapping technology and visual features to introduce people to compelling stories about places of interest around the world.

"ESRI's Story Map application is an incredible tool," said Andrew Carroll, GIS manager at UTC.
"In the hands of a great mapping technician like Charlie Mix, the application can bring great depth and a sense of place to what otherwise would be a one dimensional picture."


As people browse the Story Map, they can take a journey from Fort Payne, Al., to Ducktown, Tn., making virtual stops at notable towns, historical features and natural treasures along the way. Professional videos and contributed photography bring the story of the Thriving Communities to life.

James Talley, city manager for Ducktown, loves how the Thriving Communities Story Map portrays his city's history. "The mining industry that scarred our landscape was an important part of our lives for generations," he said. "As we celebrate our community's environmental recovery, it is very appropriate to recognize the mines as a vital part of our arts and culture."

As the 2016 Thriving Communities' arts and culture projects are implemented over the next two years, new landmarks will be added to the map, keeping an interactive record of the project available to the communities and the public.

Thriving Communities was conceived by Thrive 2055 and the Lyndhurst Foundation as a way to empower citizens of the region to leverage their arts and culture assets toward community vibrancy and economic prosperity. The eight communities participating in the inaugural 2016 round are Cohutta, Dalton, Murray County, Rossville; Fort Payne, Al.; Cleveland, Ducktown and South Pittsburg, Tn.

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