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How can I create a storytelling map with CARTO.js?

Learn how to create a story map with CARTO.js, in combination with the Storymap.js library.


We built a storytelling map with CARTO.js and Storymap.js in this CARTO Developer Center example. You can advance through the story by by scrolling down the map’s left side, or by clicking on the arrow that appears at bottom-left. The map is using different fields from CARTO’s ne_10m_populated_places_simple dataset.

Overview dropdown menu example

As you advance, the map’s zoom level and center changes to fit the appropriate location for each scene.

In order to achieve this effect we follow the next steps:

  1. Create a CARTO.js map with one layer, as demonstrated in this example.
  2. Create the map’s scenes. A scene is a section of your map’s story that users navigate to by scrolling the left side of the map or by clicking the lower-left arrow button. Each scene should contain the information you want to display in the left panel, and coordinates. Scenes are defined with a <section> element, using this notation: <section data-scene="scene1">....</section>
  3. Create a JavaScript object named layers. In our example the object contains a CARTO data layer and a CARTO basemap.
  4. Create another JavaScript object containing each scene. In our example we created an object named scenes that contains scene1, scene2, scene3, and scene4. Each of these scenes contains the coordinates and zoom level we use to center its map, the layers (which are defined in the layers object) we want to use, and a name.
  5. Initialize the Storymap.js object, with settings for the various options we want.

Storymap.js object options

In order to have more detailed information about how StoryMap.js works, we would strongly recommend taking a look at the Storymap.js library page.

In the next block of code, we can see the different options used to initialize the CARTO.js + Storymap.js map. The createMap function sets the map object, the base layer, and the CARTO layer.

// initializaze storymap
    scenes: scenes,
    layers: layers,
    baselayer: layers.basemap,
    legend: true,
    loader: true,
    flyto: false,
    scalebar: true,
    scrolldown: true,
    progressline: true,
    navwidget: true,
    createMap: function () {
        let map =$(".storymap-map")[0], { zoomControl: false }).setView([30, 0], 3);
        // add basemap
        // add carto layer
        return map;