I tested out Story Map software. It operates using ArcGIS which is a very widely used mapping software. Fortunately the web app that Story Map utilizes is way more user friendly and accessible then the desktop version of ArcGIS.
How easy it is to use is at the expense of versatility. There aren’t any shape tools or variations in types of data points. Your basically locked into inputting a picture, a title, and a blurb with a data point of which there are 4 or 5 different colors.
The world map used looks as if it’s a Google Map based on the zoom interface. The zoom itself works pretty well, there is hardly any lag in moving around the map. Clicking on data points brings up the meta data quick as well.
I believe that Story Map is most applicable to picture based geographical stories, since each data point has to have a picture. It is a very casual program so if you have a more ambitious and complicated project in mind you might want to look at other options.
I’m currently trying to master ArcGIS software for two of my final projects. It’s really good because it has Photoshop levels of versatility. The downside is that ArcGIS desktop program requires one extremely beefy, fast running, over achieving, physically fit, unwavering, heroic, and at times dangerously powerful computer.