Introduction to ArcGIS StoryMaps

ArcGIS StoryMaps allows you to use a variety of maps, text, and multimedia elements to present interactive narratives. Since ArcGIS has a number of helpful StoryMap tutorials and instructions available, the information here is relatively brief and often links out to those resources.

Planning Your StoryMap

Creating a good storymap requires good planning. You may find it helpful to sketch out your ideas on paper (in the form of a diagram, an outline, or a rough illustration) prior to working in the actual technology.

Creating Your Content Blocks

StoryMaps uses "content blocks," which include objects ranging from text blocks to interactive maps to images. See content "A Story Map on Story Maps" for examples of content blocks.

Add Alternative Text (Alt Text)

When adding media of any kind, you are given the opportunity to add alternative text for the visually impaired. You want to do this unless the image is purely decorative and does not add to the content/narrative. (Read more about alt text, including writing tips.)

To add alt text, hover over the media and then click on "Options" (the gear icon). Depending on the content block type, you will see either a field that says, "Alternative text" or you will see a choice to click on "Display" or "Properties." Click on "Properties" and you will then see an "Alternative text" field.

Design Decisions

StoryMaps lets you adjust the look/design within a limited range.

Publishing and Sharing

You can keep your story private or publish it for your audience. You have to republish your work for any changes made to be visible to visitors. Before publishing or sharing your story you can preview your story. The publishing and sharing options (among others) can be found in the menu at the top of the page:

The URL (web address) that you get when you "View published story" is your project's front-facing URL and is the link you share out.

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