Dive into the New ArcGIS StoryMaps

Earlier this year, Esri released a new version of ArcGIS StoryMaps. This release changed everything that we knew about the ArcGIS StoryMaps product. The redesigned product provides you with a new gallery, a new builder experience, different templates, and different themes.

We’ve received a lot of questions from people wondering what the next steps are and what will happen to their content. Below we’ll dive into those questions and provide some resources so you can hit the ground running (and even enter the StoryMaps contest).

New Builder

The new builder allows you to combine elements that were previously in separate templates. Now, you start with a layout like the cascade template where you build on each element and scroll through the story. You have the option to add in elements like the sidecar, slideshow, images, videos, maps, and other embedded content.

My favorite new feature is the Express Maps. When adding a map to your story map, you no longer need to have everything already created. You can build your map by adding a map and choosing the express map option. No need to pre-build anything if you are looking to quickly put together a story map on the go.

Design Freedom

Along with the fresh and modern design of StoryMaps, users are given more freedom in the look of their content. We now have the design panel which allows users to change the theme, font, accent color, and cover design.

Design panel with theme, layout, font, and logo options.
The design panel features many ways to customize your story map.

This is an important change for users that want to keep content closer to their brand standards or are looking to diversify the look of their content. These options give the opportunity to customize the overall feeling of a story map to match the story you are telling. This is an area that I’ll be watching for updates in the future, as the overall design can make or break a story.

Accessing Your Existing Content

You can still access your existing content and even build new story maps using the classic version of StoryMaps. Any story maps created before the release of the new version will be stored separately, here. While Esri does plan to shift to the new version, there has not been an announcement for when the classic StoryMaps content will be retired.  

Section indicating where to find previously created StoryMaps content on the My Stories page of the new version.
The My Stories page has a section on how to access your previously created content.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve had a chance to see some of the changes to ArcGIS StoryMaps, it is time for you to try it out. While your existing content is still supported, this is a great time to start learning the new StoryMaps.

Recreate any content that you’ll need in the future; this is a great way to get familiar with the new set-up. This is also a great time to review the content you have created and look for ways to improve or update anything outdated.

Looking for ideas on where to start with your story? Check out one of my current favorites below on mapping Mount Everest by Alex Tait. You can explore more stories here, in the Esri StoryMaps Gallery.

After you get comfortable with the new version of StoryMaps, check out the 2019 ArcGIS StoryMaps contest! All entries must use the new ArcGIS StoryMaps. Deadline to enter is December 15th, 2019.

Learning Resources

Here are some great resources from Esri on using the new ArcGIS StoryMaps, best practices, and ways to use the new elements.

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Solution Engineer

Michelle is a passionate and self-starting GIS professional looking to change the world with mapping. She works with our Enterprise team, supporting the daily operations of our GEOPowered Cloud.