Before you start

To make a map tour story map, you first need to assemble and organize the media (photos or videos) you want to use.

You can use images of any size and shape, but we recommend landscape orientation (i.e., images that are wider than they are tall) and an ideal size and shape of approximately 1000 pixels wide by 750 pixels tall.

You have several choices for image storage. You can store your images online in Flickr, Facebook, or Picasa. Our map tour builder can access images in those systems directly and will automatically use geotag information in the images to locate them on your map. If your images aren't geotagged, the map tour builder will let you specify their geographic location manually. You can also store your images in any other online sharing and storage solution or on your own website or web server and enter their URLs manually when you create your tour. If you have an ArcGIS organizational account with Publisher privileges, you have the additional option of uploading your image files from your computer directly into the map tour builder, where they will be stored in the cloud with your map. This is a convenient option if your images aren't already online.

A map tour can use videos instead of images, as well as both images and videos. The builder can access videos stored in a YouTube account directly, or you can specify URLs to individual videos in YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, and so on.

You'll include the names and captions for the photos and videos in your tour directly in the map tour builder. Alternatively, if you want to prepare everything ahead of time, you can make a spreadsheet containing the names, captions, locations, and media URLs that define your map tour, and import that spreadsheet into the map tour builder as a CSV file. The map tour builder lets you download a template you can use to create this spreadsheet.

The text you use for captions for your tour points and for the subtitle of your tour can contain HTML tags if you want to specify additional text formatting and hyperlinks. For example, you might want each caption to include a photo credit in italics.


1

Start the Map Tour builder. You can use a free public ArcGIS account or an ArcGIS organizational account.

Alternatively, you can start in the ArcGIS Online website, and create a new web map showing the area and basemap you want to show in your tour. You can then share that web map publicly as a web app, and choose the Map Tour from the application gallery. The map tour builder starts automatically when you configure the app.


2

In the dialog that appears when the map tour builder starts, choose the location of your images or videos from the available options. If you're using an ArcGIS organizational account with Publisher privileges, you also have the option to upload your images.

To specify the URLs of your media manually, click the Advanced Options button (the Gears icon), and choose Start a new Tour. For example, choose this option if your images are already stored on your own website or web server.

To define your map tour by importing a spreadsheet, click the Advanced Options button, and click the link to download our CSV file template. You can edit this file in Excel or any text editor, such as Windows Notepad. When you're finished, you can use the button on the Advanced Options dialog to import your completed CSV file into the map tour builder.


3

Follow the instructions that appear for the choice you made in step 2.

For example, if you chose the Flickr option, you're prompted to enter a Flickr username and select the set of images you want to use by choosing either a photo set or tag.

If you chose the option to upload your images, you're prompted to specify a name for the ArcGIS feature service that the builder will create for you to store your images.


4

If you're accessing your media from Flickr, Facebook, Picasa or YouTube, a dialog appears that prompts you to choose the individual images you want to use and their geographic location. Geotagged media is automatically placed on the map in the dialog. If your media is not geotagged, you can place them on the map interactively. Just click the image or video to select it, and click the map to position it. In either case, you can drag and drop the locations on the map to further modify them before continuing. When finished, click Import.


5

If you're accessing your media from Flickr, Facebook, Picasa or YouTube, the map tour builder displays your tour ready for you to enter the caption for each point in your tour and make additional changes.

If you chose the options in step 2 to specify the URLs of your media manually, or to upload your images into the builder, this is where you can start creating your tour. Use the Add button near the bottom of the screen to add your tour points. The Add dialog prompts you to specify the media, caption, and location of each point.

If you chose the option to import a CSV file in step 2, the map tour builder displays your tour ready for you to make additional changes.

Specify the title and subtitle of your tour by clicking the Pencil buttons in the top left corner.

Optionally, you can change the basemap using the control in the top right corner of the map.

Optionally, you can use the Organize button near the bottom of the screen to manage the points in your tour. It also gives you the option to specify that the first point in your tour will be an introduction for your tour that is not shown as a geographic point on the map. This option is a good way to provide people with additional descriptive text about your tour before they start moving through it.


6

Optionally, you can customize the appearance and behavior of your tour by clicking the Settings button at the top of the map tour builder.

For example, the Header tab lets you change the logo that is shown in the top right corner of your tour. You can upload your own logo and specify a URL that users will be taken to when they click your logo. This is an important customization to make because it lets people find out about your organization, adds authority to the tour, and makes the tour reflect your "brand".


7

Click the Save button at the top of the map tour builder, and click Share. You can make your tour publicly accessible at this point. You also have the option, if you're using an ArcGIS organizational account, to share your tour so it is accessible only within your organization.


8

After you share your tour, click Open in the Share dialog to launch your finished tour, or copy the shortened URL that is shown in the dialog so you can paste it into email, social media, or as a link in a website or blog.

Congratulations, your map tour story map is now operational!

You can optionally add additional data layers to the web map used in your map tour. For example, you may want to add line features if your tour points show places along trails, or a boundary if your tour shows places with a historic district. You can find a link to the web map used in your tour in the Share dialog. Click that link, and open the web map to edit it in the ArcGIS Online map viewer. You can also access the web map via your My Contents page in ArcGIS Online.

To make further changes to your map tour, you can launch it, and click the Switch to builder mode button in the header. (That button is only present when you are signed in to ArcGIS Online, and other people won't see it). You can also access your tour to make modifications to it via its application item page, which is the entry in ArcGIS Online representing your app. You can find a link to your tour's application item page in the Share dialog. You can also access it via your My Contents page in ArcGIS Online.

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