To make a Story Map Tour℠, 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).
You have several choices for image storage. Storing your images in Flickr is a recommended method for creating map tours. The Map Tour builder can access those images directly and automatically selects the best image size, reads in geotag information from the images to locate them on your map, and uses the title and caption text stored with the images. If your images aren't geotagged, the Map Tour builder will let you specify their geographic location manually. Existing photos in Picasa can also be used but Picasa is no longer accepting new uploads. If you are using an ArcGIS subscription 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. You can also reference images that are on the web directly via their URLs. If you reference images directly via URLs, make sure the images aren't too large. Although any size is supported, the ideal size and shape for an image referenced via a URL is approximately 1000 pixels wide by 750 pixels tall. We also recommend JPG format instead of PNG format for smaller overall file size, but both formats are supported. If your image editing program supports JPEG compression, you can reduce the file size of your JPG images by setting the image quality to 80%. For thumbnail images referenced via URLs we recommend 200 pixels wide by 133 pixels tall. Thumbnail images referenced by URLs that are much larger than that can slow down performance.
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, 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.
Start the Story Map Tour builder. You can use a free, non-commercial ArcGIS public account or an ArcGIS subscription account.
Alternatively, you can start in the ArcGIS Online website, and create a new web map showing the area and basemap you want to appear in your tour, along with any desired supporting layers, such as trails or boundaries. You can then share that web map, choose the option to create a web app, and choose the Story Map Tour from the gallery of applications. The Map Tour builder starts automatically as you configure the app.
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 subscription 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.
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.
If you're accessing your media from Flickr, 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.
If you're accessing your media from Flickr, 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.
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".
Click the Save button at the top of the Map Tour builder, and click Share. You can make your tour publicly accessible or, if you're using an ArcGIS subscription account, you have the option to share your tour so it is accessible only within your organization.
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 is now operational!
To make further changes to your Map Tour, you can launch it, and click the "Switch to builder mode" button you'll see in its header. (That button is only present when you are signed in to ArcGIS Online with your account: other people won't see it).
To manage your Map Tour go to My Stories. My Stories lists all the story map apps you have created that are hosted in ArcGIS Online. It lets you edit your stories, review their content, check them for issues, upload thumbnails for them, etc. For example you can launch and edit the web map used in your tour from My Stories if you want to add additional supporting content to it, such as trails or boundaries.
You can also access your Map Tour and the web map it uses from My Content in ArcGIS Online or your organization's ArcGIS portal.