To create a story with Story Map Cascade℠ you author sections containing narrative text and media such as images, web maps, 3D web scenes, videos or other web content. There are two main types of sections you can author in a Cascade story: narrative and immersive.
A narrative section contains text and in-line media. When a reader scrolls through a narrative section it behaves much like a typical web page.
An immersive section fills the page with the media you choose. In an immersive section you can configure exactly what your readers see and how they interact with it. For example you can author an immersive section that displays a series of images with descriptive text panels that your readers can scroll through, or that displays a map or 3D scene which automatically zooms to show particular locations and associated descriptive text as your readers scroll.
Find out more about Cascade sections in this 'How To Cascade' guide, which was created with Cascade too!
You can use any ArcGIS web maps or 3D scenes in your Cascade story: you can create new ones, use your existing ones, or use ones that have been published by other users or organizations. If you'll be creating new maps or scenes for your Cascade story, you should create them before you start authoring your story, but you can continue to refine them after you've finished your story.
Find out about the different sorts of media you can use in this 'How to Cascade' guide.
This tutorial doesn’t cover how to create maps and scenes in ArcGIS, so we assume you know the basics. For help with authoring maps and scenes, start at this page in the ArcGIS Online help.
Get tips about how to create a great Cascade story.
Start the Story Map Cascade Builder. You can use a free, non-commercial ArcGIS public account or an ArcGIS subscription account to create a Cascade story.
The Cascade Builder appears showing your cover page with a placeholder cover photo.
Click the text to add your own title and optional subtitle.
Click the Save button in the panel on the left hand side of the Builder.
Press the Add Your Image or Video button to specify your own cover media.
The Media Picker appears which allows you to, for example, choose a picture from Flickr, either from your own account, another account, or by searching Flickr. You can also upload an image file from your computer directly into your Cascade. Images you upload from disk are hosted in your Cascade application automatically.
Tip: If you use a video as your cover media, be sure to also specify an image that will be used as alternate media when your Cascade is viewed on a mobile device. Videos in Cascades are supported on mobile devices, except for on the cover page. After adding the video, you can specify alternate media by clicking the Pencil button that you'll see in the lower left corner of your cover page, and then clicking Mobile. You'll see this Mobile option to specify alternate media throughout Cascade for any content you include that is unsupported on mobile devices, such as 3D scenes, or which may not work well on mobile.
You can now start authoring the content in the first narrative section in your story.
There's a narrative section in your story already waiting for you to add content to it. Just scroll down to see it or press the arrow at the bottom of the cover page. You can also get to that first section by clicking it in the story overview listing you see on the left side of the Builder.
Click in the placeholder text block in that section and start typing the introduction to your story.
The block formatting button in the margin lets you format your paragraph as a heading (H1 or H2) or block quote, and also adjust the alignment of the text. To format a passage in bold, italic, underline, or strikethrough first select the words you want to format and then press the option you want to use from the text formatting toolbar. To create a hyperlink, select the text you want to turn into a link and press the Link tool to specify the URL.
Tip: You can change the appearance of your Cascade by clicking the Settings button and choosing Appearance. You can choose between Light and Dark themes, and choose the text fonts that are used throughout your Cascade. However, in general we recommend sticking with the default appearance settings unless there's a good reason to make a change, such as making your Cascade more closely match your organization's style and visual identity.
To add in-line media immediately after your first paragraph, hover your cursor over the space after your first paragraph and press the + button. In the menu that appears choose Media. This opens the Media Picker. For example you can add an image, a web map, 3D scene or video.
You can configure the media you just added into your section by pressing the button in its bottom left corner. The configuration options you see depend on what type of media it is. If it's an image you can change its size, etc. If it's a map you can choose whether you want your readers to be able interact with it or not, which layers in the map will be displayed, etc.
When you've finished configuring the media you just added, you can continue by adding more text into your section or adding more media.
Press the Save button to save your work so far.
Now add your first immersive section. Hover your cursor over the space after the last paragraph, press the + button and choose Immersive.
When you author an immersive section you define one or more views. These views appear one after the other as your readers scroll. Each view displays the media you choose, such as an image, map, 3D scene or video. For example, your immersive section could start by showing a view that displays a map, and then show several views each of which displays an image. Or you could define three views, each displaying the same map but showing different map extents, so that as your readers scroll between the views the map will change extent. Each view also has an associated text block that appears on top of it. You can configure the width, location, background color, and behavior of these text blocks. You can define transition effects between views too, such as fades and swipes. A wide variety of different interactive behaviors and looks can be achieved using immersive sections.
Tip: Try out the different transition options for immersive sections in this 'How To Cascade' guide.
For the first view in your new immersive section, press Add Media to open the Media Picker and choose what you want that view to display. For example to use a photo that you have on disk, simply drag and drop it into the box, indicated in green on our screenshot, in the ArcGIS tab of the Media Picker. This will upload that image file into ArcGIS Online and use it in your view.
You create, edit and organize the views in your immersive section using the control that appears along the bottom of the Builder.
Continue adding narrative or immersive sections until you have finished your story.
Optionally, you can add titles into your story to separate your story into different parts or chapters, so they are particularly useful for long stories. You can use the Bookmarks option in the Settings dialog to add your titles into the header of your story. Readers can click on the bookmarks in the header, indicated in green in our screenshot, to quickly navigate to the different parts of your story.
To add a title into your story, hover your cursor over the desired position in your story, press the + button and choose Title. You can then enter the text for the title and, if desired, an image or video.
At any time you can reorder the sections in your story by pressing the Organize button that you'll see at the bottom of the story overview listing on the left side of the Builder. While you are in Organize mode you can drag your sections to reorder them. Then press Done to lock in the new order.
As a finishing touch, click the Settings button and in the Logo and Sharing tab upload your organization's logo so it appears in your story's header. Using your own logo is important because it adds authority to your story and shows people who created it. Your organization's logo may already be reflected in your story if it has been set as the default by your ArcGIS account administrator (this option is only available if you are using an ArcGIS subscription account). Be sure to specify a URL that your readers will be taken to when they click your logo, so they can find out more about your organization.
Once you are happy with your Cascade story you are ready to share it.
Press the Save button again to make sure everything is saved. Then choose the Share option you want to use. You can choose to share your story publicly or just within your organization. Use the Organization option if you only want members of your organization to be able to view your story. The Organization option is not available if you are using a free ArcGIS public account.
Congratulations, your Story Map Cascade is now operational!
To make further changes to your story, you can launch it and press the Edit button you'll see in its header. (That button is only present when you are signed in to ArcGIS with your account: other people won't see it).
To manage your Cascade story, go to the My Stories section of this website. 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, fix issues (such as making sure that web maps in your story and the data they contain are shared correctly), upload thumbnails for them, etc.
You can also access your Cascade story from My Content in ArcGIS Online or your organization's ArcGIS portal, along with any maps or scenes you created to include in your story.
That's it! We can't wait to see how you put Story Map Cascade to work!