ArcGIS Blog

Launch a Story Map Tour at a specific tour stop

Story Map Tour is one of the more popular Esri story map templates. It’s useful when you want to present a set of photos or videos along with captions, linked to an interactive map. It’s ideal for walking tours or any sequence of places you’d like users to follow in order. Examples include City of Santa Clara Development Projects, San Diego Mission Bay Marsh Reserve, and many more that you will find on the Story Map Tour Gallery.

About Map Tour Stops

A Map Tour consists of a series of photographs or videos that are placed at a specific location on the map. Photos and locations are numbered, and the viewer is guided through each of the locations sequentially. These are the tour stops and each stop is referenced by its number, or index.

Using Some Places to Go in San Diego, open the Tour to view the locations on the map, thumbnails in the gallery, and the current tour photo for each location. When opened the map tour starts at the first location.

Taking a closer look you can see that the tour stop locations and photos are numbered and in sync, and increment as you advance the tour (you can also click any map location or thumbnail to move to a specific tour location). To open a Story Map Tour at a specific tour stop, use one of the methods described below.

Share a Tour at a specific stop

It’s easy to share a Map Tour at any tour stop. Just open the tour, advance to the tour stop of your choosing, and click Share. Look for the link symbol in the upper right corner of the application:

The link includes the option to save the link at the current tour stop. Check the box to Link to current place:

The following links to the beginning of the San Diego Map Tour:

The following links to the 16th stop on the tour:

Add the index to the Map Tour URL

You can also add the tour stop of your choice to the story map URL. Using the stop number we can construct a URL to open at a specific tour stop. The URL for the story map includes the application ID (appid) as shown below:


To go to a specific tour stop add &index=<x> at the end of the URL, where <x> is the number of the tour point you want to start with.

For example, tour stop 16 features the Hotel Del Coronado. To open the map tour at this location add &index=16 to the end of the URL. To share the tour at this location copy and paste the URL into an email or use it in a link.

Click the image below to open the tour at this location and examine the URL in your browser:

More information

This post was originally published August 18, 2015, and has been updated.


Tech evangelist and product strategist at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping users succeed with the ArcGIS Platform. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Follow @bernszukalski or email


Next Article

Visualizing data in web apps: leveraging the platform

Read this article