ArcGIS StoryMaps

What's new in ArcGIS StoryMaps (February 2024)

ArcGIS StoryMaps is the professional storytelling tool that enables you to transform your geographic work into interactive content to inform and inspire others. It makes it easy to explain complex topics related to your knowledge and experience.

This is another big month for briefings, but we also have plenty of updates that also apply to stories, particularly in the area of map pop-ups. Read on to get all the details about what’s new!


Briefings…are no longer in beta

Briefings are no longer in beta! This also means briefings will not be a beta feature in the upcoming ArcGIS Enterprise 11.3 release.

To celebrate briefings graduating from its beta phase, we’ve added some great enhancements, and we’re working on a lot more that will be released in the coming months (see below for a sneak peek at what we’re planning). We’ve also made several updates across our product documentation related to briefings.

Print or export to PDF

You can now access a print payout for briefings that enables you to print a briefing as a hard copy or export it to a PDF. The layout has two slides per page.



Adjust text size

This month’s biggest enhancement actually helps you make things smaller. You now have the ability to change the size of text on your slides. When building your briefing slides, you can now choose from three different text sizes. The default size is large, but you can bump that down to medium or small as needed. Each paragraph or list block can have a different size.



By the way, these new text size adjustments are also available in the story builder. The new toolbar option for changing text size also enables the ability to adjust the text size of lists, so you can now have paragraphs and lists in the large size text in stories.


Slide updates

When working on a briefing slide that has two side-by-side content panels, you can now swap the content between them with a single click. This makes building slides much more flexible.



Also, there is also a new subtitle field on the section title slides. This lets you add a bit more explanatory text when introducing a new topic in your briefing. Below is a video that gives your a tour of all the currently available slide layouts.



There’s a new option where you can adjust the display title of a slide to customize exactly how you want it to appear in the table of contents when you are presenting your briefing (or someone else is viewing it). This is most useful for slides that don’t have titles (such as ones created using the Media only layout), but it can also be useful if you have a particularly long slide title that you’d like to shorten for the TOC.



More briefings enhancements

In other briefings news, the date is now shown on the cover slide. You can adjust which date is shown in the Briefing settings. In addition to the date options previously available for stories, you can now choose to always show the current date. This can be useful for briefings you frequently present to a live audience where you always want the date to reflect the date of the presentation.


A screenshot of the briefing settings showing the new date options dropdown menu. Available options include Original publication date, Date of last update, Current Date, and None.


You and your readers can now easily copy a link directly to a specific briefing slide. This can be accessed from the header menu.


The "More actions" menu in briefing header is shown highlighting the new option to "Copy link to current slide"


There have also been a few updates to the offline media workflows. Swipe blocks with maps now support the configuration of offline media so they can be taken offline like other dynamic content blocks, and if you are utilizing mobile packages as offline versions of maps or scenes in a briefing, the sharing level of those items is now checked when you publish the briefing.


ArcGIS StoryMaps Briefings mobile app updates

Did you know there is a native app for easily browsing and viewing ArcGIS StoryMaps briefings? This app even lets you download briefings and take them offline so they can reliably viewed in situations where the network connectivity is not available or reliable. This app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. For more information, see Present Slides with Dynamic Maps and Scenes Anywhere, Anytime, Even Offline with the ArcGIS StoryMaps Briefings App. and check out what’s new.


New story cover styles

You now have more flexibility in how you configure a cover for your stories. Be sure to check out these new cover styling options!

When using the Full cover layout, you can modify the position of the text panel in the horizontal and vertical directions, adjust the width of the text panel, and also choose from several new visual treatments. For the Side-by-side cover, you can now toggle between several available panel sizes. This is in addition to the previously available option to switch the panel placement from the right or left.



Docked pop-ups

There’s now a simple toggle in the map options for you to choose between two different pop-up styles for web maps and scenes: anchored or docked.

Anchored pop-ups have been the only choice in StoryMaps until now. With anchored placement, pop-ups appear next to the selected feature and point directly to it.

When you choose to enable docked pop-ups, the pop-up always appears in the bottom corner of the map frame. Docking pop-ups can be useful because the pop-up stays in the same place on the screen even when your readers move the map or click on different map features. It can also be a good option for pop-ups with charts or a lot of information.



Express map pop-up media enhancements

Express maps are a great way to create a quick map right without leaving the story or briefing builder. If you like adding images to your express map feature pop-ups, you’re going to be very excited about all the updates we’ve made in this area. You can read on for details, but the short version is anything you could previously do for images in other parts of your story you can now do with your express map pop-up images…

You can choose whether your image fits or fills the pop-up window, which is useful if you have an image that you don’t want to crop. If you are filling the window, you can set a focal point to position the image exactly where you want it. If you need to make some adjustments to your images, you can now use the full image editor to crop, rotate, and markup your express map pop-up images. It’s also easy to re-use an image you’ve already uploaded in the builder from the “This story” or “This briefing” tab.

You can also add attribution and alternative text to pop-up images in express maps to more easily provide photo credits and improve the accessibility of your content.

And one of the best improvement is that your readers can now click to expand pop-up images in express maps so they fill the browser window and can be viewed in all their splendor!



And more…

ArcGIS StoryMaps supports several new media formats. You can now directly upload all the file types listed below without having to convert them to another format ahead of time. New formats are indicated with a + sign.

Of course, we also squashed a few bugs. You can review the release notes for more detail.



Thanks to Will Hackney for his contributions to this post.
Banner image: © 2024 Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.

About the author

Owen is the lead product engineer for ArcGIS StoryMaps and has been with Esri since 2004. Before joining the StoryMaps team, he spent 11 years as a solution engineer on Esri's National Government team helping people understand the value and utility of geospatial thinking.

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