ArcGIS StoryMaps

Duplicating stories in ArcGIS StoryMaps—a game changer for your organization

Let’s say you’ve built a new monthly newsletter in ArcGIS StoryMaps. 

The design theme—combined with custom hex codes, logo, and branded graphics—matches your organization’s colors perfectlyYour communications team has blessed the project. Youre ready for prime time! 

Three weeks and another news cycle later…themes, blocks, analytics. Your content is new, but the design and structure haven’t changed. Isn’t there an easier way to recreate your story? 

The answer is a resounding yes.  You can create a carbon copy of any story—or collection—made with ArcGIS StoryMaps 


Save time and build your brand in three simple steps

Build a story with your theme, layout, content, analytics, and metadata. Then follow three simple steps to duplicate the story.  



Step 1: Click the horizontal ellipse located next to Publish in the header

Step 2: Select Duplicate story  

Step 3: Confirm Yes, duplicate story

Then view the duplicated story in the My stories tab of the Stories page; you’ll see Copy added to your original title. You now can edit the duplicate of your original story.

Helpful tip! At the momentonly you—the story’s owner—or your organization’s ArcGIS Administrator can duplicate your story unless it is in a shared update group. Want to duplicate a story, but you don’t own it? If the story’s owner is a part of your ArcGIS organization, youadministrator likely can create a workflow that fits your needs. Check out our blog about group settings to find the right workflow for you! You cannot currently use the duplicate tool on stories outside of your ArcGIS organization 


Get inspired by current uses

The best part of being on Esri’s StoryMaps team is exploring new stories and collections built by you, our community. To highlight your incredible work, we feature our favorites in the ArcGIS StoryMaps Weekly Waypoint, our weekly roundup built using ArcGIS StoryMaps. 

Before we could duplicate a story, the team built each Waypoint—from theme to blocks to analytics—from scratch each week. The new functionality was a gamechanger for us!



We quickly turned our ArcGIS StoryMaps Weekly Waypoint into a reusable story by 

Each Monday, we simply duplicate the template, drop in the new content, and share with the world. 

The workflow was so beneficial to the team that we created reusable templates for our instructional stories collection and StoryMaps Live webinar announcements as well. 




We’ve also been inspired by the creative ways that you’ve duplicated stories to meet specific organizational needs. 

In July 2020, the Jane Goodall Institute—in partnership with Esri and Blue Raster—released Gombe 60: Honoring 60 Years of Discovery, Innovation, and Hope. The Discovery, Innovation, and Hope story honors the 60th anniversary of the day that Dr. Jane Goodall first arrived in Gombe, Tanzania, to begin her groundbreaking study of wild chimpanzees. 

As a part of the celebration, the Jane Goodall Institute duplicated the story multiple times and recreated foreign language versions, like this French translation.  


Cover of the Discovery, Innovation, and Hope story.
Click here to view the original version of Discovery, Innovation, and Hope.


The City of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, showed us an equally interesting and beneficial way to use duplicate. The agency created an ArcGIS StoryMaps collection—Brooklyn Park 2025. Each of the six stories tracks the community’s progress towards a shared goal. The uniform branding and story structure, made possible by duplicating stories, brings those goals together into a cohesive and engaging communication tool.  


Screen shot of the Brooklyn Park 2025 collection.
Click here to view the Brooklyn Park 2025 collection.


What we love most about duplicating stories

There are many reasons to duplicate a story rather than recreate it.  

For storytellers, duplicating a story means consistent branding built in. It means time savings on recurring work products. It means sharing and working together across an organization in new and collaborative ways.  

And to us, that’s a win-win for you, your organization, and your customers. 

About the authors

Michelle Thomas joined Esri's StoryMaps team as a web producer and community manager in April 2019. As a communications coordinator and digital media specialist, Michelle previously created strategic storytelling campaigns to promote public land management and conservation at the Bureau of Land Management within the U.S. Interior Department and for America's farmers, ranchers, and foresters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Esri's storytelling platforms served central roles in her campaigns at both federal agencies, tying stories together through the land and resources important to her target audiences. She joined Esri's StoryMaps team to share these experiences widely and empower storytellers globally to make stories that matter.


Liz Todd (she/they) is an Associate Product Manager on Esri's ArcGIS Online team. Prior her current role, she was a multimedia specialist and product engineer on Esri's ArcGIS StoryMaps team where she specialized in place-based storytelling and participatory GIS, with a focus on leveraging GIS for equity and social justice. Liz also co-leads Prism, an employee community focused on increasing representation, inclusion, and belonging for LGBTQIA+ individuals in GIS. When not at work she usually can be found climbing, reading a good book, or off in search of rocks/fossils to add to her far too large collection.

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