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5 reasons to try the cool new ArcGIS StoryMaps builder

Story maps are a great way to present information. Check out the 5 reasons why you should try out the new ArcGIS StoryMaps builder before summer’s over!

Story maps are an engaging way to present content that incorporates the use of maps, text, photographs and other media. Earlier this summer the new generation of story maps was unveiled at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. The new ArcGIS StoryMaps builder, gives you access to flexible storytelling options, built-in express maps that make map making easy, and pre-designed themes that ensure your story map has a consistent look.

Before school begins, why not document your summer adventures using the new ArcGIS StoryMaps builder? Here are 5 reasons why you should try it before September:

  1. It’s fun and easy to use!

    The builder is an intuitive application that allows you to create and share story maps in 10 easy steps.

    To create your first ArcGIS StoryMap - sign in to ArcGIS Online > click on App Launcher > select Story Maps > click Create new story

  2. Express Maps make storytelling interesting!

    Within the StoryMaps builder, you can create quick and simple maps in a matter of minutes to add geographic context to your story. Add a route or points of interest to enhance your story or add an existing map from ArcGIS Online.

    Within the StoryMaps builder, you can create your own map and add features to it.

    Using the StoryMaps builder, you can also include a map that you previously created or a map you discovered in ArcGIS Online.

  3. There’s no need to decide on just one story map template!

    You now have options to mix and match components from different templates (Map Tour, Map Journal, Cascade) that you have used in the “Classic” Story Maps to create your own custom story map.

  4. Enhanced sharing and publishing options!

    You no longer have to remember to save your story map! Drafts and edits are automatically saved as you build the story. After a story has been published, you can make additional revisions or updates without affecting the shared version. When you are ready, you can republish the story to make your changes visible.

    At the top of the screen in the ArcGIS StoryMaps builder, you can find the status of the story map. Here we can see it is in draft and has been saved automatically.

  5. Story maps can be viewed on any device – desktop, smartphone or tablet and they load quickly!

There are many resources to help you get started with ArcGIS StoryMaps builder. Explore the Nine Steps to Great Storytelling.

Learn more about what’s in store for the future of ArcGIS StoryMaps.

We want to hear from you! Contact us at and let us know how you have used the new ArcGIS StoryMaps builder and what your plans are in the fall to integrate this into student learning.

Are you a teacher new to story maps and ArcGIS Online? You can request your ArcGIS account today to get started.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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