ArcGIS Online includes Configurable Apps, which provides a suite of app templates, including stories, that can help bring your stories to life for users. For most of the app templates, the majority of your work is done once you’ve created your map. By leveraging a template and choosing a few options, you offer your users a focused experience for interacting with your map. Being clear about who is in your audience and how they will use the map can help you select the best app to convey the message you want to your audience.
The following are some considerations to keep in mind as you decide which app template to use:
- Purpose—The most important consideration is the purpose of your app. Embedded in this goal is your intended audience: Who is going to use your app and what are the key points that you want them to take away from the experience?
- Functionality—What is the critical functionality needed to support that goal?
- Aesthetic—How does the app’s layout and color scheme support your brand or message?
Your organization may have specified brand colors or a logo to apply to apps created by members of your organization. When you create an app that supports these Shared theme settings, the specified settings will be applied instead of the default theme of the app.
Below are the featured app templates that appear in the Configurable Apps gallery, organized into categories based on their purpose. Some of the templates are classified in more than one category. The description for the apps in each of the categories will help you make a choice between the offerings in that category.
If your organization has configured custom galleries, you may not see these same app templates.
Build a story
The following apps help you to tell a story by combining authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. Learn more about storytelling with maps at the ArcGIS StoryMaps website.
- Story Map Basic—Present a map through a minimalist user interface. Apart from the title bar and an optional legend, the map fills the screen. This is a good choice when you want the map to be the focus of the app.
- Story Map Cascade—Create immersible, full-screen, scrolling stories using narrative text, maps, scenes, images, and videos.
- Story Map Journal—Create a compelling map-based narrative presented as a set of journal entries. This is ideal for creating multimedia stories that combine text, maps, images, and video, especially when you have lots of text or a rich array of content.
- Story Map Series—Present a series of maps or media. The app can be configured to use tabs, numbered bullets, or an expandable side accordion. You can also include images, video, and web content in side panels to help tell your story.
- Story Map Shortlist—Present places of interest organized into a set of easy-to-use tabs.
- Story Map Swipe and Spyglass—Compare two maps or two layers in the same map. This is a good choice for showing before and after imagery or other changes over time.
- Story Map Tour—Present a sequential, place-based narrative in the form of a series of geotagged photos and captions linked to an interactive map. This is a good choice for walking tours or for presenting locations you want users to follow in a sequenced order.
Collect and edit data
The apps in this category are primarily focused on data collection. The source of the data can be either a subject matter expert or the general public.
- Crowdsource Manager—Provide the ability to review crowdsourced information and update attributes such as status and assignment. This is a good choice for collecting crowdsourced data across multiple layers and maps since the data is collected using apps such as Crowdsource Reporter or ArcGIS Survey123. It requires a group that contains at least one map with an editable feature layer.
- Crowdsource Polling—Allow for collecting feedback and assessing public sentiment for a series of proposals, plans, or events. Users are presented with a map and list of features containing the details of each proposal, plan, or event, including any attached documents. These users can submit feedback in the form of votes and comments.
- Crowdsource Reporter—Provide the ability to collect a variety of crowdsourced issues or observations in a single app. This is a good choice for collecting crowdsourced data across multiple layers and maps. It requires a group that contains at least one map with an editable feature layer.
- GeoForm—Provide a form-based experience for entering data through a form instead of a map pop-up. This is a good choice for users who find forms a more intuitive format than pop-ups for entering data.
- Basic Viewer—Provide editing capabilities in the context of a general-purpose mapping app. This is a good choice when your audience needs additional tools or information about the map to support their editing activities.
Compare maps and layers
These apps focus on comparing geographic phenomena; the nature of the comparison you choose may depend on your end goal.
- Compare—Provide side-by-side or stacked comparison of two maps, two scenes, or one of each. For example, you could use this app to present the results from a variety of different analytic methods, the difference between household incomes in multiple places, or the difference between household income and home values in a single location. The app also provides the ability to open the pop-ups for the same feature in each map or scene to compare the values.
- Story Map Series—This is a good choice when you have a large number of maps or locations to present or if you want to include text and other content with each map.
- Story Map Swipe and Spyglass—Display the difference between two maps or between two layers in one map. For example, you could show the difference between current sea level and a projected rise in sea level, or visualize an area before and after a tornado where the user may want to closely inspect the difference between the scenarios at a large scale. This supports using the swipe or spyglass option by either configuring a swipe layer in one map or setting up two maps for comparison.
Display a scene
Use the 3D Viewer app to interact with scenes. Provide a dual view of your area of interest with optional tools for navigating the scene, including slides and search.
Explore and summarize data
The apps in this category allow your users to interact with attributes and, in some cases, other services to facilitate a deeper exploration of the content of your map to create visual, interactive representations of your data.
- Attachment Viewer—Provide an immersive experience for users to page through a layer's features and review image, video, and PDF attachments. This is a good choice for presenting data and images collected with ArcGIS apps such as ArcGIS Collector and ArcGIS Survey123. The app is optimized for use on both desktop and mobile browsers.
- Elevation Profile—Generate an elevation profile graph based on a selected line feature in the map or a line drawn with the measure tool. This is a good choice for showing changes in elevation along a trail or route.
- Geo List (beta)—Present an ordered list of features based on the highest or lowest value of an attribute. Users can explore the list one feature at a time.
- Interactive Legend—Create a focused view of a feature layer in the map by clicking the desired categories or ranges defined in the legend. This gives users the ability to explore the map holistically or to focus on the categories that are most relevant to them.
Use these apps to extract meaning from imagery using tools for querying, visualization, analysis, and recording observations.
Make a gallery
Use these apps to create a gallery of maps, apps, or other content that can be used as a convenient access point for all of your geographic content. These apps require a group.
- Category Gallery—Build a gallery of apps, maps, and layers, and provide an interactive experience to filter the content in the gallery. App authors can categorize group content into themes or topics and then expose them to users as a filtering option.
- Layer Showcase—Display a collection of layers. Users can explore layer-based content from a group, view layers in a map or scene, and create a map or scene based on the layers in the app.
- Minimal Gallery—Display items from a group in a minimal card-based gallery.
Map social media
Use the Story Map Tour app to include social media content in your map to supplement your message with content related to your theme and location. Present a sequential, place-based narrative in the form of a series of geotagged photos and captions linked to an interactive map.
Provide local information
Use these apps to highlight the resources available at a location. Options include highlighting all of the features within a certain distance of a location and informing a user that their address is located within a certain geographic area.
- Crowdsource Polling—Provide a forum for soliciting citizen feedback on proposals or issues in a local area.
- Nearby—Help people find sites of interest close to an address. This app is useful to help people find focused types of locations (such as schools) within a search distance of an address or place they specify. Optionally, they can edit distance values to adjust the search radius and get directions to locations they select. The app is optimized for use on both desktop and mobile browsers.
- Story Map Tour—Highlight points of interest as part of a sequential narrative. This is a good choice for highlighting a collection of historical landmarks, presenting municipal development projects, or showcasing a town's iconic river walk.
- Zone Lookup—Facilitate finding which zone or district intersects a specific location or address. With this focused app, users can learn more about a location and features of interest in the surrounding area. The app is optimized for use on both desktop and mobile browsers.
Route and get directions
Use the Nearby app to help people find sites of interest close to an address. This app is useful to help people find focused types of locations (such as schools) within a search distance of an address or place they specify. Optionally, they can edit distance values to adjust the search radius and get directions to locations they select. The app is optimized for use on both desktop and mobile browsers.
Generating routes requires an organizational or developer account and consumes credits.
Showcase a map
This category of apps includes many options for presenting thematic or general maps. The apps include legends, descriptions, and other basic tools to assist users in understanding the message of the map. They also support a configurable search experience, and all but Story Map Basic support using URL parameters to open the map to a specific feature. These apps do not have any requirements—they can be used as is and do not require any map or app configurations. They are good choices when you want the map to be the focus of the app.
While there are some differences in functionality between these apps, the primary differences are aesthetic. It is recommended that you preview these apps from Map Viewer and explore the various configuration options.
- Basic Viewer—Display a set of commonly used tools in a floating pane. This is a good choice for balancing the need for a collection of tools while still maximizing the amount of screen real estate dedicated to the map. The app includes the ability to switch layer visibility, print a map, and show pop-ups in the floating pane.
- Media Map—Display an interactive map with basic tools and a set of options for limiting map navigation. Optionally include an interactive slider to animate time-enabled data. This app is designed to fit into small spaces on a web page or as a stand-alone app.
- Minimalist—Present a map with a zoom slider and a scale bar, maximizing the amount of screen real estate dedicated to the map. The app includes the option to show a legend, description, or pop-up information in a side pane.
- Story Map Basic—Present a map with a title bar, maximizing the amount of screen real estate dedicated to the map. The app includes the option to show a legend.