Frequently asked questions



Express maps

Classic Esri Story Maps


Is ArcGIS StoryMaps supported on ArcGIS Enterprise?

Yes, ArcGIS StoryMaps is included with ArcGIS Enterprise starting at version 10.8.1. For more information, see System requirements.


The supported features of ArcGIS StoryMaps vary across versions of ArcGIS Enterprise. For more information, see ArcGIS StoryMaps on ArcGIS Enterprise feature comparison.

Does ArcGIS StoryMaps work in a disconnected environment?

Yes, ArcGIS StoryMaps can be deployed in disconnected environments by installing ArcGIS Enterprise. For more information, see System requirements.

Does ArcGIS StoryMaps follow WCAG guidelines for accessibility?

Yes. In accordance with WCAG 2.1 guidelines, ArcGIS StoryMaps supports HTML tags, semantic structure, color contrast, keyboard navigation, alternative (alt) text, and other design and feature considerations in the story builder. This allows authors to create stories that are accessible to a broad audience as they take advantage of these capabilities. For more information about accessibility, see Accessibility and supported languages.

Does ArcGIS StoryMaps consume credits?

Credits are the currency used to pay for ArcGIS Online services such as data and file storage, spatial analysis, and premium content. Using ArcGIS StoryMaps may consume credits in several scenarios. For more information, see Service credits in ArcGIS StoryMaps. To learn more about credits and how they are used, see Understand credits.

How does premium content work in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

If your story includes maps or scenes that consume premium services or data, they will consume credits based on the number of times the story is viewed. If you are concerned about this, speak with your ArcGIS organization administrator to limit those credits, or see Credits.

Does the ArcGIS Developer dashboard support ArcGIS StoryMaps?

Yes, the ArcGIS Developer app dashboard supports the StoryMap item type. You can use this dashboard to limit the application proxies or change the referrers that are allowed; the REST API is not required for these tasks. Additionally, the ArcGIS Developer site supports app proxies for the classic Esri Story Maps.

How can I track audience metrics for my stories?

You can get detailed audience metrics for a story by adding a Google Analytics tracking ID in the story settings. Google Analytics can provide information about page views, audience demographics and language preferences, and engagement with story buttons, links, and maps. For more information, see Add analytics to a story.

Can I create a PDF file of a story?

Yes, ArcGIS StoryMaps supports creating .pdf files from stories through the print feature. For more information, see Print a story.

Can I create a copy of a story?

Yes, you can create a copy of a story that you own on the Stories page by selecting the Duplicate option from the story card's quick actions menu or by selecting Duplicate story in the story builder's More actions menu. The duplicate option in the story builder is available for administrators and members of any shared update groups to which the story is shared. You can use this option to create a copy of a story or to use an existing story as a template for a new story. Collections and themes can be duplicated as well. For more information about creating groups with shared update capabilities, see Coauthor a story or a collection.

How do I add GIS data to a story?

ArcGIS StoryMaps is built to work with geographic content you create in ArcGIS. It is a web-based storytelling tool, so the content you add to a story must be published on the web. Web maps and web scenes created in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, or from ArcGIS Living Atlas, can be added to a story. For more information, see Add maps. If you have file-based GIS data (raster, vector, or tabular), first publish it as a hosted layer, and then add the layer to a web map or web scene. For more information, see Hosted layers. If you do not need a live map in your story, you can map your data in a desktop GIS tool such as ArcGIS Pro and take a screenshot or export the map as an image and add that to a story.

How many maps can I add to one story?

There is no firm limit on the number of maps you can add to a story. However, a story is a single web page that may contain many maps and other heavy media items, so it's good to keep this in mind. If you encounter loading issues while creating a story, some things you can do include the following:

  • Replace a live map with an image or screenshot.
  • Limit the number of layers in each web map or web scene to approximately five. If you reuse the same map across consecutive sidecar slides for map choreography, keep the total below 10. Even layers that are not visible must be counted, so be sure to always remove any unused layers.
  • Keep different maps, especially ones with many layers, separated in your story so they do not load simultaneously.


What media file types and sizes are supported in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

You can upload images up to 10 MB for the following file types: JPEG, JPG, JFIF, PNG, SVG, GIF, and BMP. The width and height of images must also be no more than 6000 pixels.

You can upload videos up to 50 MB for the following file types: MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, and WEBM. For best results, cover videos should be much smaller, ideally under 1MB, and all videos should be optimized for web use before uploading, and it is recommended to use videos under 10 MB in most situations. Larger video files are supported, but should not be used in stories where if you expect readers to be on slower connections. When a video is uploaded for use on a cover, the video will automatically play, its audio will not be available, and it will continuously loop. For best performance, all cover videos should be much smaller than the maximum allowable size, ideally under 1MB.

For audio uploads, the story builder supports MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, and WMA files up to 50 MB. Similar file size recommendations to those mentioned above for videos also apply to audio.

What is the recommended resolution for images?

Because there are many places in a story where an image can be used (the cover, immersive media panels, narrative panels, and so on) there is no single recommended resolution, or pixel size, for images that you add to a story. But as a general rule, images that are at least 2,000 pixels wide (but not wider than 6,000 pixels) typically work well no matter where you add them. If you are adding an image to a timeline, image gallery, or map-focused guided tour, a smaller image (for example, 800 pixels wide) may be just as effective. However, readers can click most images to expand them to full-screen size, so using 2,000-pixel-wide images is still recommended in most cases.

If you add larger-resolution images (up to the limits mentioned in the answer above), the builder will downsize and compress the images as needed for good performance. If you are experiencing a quality issue with an image, try using a smaller block size or to obtain a higher-quality version of the image.

Is there a recommended aspect ratio for images added to media panels or the story cover?

ArcGIS StoryMaps is a responsive application, which means images in certain parts of a story will be shown at different sizes and aspect ratios depending on a reader's screen resolution and browser window size and shape. Images in the following places will be subject to this variability:

  • Story cover
  • Sidecar media panel (all layouts)
  • Media-focused guided tour media panel

In these places, images are initially set to the fill option to fill the media panel and will be cropped, which means some parts of the image around the edges will not be visible. This is typically the most desirable treatment for photographs. To ensure that the most important part of a photograph is always visible, set a focal point in the image options.

If you're using an image that should not be cropped (such as an infographic or chart), set the image placement option to fit. The fit option ensures that the entire image is always visible (it will never be cropped). Note that fit is not currently available for cover images.

Additionally, there are places in a story where images are cropped to a 3:2 aspect ratio. To ensure that the most important part of a photograph is always visible, set a focal point in the image options in these places:

  • Explorer tour thumbnail
  • Explorer tour media panel
  • Map-focused guided tour media panel
  • Timeline

Are there keyboard shortcuts to quickly format text?

Yes, you can learn about the text formatting shortcuts in Add narrative text. To reference these shortcuts, select Keyboard Shortcuts from the Help menu.

Is there a maximum length for different text elements in my story?

Yes, character limits for the different text elements are as follows:

  • Title—60
  • Summary—140
  • Navigation link names—30

How do I find and add public maps from ArcGIS Online?

First find the web map or web scene on ArcGIS Online and add it to your favorites list. Then you can add that map or scene to your story from the My Favorites tab in the story builder's map browser. For more information, see Add maps. If your ArcGIS Enterprise environment does not have access to the internet, these public maps from ArcGIS Online are not available.

Can I add custom HTML or CSS into the block elements in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

No. The ArcGIS StoryMaps team may enable more customization options in the future, but ArcGIS StoryMaps does not support custom HTML or CSS at this time. If you have a specific request for customization or the types of HTML or CSS you want to add, contact the team.

Does ArcGIS StoryMaps automatically save my work?

Yes. The ArcGIS StoryMaps builder automatically saves your work as you go. This includes additions, deletions, and changes to a story's content, configuration, and settings. Since this is always working in the background, it's recommended that you do not have the story builder open in multiple browser tabs—or on multiple devices—simultaneously editing the same story. This can result in lost work or other inconsistencies. Changes made outside the current browser tab are not reflected in your current builder session until you reload the builder.

What link protocols are supported in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

Authors can link to web content through buttons and hyperlinked text. ArcGIS StoryMaps supports the following link protocols: https, mailto, iform, tel, flow, lfmobile, arcgis-navigator, arcgis-appstudio-player, arcgis-survey123, arcgis-collector, arcgis-workforce, arcgis-explorer, arcgis-trek2there, mspbi, comgooglemaps, pdfefile, pdfehttp, pdfehttps, boxapp, boxemm, awb, awbs, gropen, and radarscope.

How do embeds work in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

Web content must be added to a story or collection through the embed option using either a URL or <iframe /> code. Embedding using <script /> code is not supported. Any URL can be added using the embed option and shown as a card in a story, but only some URLs or <iframe /> code snippets will be available to show as a live embed in a story or a collection. Embed code from a content provider that contains a <script /> tag will not work as is, but you can try copying just the URL from the embed code and use that to embed the content. Some known content providers, such as Twitter, that use <script /> embeds may be supported in this way. Because the content cannot be resized as needed, these types of embeds are not supported in sidecar's media panel or collections. There are security requirements for showing live embedded content within a story or a collection. Additionally, live embeds may not be shown in all situations due to space constraints. See the questions below for additional details.


For ArcGIS StoryMaps on ArcGIS Enterprise, the URL entered in the builder must be an exact URL that is compatible with an <iframe /> embed code.

What are the security requirements for live embeds?

For the content to be shown live inside a story or a collection, the following security requirements must be met:

  • Content must use https protocol.
  • Content must not contain <script /> tags.
  • Content must not include headers that restrict viewing in, such as X-FRAME-OPTIONS, or content-security-policy with frame ancestors.

Additionally, PDF items as embeds must have the correct CORS headers to support viewing inside For more information, see Can I load a PDF from another server.

Why do I see a card in place of a live embed when I look at a story on my phone?

Live embeds are not supported in all cases, or sometimes they are not the default option. In situations where space is constrained, such as in a sidecar narrative panel or when the story is viewed on a phone, live embeds may be shown as cards. Cards are stylized links that can be clicked or tapped to open your content in a new browser tab, which gives readers the best possible experience to consume your content. Content from known video providers such as YouTube or Vimeo typically will not be shown as a card. There may be an option to display the embed as live content in certain situations, so review the Embed options settings by clicking Options in the toolbar.

What does beta mean?

The ArcGIS StoryMaps product is not in beta; however, certain features within it may have a beta label. Beta features may have incomplete functionality or documentation and may undergo minor unannounced changes. Beta components and features may be available in English only. If you have issues or are experiencing problems with any of the beta functionality, contact Esri Technical Support or visit the Esri Community page.

Express maps

Can I reuse my express maps?

No. Currently, express maps can only be used in a single story. For more information about express maps, see Add maps.

Can I export data from an express map or a map tour?

No. ArcGIS StoryMaps does not support exporting features or data from express maps or map tours. Express maps and map tours are designed to be simple storytelling tools rather than structured data sources. For more information about express maps, see Add maps. For more information about map tours, see Add map tours.

Can I set scale dependencies on points and features in express maps?

No. Express maps are designed to be simple place maps. Express maps are typically used at a single scale or across a small number of scales. It is recommended that you create ArcGIS web maps and web scenes for sophisticated, multiscale maps.

Classic Esri Story Maps

Can I migrate stories made from the classic Esri Story Maps templates into ArcGIS StoryMaps?

The story builder in ArcGIS StoryMaps is not a new template or an update to the classic Story Maps templates. Instead of templates, ArcGIS StoryMaps uses an integrated story builder with modern capabilities. When authors create and publish a story, they typically spend time getting a particular visual treatment approved and then socialize the story at a specific URL. For these and other reasons, ArcGIS StoryMaps does not include the option to simply upgrade stories built with the classic Story Maps templates to ArcGIS StoryMaps. However, if you have classic stories you need to remake using ArcGIS StoryMaps, the process is straightforward and there are many resources available to assist you. It is recommended that you start with What is ArcGIS StoryMaps, Moving to ArcGIS StoryMaps, and Mimicking the classic templates in ArcGIS StoryMaps.

What is the plan for stories authored with the classic Esri Story Maps templates?

The classic Esri Story Maps templates are in extended support in ArcGIS Online and are no longer being updated with new capabilities or fixes. Stories created with the classic Esri Story Maps templates will continue to be available to authors and readers. ArcGIS StoryMaps is the current-generation storytelling tool in ArcGIS, and authors are encouraged to use this new tool to create stories or remake classic stories that are still in use. For the latest on the status of the classic templates, see Classic transition timeline update.