Sharing is an important part of the storytelling process. So, with ArcGIStoryMaps, we’ve redesigned the publishing and sharing workflow with your needs in mind.
The new beta includes enhanced story states and sharing settings, along with helpful features like autosave and a built-in story checker. You’ll even get slick, pre-populated link previews when you share your story on social media. Combined, these features make it easier than ever to put your finished story in front of its intended audience.
Let’s take a closer look at how these enhancements streamline your workflow.
Saving your work
When you first start working with the new builder, you’ll probably notice that there isn’t a save button. That’s because we’ve added a handy autosave feature. You can focus on crafting your narrative and never have to worry about any changes getting lost along the way. It may be a little feature, but it definitely makes a big difference.
Publishing and updating your story
Another thing you might notice when you start a new story is the little badge in the header that says ‘DRAFT.’ This lets you know that your story has yet to be published, so it’s only visible to you. When you’re ready, simply click ‘Publish’ to make your story available to others. You’ll see the ‘DRAFT’ badge is replaced with a ‘PUBLISHED’ one when this happens.
In ArcGIS StoryMaps you control who can view your story. Choose ‘My organization’ to keep viewership limited to your ArcGIS org-mates or select ‘Everyone’ to share your story far and wide. You can always update these sharing settings later through the ‘…’ menu in the story builder’s header.
This next part is the real game changer. As a story map author, you might want the freedom and flexibility to work on a published story without your changes automatically appearing in the shared version. The new publishing workflow makes this possible. After publishing, you can reopen your story in the builder and start making edits. In the header, you’ll see the ‘PUBLISHED’ badge has changed to ‘UNPUBLISHED CHANGES.’ This signals that you’ve made some revisions to your story, but they have yet to be pushed to the published version.
You can view your revisions from the perspective of a reader by clicking ‘Preview’ (next to ‘Publish’). You can also send the preview link to anyone else in your ArcGIS organization who has editing rights to the story, letting them see your updates, too. Once you have your adjustments finalized, click ‘Publish’ again to update the shared story. Or, you can discard your unpublished changes using the ‘…’ menu in the header. (This is also where you can unpublish your story entirely, which will revert it to a draft and unshare the story.)
Checking your content
To ensure your story works as expected, the new StoryMaps builder also includes a story checker that confirms all the maps, layers, and scenes have visibility permissions that match the story’s sharing settings. This will flag any items with more restrictive settings, letting you update their visibility then and there (if you have the ability to do so). For example, say you attempt to publish a story to your organization but have a web map that’s saved privately—once you click ‘Publish,’ you’ll see a dialogue box appear identifying the map in question.
Sharing on social
We encourage you to share your story on Facebook, Twitter, and all your other favorite platforms. To help your content look appealing, we’ve recently introduced slick social cards that give your audience a preview of the great content that awaits them. Even better, the thumbnail, title, and description are all automatically generated for you.
Each social card uses the text from your story’s cover for the title and description, while pulling in the first image you added in the builder for the thumbnail. (Here, first refers to the order in which you uploaded images, not the order in which they appear in the story.). Eventually, you’ll be able to tweak the information on these cards to get them exactly to your liking.
What do you think?
Do these enhancements make publishing, revising, and sharing your story easier? We’re designing this product with you in mind, so please let us know how the new features affect your workflow. We welcome your feedback through GeoNet forums and discussions, and are ready and waiting to answer any questions you might have. Thanks for testing the ArcGIS StoryMaps Beta!