FAQ: Classic Esri Story Maps and the ArcGIS Online template gallery

12-06-2021 12:39 PM
Esri Frequent Contributor
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The transition of the classic Esri Story Maps templates to the later phases of the Esri Product Lifecycle was announced back in 2019 and an update was shared in August 2021.

In the August 2021 update, we communicated the news the classic templates would be removed from the "Esri Default" template gallery in the December 2021 update to ArcGIS Online. This update is planned for tomorrow, December 7, 2021.

Below are details and other information about this change. 


What's happening?


After the December 7th update to ArcGIS Online, you will no longer see the classic storytelling templates in the Create a web app gallery. In other words, the Build a Story Map category and the templates within it will not be available.


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Why are the classic templates being removed from the gallery?


The templates are being removed from the "Esri Default" gallery because they are in extended support and creating new stories using any of the classic templates for long-term or high-profile projects is not recommended.
You are strongly encouraged to use ArcGIS StoryMaps for all new projects. 

What does "extended support" mean?

For information on extended support and the Esri Product Lifecycle as it applies to classic Esri Story Maps, see Classic story map transition timeline (August 2021).


What if I still need to create a classic story?


As mentioned above, creating new stories with templates that are in extended support is not recommended.
However, if you are still in the process of transitioning from the classic templates to ArcGIS StoryMaps and have a short-term need to create a classic story, you can do so using the instructions below:
  1. Click here to visit our "Classic Esri Story Maps template items" group
  2. Click Join this group and log in, if needed
  3. Click the title of the template item that you wish to use to open its item page. Alternatively, click the ... on one of the cards and then click View item details.
  4. Click Create Web App and follow the instructions


What if I prefer to have the classic templates still appear in the gallery?


It is possible for an administrator to configure a custom template gallery for your organization to make the classic templates visible in the Create a web app gallery. However, it's important to note that the experience of creating apps from templates will be altered for all organization members in the following ways:

  • Categories will no longer be shown
  • New templates released by Esri will not automatically be added to the gallery

Your organization will have to manually maintain this group moving forward.


How do I configure a custom template gallery?


As mentioned above, using a custom template gallery will change the experience for all organization members and require that your organization manually maintains this group.

If you are sure you want to do this, the process is similar to creating a custom basemap group, but with the following differences:

  • Instead of adding basemap items to the group, you add the app template items you organization needs. The classic template items can be found in the group referenced above. You should also add any other template items your organization needs by searching ArcGIS Online.
  • Also, your admin would configure the group in the Map > Configurable apps section of the organizational settings (shown below).

For more information about this organizational setting, see Configure map—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation.


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Additional resources


More information on topics related to the classic storytelling template lifecycle and transition can be found in these articles:

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About the Author
Owen is the lead product engineer on Esri's StoryMaps Team and is located in Esri's DC R&D Center in Arlington, VA. He's been with Esri since 2004, and was a Solution Engineer on the National Government Team until 2015. His main areas of interest are StoryMaps and Web GIS and his hobbies include hockey, tech/gadgets, and guitar.