Sharing a StoryMap with an organization-specific link

01-25-2022 01:44 PM
Esri Notable Contributor
2 0 1,257

When you share a StoryMap, there isn't anything about the link that lets the recipient know which organization the story belongs to. Readers are sent to a generic ArcGIS login page (shown below), and while this is just fine most of the time, it can be confusing in some situations.

This generic page does not indicate the organization name, and, if the organization uses enterprise logins, the reader needs to know—and manually enter—a portion of the organization's URL.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 9.32.03 PM.jpg

When don't you need to worry about this?

The good news is this isn't an issue in most cases. In particular, this is not a problem:

  • for stories that are shared with everyone...because logging in isn't required.
  • when sharing a story to someone who is a member of only one ArcGIS Online organization...because there's no opportunity for account confusion.

When might you want to consider this?

Confusion may arise when the recipient of a private StoryMap link does not know which account will give them access to the item that's been shared with them. This situation occurs for someone who has multiple ArcGIS Online accounts (in different organizations) when they need to access a story shared to them via their organization or a group.

This can also be an issue for organizations that use enterprise logins because the reader must know the organization's short name to log in, and that piece of information isn't always something everyone is aware of.

What can you do to help your readers?

If you need to share a private story (one that requires a login), and you know some people you are sharing with are members of multiple organizations, you can help them by tacking on a URL parameter with the organization short name to the story link, like this:[itemID]?urlKey=[orgID]

For a collection, you would construct the URL like this:[itemID]?urlKey=[orgID]

NOTE: The URL parameter is CASE-SENSITIVE; it must appear as "urlKey" (capital K).

In the URL above, itemID is the story or collection item's global ID, and orgID is organization's short name, or the first part of the organization's website URL. For example, the orgID would be "myorg" for Sharing the link in this form will redirect the reader to your organization's sign-in page and then to the story (if they provide valid credentials to the organization). 

When the URL parameter is provided in the story link, the reader is directed to the organization's sign-in page (not a generic one), which is clearly labeled with the organization name (see example below) and doesn't require the reader to complete the organization's URL. If the organization is configured to use only enterprise logins, readers will be immediately redirected to the organization's login provider's page.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 9.29.51 PM.jpg



A limitation of this solution is that the person sharing the story must manually construct one of these URLs, which we realize is not ideal. For now, we have this partial solution that you can use. We'd like to get to the point where this "just works" for anyone, but there are several challenges that are impeding our progress toward a complete solution. We'll continue to evaluate other options in the future, but please let us know if you have feedback on this partial solution.

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.