Create a map tour using a WebMap or Hosting Feature Layer

02-21-2020 09:31 AM
Status: Implemented
New Contributor II

The new guided tour widget in StoryMaps can only be created using the Express Map builder. For quick story map creation, I would like to see the ability to either create Express maps using a drag & drop csv, or to create a guided tour built off a hosted feature service.

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Thanks for posting this idea. We are looking into additional ways to create guided tours, but we have a few questions for people who are interested in this capability:

  • CSV
    • Does the CSV of the information already exist or would it have to be first created in a tool like Excel?
    • What type(s) of geographic information would be in a CSV used to create a tour?
      • X/Y coordinates
      • Addresses
      • Place names
      • Some other format?
  • Feature service
    • Does the feature service already exist or would it be created specifically to drive the tour?
    • What workflow(s) would be used to generate the information in the feature service?
      • Manually created in the map viewer or published from ArcGIS Pro?
      • Generated from an app like ArcGIS Collector or Survey 123?
      • Some other source?


I am thinking of a CSV created in Excel or other tool, using XY coordinates as spatial data. The CSV would then be dropped into the map viewer, which could be saved and added to a StoryMap for quick, pain-free visualizations.

Regarding feature services, I would plan to use feature layers that have already been published from ArcPro or created in the Map Viewer. It would also be cool to use feature services generated through Survey123 or Collector to create a Guided Tour, though I understand this could cause problems as data is continuously added.


I would love to be able to load in the attributes from a feature service.  I have a storymap with 50+ rec centers.  If I could access a feature layer and it's attributes I could easily set up a webapp or a survey123 to let each rec center edit their own data.  This way we could keep the most up to date data in the storymap with out me, trying to edit 50 plus records manually, or have 50 editors!

With out access to dynamic layers the information displayed will have to very basic.  However, if it can be dynamically updated information from a feature service, we could include things like movie is playing on "movie night"  or a note that the stage is closed for repairs, etc.


Building a Map Tour from existing feature service points would be useful. Especially in the case now, where the Map Tour Explorer can highlight up to 100 features. Just some thoughts, and (rhetorical) questions

  • Would it be possible to populate the Map Tour panel with existing attribute information? (eg Title, Description, Image URLs, or images as attachments?) drawn dynamically from existing feature service fields. I'm thinking of the way that the Experience Builder operates. 
  • And\Or, in the case of creating a new feature service, would it make sense to have a feature service template for Map Tours that would prompt for fields like the Image URL, Title, Description etc.(like the old CSV template).
  • What would happen for layers with > 100 features? It'd be nice to be able to set a filter.
  • What is the purpose or constraint that limits to 100 features? What if users really do just want to explore a map with many, many geotagged photos, and see a nice gallery of thumbnail images as you pan the map. The locator points size could be minimized with various strategies to avoid clutter. Just curious
  • The viewing experience of the Story Map Crowdsource template comes to mind (though I'm not as big a fan of point clustering)

Anyways, just some thoughts. Appreciate the work on these features and functionality 


Agree with RussWhite.

I am trying to publish a PDF report as a Story Map. I have more than 100 features. First it is frustrating that I can’t use my existing map/feature service with all the points and feature IDs. I can insert the map in my Story map for an overview but if I can’t click on a point and get a shortcut to the Story map section describing the location I miss most of the meaning, it is not better than a PDF. Another problem is that I would like to be able to differentiate points in different categories and subcategories (different chapters in the Story map). I could to that by adding multiple Map Tour in my Story Map but numbering start from 1 in each Map Tour. We should be able to have a continuous numbering through numerous Map Tour inside a Story Map.

Status changed to: Implemented

The ability to create a map tour from an ArcGIS feature layer was added in Feb 2021. For details see What's new in ArcGIS StoryMaps (February 2021).


Hi, @OwenGeo thanks for the update, and BTW great progress on the App!

Can I make a suggestion for further enhancement? Here is my scenario...I have an existing feature service that I would like to use for the map tour. However, I am not using attachments for the media but rather referencing them by a string field with URLs. My data is a point feature class with links to thumbnails and live camera feeds. In the old story map tour template (the one on extended support) I can almost make this work. Meaning if I went the route of using a CSV template and specified the URLs I can batch import and all works fine on the frontend. However, this still leaves me with the conundrum of having to manually reload new CSV data when there are new cameras added or removed from the dataset. In an ideal world, I'd like to see the new StoryMaps > Map Tour > Configuration Dialog > Start with a feature service > Options>  Choose fields from the feature service for media or use attachments. I'm envisioning this working similar to how the old CSV templates referenced at would inject data to the app, but being dynamic on a feature service.

As an ESRI Partner, I'd be glad to hop on a call and screen share to better explain if there is interest in implementing this workflow.


@ccharping_patrickco -- We've discussed that and have it on our list, but I don't have any other specifics to share about it right now.

It'd be helpful if you wouldn't mind submitting your idea as a new thread here on the Ideas Board, so people can upvote and comment on it (this idea thread is marked as implemented, so no more voting can take place).


Hi @OwenGeo,

But this work only with hosted feature layer, is that right? It would be great if it would work with feature layer with data and attached pictures stored on ArcGIS Server. Our data with attached pictures are stored on our ArcGIS Server as it would consume so many credits to have it stored in AGOL, so this implementation doesn't really help, unfortunately...


I would like to create an Explorer type map tour based on a linear feature class. Is this possible? I get an error message saying geometry not supported when I try.

Thanks in advance,