Make new ArcGIS StoryMaps self-hosted

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06-04-2020 11:25 AM
Occasional Contributor II

Love the new StoryMaps, but cannot really utilize them in my organization (mid-size county) as we need the ability to self-host the apps on our own server like the classic Story Maps.

Please give us the option to self host so we can download and customize, insert into other framework, customize URL, add Google Analytics, etc.

Creation due to thread found here: Is the new ArcGIS StoryMap self-hostable? 

10 Comments

Thanks for creating this idea. We are considering this, but want to get a good understanding of why the ability to self-host the ArcGIS StoryMaps code is being requested.

Many of the reasons customers self-hosted our classic storytelling templates (you can read about those here) are already supported by the cloud-hosted version of ArcGIS StoryMaps or are under consideration for future release. For example, authors can already add Google Analytics to stories created with the new ArcGIS StoryMaps, and the builder automatically provides rich social metadata so stories look good when they are shared on social media.

We'd love to hear from customers about all the reasons you'd like to self-host the new ArcGIS StoryMaps so we can build a better product that meets more customer needs. Please comment below with the reasons you're requesting the ability to self host, and also provide examples of the specific types of customizations or configurations that were made to the code for classic templates that were self-hosted.

While I currently do insert Google Analytics & tweak colors on the self-hosted story maps, the two main reasons are :

1.  Ability to give it our own URL under our own domain - this is important for us and the multiple projects we do.  We are also unable to setup redirects with our current site provider (we are trying to rectify this but it is hard to get a county government to spend money especially right now) so being able to not only insert our own domain but edit the entire link to make it intuitive (i.e. I have to serve out an application to the public with an easy to remember link like https://gis.franklincountypa.gov/taxparcelviewer/

2. We have packaged apps in other framework - a good example is our Subscription Parcel Viewer https://gis.franklincountypa.gov/taxparcelviewerplus/- a 3rd party vendor created the framework so that we could create login, purchasing, and user management screens for managing public subscriptions and access to a county parcel viewer.  Being able to download source code like this allows us more options for utilizing ESRI products instead of having to go elsewhere.

The main reason to self-host would be to be able to tailor the URL.

Our agency uses a specific brand/typeface on our website and we would like to have our StoryMaps on our site reflect these design choices. 

As others have mentioned, we need the new StoryMaps to show up under our domain. We also need more capacity to brand the templates, eg. to have our logo to show as the favicon, and to be able to customize the theme colors. Another example of the latter for NPS would be always having a black bar at the top (part of our brand) but still allowing users to chose a white background for all of the rest. In the past, NPS had to also make a lot of accessibility updates to our versions of the classic templates.

We need this functionality to create a customized URL.  

Frankly, the out of the box templates are ugly.  We need full customization control over the appearances of the story maps.  I host my story maps to give them friendly URLs and make them beautiful.  In addition, I can add extra features into the browser window when I have access to the full source code.  

Dear @OwenGeo ,

from our customers we are getting these reasons.

  • Make a custom/nice URL - especially on the domain of the customer. 
  • Embedding the StoryMap to their existing websites, like another page within their website structure (partially similar request to the first one.)
  • Customization when user reach some limits of the StoryMap (like limit for Collections - earlier this year it was 30, now (thanks to it) 60).
  • Style customization to follow the style of the rest of their web.

Downloading the StoryMap template/StoryMap app to self-hosting would help to solve the above-mentioned issues.

Thank you!

Vladimir

Customised URL is key. You can't expect organisations to publish story maps exclusively on the arcgis.com domain - many have to use their own domain for branding, commercial, legal or other reasons. Ideally without the need to scrape the template from Github and doing it all yourself.

@OwenGeo I wonder if a self-hosted version of ArcGIS StoryMaps would also make it easier to transfer ownership of a story map (using the new StoryMaps platform/builder) between organizations (something we're looking into for a project). Right now, is this the best option for doing that? 

https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-storymaps-blog/cloning-arcgis-storymaps/ba-p/903716