ArcGIS Story Maps

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04-18-2020 10:33 AM
JohnWolf2
New Contributor III

Hello,

I am trying to use the sidecar within an ArcGIS Story Map, with the main content of the panel changing based on slides set in an accompanying web scene.  Unfortunately, the template doesn't seem to recognize the slides.

I assumed this was a standard feature for the "new" story maps but perhaps it doesn't work with web scenes (???). I just wanted to confirm that was the case before abandoning it and going back with one of the classic story map templates.

Any insights would be appreciated!

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OwenGeo
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi John -- Thanks for sharing these items so we can take a look. I don't see a sidecar in the published version of your story, but I understand what you're trying to do from what you've explained above.

Can you provide more information about what happens when the scene doesn't work? Is the entire media panel blank? Do some layers load but not others? 

There are a lot of layers in that scene—over two dozen of them are turned off and don't appear to be used in any of the scene slides. Every layer in a map/scene, whether it is visible or not, can affect the performance of the story. It may be fine using this scene for exploratory work by itself in the scene viewer, but when you put it inside a story on a web page with other media it can get heavy. We do things behind the scenes to manage how content in the story loads/unloads to try to minimize issue, but the page can still get overloaded in some situations.

I did a simple test and added your scene to a story using different slides in a sidecar and didn't see any specific issues, but I didn't have anything else in my story.

One approach to mitigate overloading the page with a heavy scene like this one is to create an optimized scene for use in a story. Here are some things that can help trim down the scene (from greatest to lowest impact):

  • Remove all the unused layers
  • Consider showing only the 0, 1, 3, 5, and 9 ft scenarios (or some other subset). Can you still get the point across without showing all 10 scenarios? Doing this would let you remove another 5 or so layers from the scene. At the end of the sidecar you could include a link to open the full scene in another browser tab so interested readers can explore all the scenarios, if desired.
  • Switch the basemap to No basemap (from what I can tell the currently used Imagery basemap doesn't have any/much visual impact on your scene)
  • Turn off animation effects for the water layers

Another approach to simplify what you include in your story even more would be to use screenshots of the scene in your sidecar. This is always the best performing option in the tradeoff of loading the live content vs. static content. You can still add or link to the live scene at the end of the sidecar to provide interested readers with access to it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps

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6 Replies
OwenGeo
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi John -- You can access all your scene slides on the Slides tab in the map designer. If you're using a web map its Bookmarks are available from this tab.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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JohnWolf3
New Contributor

Hi Owen,

Thanks for the quick response.

Yes - I am aware of the Scene Slides functionality.  The problem is no matter which slide I select to populate the sidecar, it reverts back to slide 1.  I am unable to access any slides other than the first one.

I have about a dozen different slides in the Scene, but Sidecar doesn't let me select any of the others besides the first.

Thanks,

John

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OwenGeo
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi John -- Hmm, I just tried several different web scenes and I'm not seeing any issues with configuring the scene to show various slides in a sidecar.

At which point in the workflow does the slide revert to slide 1? Is this when you close the map designer or when you publish or at some other point? Can you share the exact steps you're going through?

Can you share the ID of the scene (and make sure it's shared publicly) so we can take a look? If you're not able to share the scene with everyone, please contact Esri Support and they can assist you further.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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JohnWolf2
New Contributor III

Hi Owen,

Sorry about the delay in responding. I’m actually working on this during weekends which is why it sometimes takes me a week to respond.

The ID of the scene is https://chesbay.maps.arcgis.com/home/webscene/viewer.html?webscene=5c27079fdd964a42beb3d7a46674656c#<https://chesbay.maps.arcgis.com/home/webscene/viewer.html?webscene=5c27079fdd964a42beb3d7a46674656c>

I run into problems when I insert a scene as a “map”. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

However, it looks like if I embed the scene (as opposed to inserting it as a map) I may get much closer to the functionality that will meet my needs. As I’m then basically interacting with the slides within the scene, as opposed to using the slide functionality of the sidecar template.

The story map is here - https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/707baabadac34f2bba1541629abadfd8.

The first sidecar is just a progression of images. I was trying to replicate the appearance of that progression using the slide functionality of sidecar (so the sidecar panels would be interactive) while inserting scenes as maps. That gets bogged down for me pretty quickly if I have more than 3 or 4 slides of different views within the same scene.

But again – it may be that embed will work. Having said that -- I’m not sure if that is the desired behavior of the ArcGIS Story Map sidecar functionality (embedding scenes as opposed to inserting them as maps).

Thanks again,

John

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OwenGeo
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi John -- Thanks for sharing these items so we can take a look. I don't see a sidecar in the published version of your story, but I understand what you're trying to do from what you've explained above.

Can you provide more information about what happens when the scene doesn't work? Is the entire media panel blank? Do some layers load but not others? 

There are a lot of layers in that scene—over two dozen of them are turned off and don't appear to be used in any of the scene slides. Every layer in a map/scene, whether it is visible or not, can affect the performance of the story. It may be fine using this scene for exploratory work by itself in the scene viewer, but when you put it inside a story on a web page with other media it can get heavy. We do things behind the scenes to manage how content in the story loads/unloads to try to minimize issue, but the page can still get overloaded in some situations.

I did a simple test and added your scene to a story using different slides in a sidecar and didn't see any specific issues, but I didn't have anything else in my story.

One approach to mitigate overloading the page with a heavy scene like this one is to create an optimized scene for use in a story. Here are some things that can help trim down the scene (from greatest to lowest impact):

  • Remove all the unused layers
  • Consider showing only the 0, 1, 3, 5, and 9 ft scenarios (or some other subset). Can you still get the point across without showing all 10 scenarios? Doing this would let you remove another 5 or so layers from the scene. At the end of the sidecar you could include a link to open the full scene in another browser tab so interested readers can explore all the scenarios, if desired.
  • Switch the basemap to No basemap (from what I can tell the currently used Imagery basemap doesn't have any/much visual impact on your scene)
  • Turn off animation effects for the water layers

Another approach to simplify what you include in your story even more would be to use screenshots of the scene in your sidecar. This is always the best performing option in the tradeoff of loading the live content vs. static content. You can still add or link to the live scene at the end of the sidecar to provide interested readers with access to it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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JohnWolf2
New Contributor III

Thanks Owen – these are all great suggestions!

And you are correct – I had removed the Sidecar (at least temporarily) in favor of the Web App Builder approach, but I may reconsider that based on your recommendations.

In any event, you have given me a number of ideas for improving performance. The web scene is indeed filled with a bunch of data not shown in that simulation. The other layers are to be used in other parts of the story. I was trying to limit the number of distinct scenes I needed to create by putting all of the layers in the same scene but it sounds like that may be problematic.

Thanks again!

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