In the new Story Maps, my images are blurry and unusable on mobile (but great on desktop)

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01-19-2020 01:13 PM
MartySchnure
New Contributor III

Hi there, 

I'm making a story map with the new platform and my images look great on desktop, but terribly fuzzy and totally unusable on mobile. I've made a dummy version of it here to illustrate the problem: bit.ly/FuzzyImageProblem and I've attached screenshots from my desktop and phone to show how differently they look on each.

I never had this issue with the old story maps, and I don't think I'm doing anything differently now. 

All my images are 2000px wide and 150dpi, as was previously advised to me by a Story Maps team member. I've tried using jpgs and pngs and there's no difference. There's also no difference when I export the images larger or smaller. 

Are others having this issue? Any help is much appreciated!

Please add any tags you feel will help me get an answer quickly. I'm on deadline to launch next week and I'd really like to use story maps for this project, but won't be able to if I can't resolve this. Thank you all!

Marty

ArcGIS StoryMapsEsri Technical SupportCooper Thomas

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MartySchnure
New Contributor III

Owen,

I’m seeing that too! Big improvement in quality, with no perceivable loss in load time.

Thank you so much for addressing this issue. My team and I really appreciate it.

Marty

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15 Replies
OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Hello Marty - Thanks for providing feedback about the new ArcGIS StoryMaps. I'm sorry you're seeing an issue with your story when viewing it on a mobile device.

While I see some blurriness in your images when compared to the desktop versions, I would not classify them as unusable as all the text is clearly legible. There is some resizing and optimization that occurs when accessing a story on a mobile device, and this is always a balance between performance and quality. We'll take a look at the algorithm and see if we can tweak things to see if we can improve the quality a bit more without sacrificing performance.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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CarlyGriffith
New Contributor

Hi @OwenGeo I have a similar issue with the static image I uploaded in the video preview box on my story map here. It's not a desktop/mobile issue, rather the image is sometimes blurry when I open it on my desktop and sometimes not blurry. This is a collaborative project and we would all really appreciate feedback/help to get the blurriness resolved. 

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi @CarlyGriffith -- I'm not sure what you mean by "video preview box." Can you please provide a little more detail and possibly a screenshot of the problem?

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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CarlyGriffith
New Contributor

Yes if you scroll down past the static map and introductory text there's an embedded video, and I uploaded a static image with a photo and title of the person who's in the video that displays until you hit the "play" button to play the video (screenshot attached). You'll see in the screenshot that the image is not blurry, but for both myself and others it is sometimes blurry when we open it on desktop and laptop computers. Next time that happens I'll take a screenshot and share it as well.

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@CarlyGriffith -- Thanks for reporting this. We identified an issue that caused some video thumbnails to be blurry. A fix for this will be deployed in our May 4 update next week.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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MartySchnure
New Contributor III

Hi Owen, thank you so much for your response. 

I understand how tricky it can be to balance load speed and image quality, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to try tweaking the algorithm. I would much rather have a slight lag in load time than blurry images. The load time seems to be quite fast, so I hope there is some room for adjustment in quality.

The images may be readable to those who have great eyes and are patient and forgiving (and it may vary depending on the device), but unfortunately they do not meet our standards for publication, since the images are the focus of the story. In the old StoryMaps, the images were nice and crisp on mobile and only sometimes did I experience a minor load lag (and it wasn't a big deal). I definitely prefer the design capabilities of the new StoryMaps (nice work!), but if this issue persists I will need to go back to Cascade. 

I hope the team can resolve this—so many of us use StoryMaps because we have big visual stories to tell and want our images to shine. Thank you for your help and willingness to look into tweaking the algorithm! I so appreciate it. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Marty

OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Thanks for the additional information, Marty. We're looking into it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Marty -- Tomorrow night we'll roll out an update that addresses the image quality issue you mentioned. Please check your stories this weekend or Monday and let us know if you see an improvement that matches your expectation. Thanks again for your feedback on this.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
MartySchnure
New Contributor III

Thank you, Owen! I am thrilled to hear it. I will check this weekend. 

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