Is it possible to update thumbnails of map slides in the Sidecar block?

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04-12-2021 05:23 PM
JamesW_UA
New Contributor II

Using the new Story Maps, is it possible to have custom thumbnails for map slides within the Sidecar block?

So far I haven't been able to find a way to replace the stock 'map' image that is being used as the thumbnail (see below). I was hoping to use Sidecar as a workaround for the Map Tour block because Map Tours don't allow audio, but having a Story Map with 10+ slides of that basic map thumbnail is very unappealing.

JamesWadsworth_UA_0-1618273224659.png

A secondary (less important) question I have about the Sidecar block is if it's possible to remove all of the unnecessary white space between each slide? Tinkering around with the CSS in the inspector, it seems like it's just a simple padding setting.

Thanks!

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@JamesW_UA -- 

is it possible to have custom thumbnails for map slides within the Sidecar block?

It's not currently possible to replace the map icons on the slides in the sidecar builder. However, it sounds like the reason you want to update them is for your readers' benefit -- but that bottom bar is only shown in the story builder. It's a tool for you to more easily build the tour, but it's not shown in the published story.

> Map Tours don't allow audio

We are working on adding audio to map tours in a future release, but we don't have a date to share yet on when it will be available.

> [is it] possible to remove all of the unnecessary white space between each slide?

We are looking at adding more customization options for sidecar, and we have spacing adjustments on our list for consideration. Would you be able to provide more information about how you would like to set the padding and the experience you're looking to provide for readers so we can better understand how you'd use this feature?

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps

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2 Replies
OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@JamesW_UA -- 

is it possible to have custom thumbnails for map slides within the Sidecar block?

It's not currently possible to replace the map icons on the slides in the sidecar builder. However, it sounds like the reason you want to update them is for your readers' benefit -- but that bottom bar is only shown in the story builder. It's a tool for you to more easily build the tour, but it's not shown in the published story.

> Map Tours don't allow audio

We are working on adding audio to map tours in a future release, but we don't have a date to share yet on when it will be available.

> [is it] possible to remove all of the unnecessary white space between each slide?

We are looking at adding more customization options for sidecar, and we have spacing adjustments on our list for consideration. Would you be able to provide more information about how you would like to set the padding and the experience you're looking to provide for readers so we can better understand how you'd use this feature?

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
JamesW_UA
New Contributor II

Hi @OwenGeo 

Thanks for the quick response!


However, it sounds like the reason you want to update them is for your readers' benefit -- but that bottom bar is shown only in the story builder.

That's correct, and that's great! Solves my biggest question straight away.

We are working on adding audio to map tours in a future release, but we don't have a date to share yet on when it will be available.

Okay, that's good to know -- I'll advise the team that we continue exploring this sidecar route in the meantime if including the audio is critical.

We are looking at adding more customization options for sidecar, and we have spacing adjustments on our list for consideration. Would you be able to provide more information about how you would like to set the padding and the experience you're looking to provide for readers so we can better understand how you'd use this feature?


Of course! Ideally, I'd like complete control of the spacing between options. I understand the whitespace exists to provide an easily-noticeable separation between story map elements, but it's my opinion that in a lot of cases that can be demonstrated by using titles/sub-titles, numbering, bullets, etc., and the large amount of whitespace is actually a bit disruptive. The flow of the story map feels interrupted when I have to scroll through a page height's worth of empty space. When I tweaked the CSS in an Inspector window, I set the ".immersive-narrative-panel" padding-bottom value to 0px and really liked how seamless it looked.

I think that being able to more directly control the padding would give us an option to provide readers with more continuity. In the event that we really want discrete sections, being able to use the current (or some 'medium') version of padding would be useful.

While I've got you, another thing that I'd love is to be able to insert an image slideshow into the sidecar, similar to how you can use a slideshow in the map tour.

Having all of the customization options of a map media element within a map tour would also be great -- things like controlling specific layer visibility, leveraging bookmarks, enabling/disabling map navigation, adding search, current location, legends; referencing custom map symbology from AGOL for the tour points would be amazing.

Maybe a more general statement is that I'd really like to be able to use all of the customizable options across the entire story map, rather than have them gated behind different specific blocks or layouts.

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