I recently became aware of the timeline for the Esri Story Map templates (Classic), and I have some concerns. Specifically, I am not seeing the breadth of functionality from the library of Classic Story Maps in the new ArcGIS StoryMaps platform.
I found this information very helpful https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/472a6ddd582b40b58a5a6af2c30a4573. in outlining some "coming soon" functionality like map actions, book marks, and "series". But a few major things are not addressed, including HTML / CSS customization, Self-hosted images,Spyglass, and Swipe.
This functionality is imperative to migrate my existing stories into the new template. One of the ways I have used Story Maps is to document progress on a project which requires being able to edit the story. Would it be possible to document when the "coming soon" functionality will be released, so I can plan my migration schedule? And if the other features I listed will be made available prior to the "Mature Support" deadline?
Anne -- Our intention is to have most major features (bookmarks, story actions, etc.) and storytelling patterns (swipe, tour, etc.) from the classic templates represented in the new ArcGIS StoryMaps before July 2020 (two years before the July 2022 mature support date).
You can already add a self-hosted image to a story using the Embed option. However, we don't recommend this except in rare cases where you have no other option because it can negatively affect your readers' experience in several ways. Directly linked images are not optimized for viewing like images that are uploaded to the builder and hosted with the story (this can be especially noticeable on smaller devices) and represent a single point of failure for your story if the web server goes down.
Can you share some more information about what specifically about HTML / CSS customization is important for your stories? We are researching this for future consideration and would like to understand your needs and requirements in this area. Specifically, if you could comment on what the currently available formatting tools and themes don't offer that would be helpful to our research.
Thank you for comforting me. As a “super fan” I was really concerned about losing such amazing features.
In terms of HTML/CSS: currently ArcGIS StoryMaps only have 4 color palates with assigned fonts. Although that functionality is very helpful for speed and changing the palate of the whole story, many organizations and initiatives require their own custom fonts and colors.
Currently, you can specify your own custom accent color using a hex code in the design panel. Is that helpful in this case or do you need more flexibility to do other things with color? If you were able to change the color of any selection of text within the story would that eliminate the need to use CSS for color styling?
It is helpful to modify the accent color … change the color and font type/style/size of any selection of text is essential … changing background colors would be nice too, to match branding.
In the long run, I just don’t want everyone’s story to look the same.
Anne -- Agreed! We want authors to feel like they can distinguish their stories from others'. We're looking at more styling options for the future, so thank you for sharing your comments and feedback so we can consider them in our planning.
In Journal you can edit the source code in your narrative. This is helpful for us to be able to build links into tables and images. For instance, we have a table with 10 species of trees. In Journal we can build an HTML table and put an action link for each species that updates a map to show a tile layer for that species. It also gives us more ability for customization