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Queryable Map in a Story Map or “Maps for Managers”?

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01-22-2024 01:41 PM
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Astrassman
New Contributor II

Hi Esri Community,

I want to create a map or dashboard in a StoryMap that can use drop down menus to facilitate layer querying and visualization in a pre-baked interface for non-GIS-enabled users to ask questions of data and maps.

So far, I am unable to devise a pathway to a map like this using the available, readymade StoryMap tools and dashboards.  I have found some (old) evidence of people trying this, but it involved backend coding languages outside my experience and likely problematic with our firewalls.

It seems like this is something a StoryMap should be able to do as it is a readymade aspect of the online map viewer (but asking non-GIS users to learn the map viewer is a nonstarter). I need to make it super approachable and not look like “I need to type stuff” because I will lose people before they even look at the map.

I am hoping this is an obvious question that I’ve just missed the thread on or a search term for the training video I’m missing.

If not, I will move this to the asks department for a dashboard where you pick the map layout and data layer and then you can insert a few dependent query dropdowns for users.

Thanks,

Andrew

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@Astrassman -- Definitely check out map actions, as @KatClifton mentioned. Those are a great tool to lead your audience through your maps and geographic information in a directed way. You can create layers in a web map with different queries and turn those on/off using map action buttons or links.

The type of rich exploratory experience you are describing that would access many different layers with drop down menus, etc. is not something we plan to build into StoryMaps. The tools our team focuses on facilitate storytelling and communication rather than analysis or investigative workflows, and the type of experience you are describing seems much more like an "app" than a "story."

However, there are probably several options for building something like this using ArcGIS Instant Apps or Experience Builder. Once you build that other app, you could easily embed it in a story, but I would recommend that it would likely be better to introduce the app, perhaps walk through some examples of using it in the story and then simply link out to this app from your story. The main reason for this is that the experience you describe seems like it would benefit from being opened in a full browser tab rather than be embedded in a smaller frame inside a story, so embedding it might compromise the experience of using it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps

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KatClifton
New Contributor III

Are you looking for Map Actions?

That may help to guide non-GIS folks through some given dataset exploration.

Try this link - Supercharge your stories with map actions (esri.com)

OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@Astrassman -- Definitely check out map actions, as @KatClifton mentioned. Those are a great tool to lead your audience through your maps and geographic information in a directed way. You can create layers in a web map with different queries and turn those on/off using map action buttons or links.

The type of rich exploratory experience you are describing that would access many different layers with drop down menus, etc. is not something we plan to build into StoryMaps. The tools our team focuses on facilitate storytelling and communication rather than analysis or investigative workflows, and the type of experience you are describing seems much more like an "app" than a "story."

However, there are probably several options for building something like this using ArcGIS Instant Apps or Experience Builder. Once you build that other app, you could easily embed it in a story, but I would recommend that it would likely be better to introduce the app, perhaps walk through some examples of using it in the story and then simply link out to this app from your story. The main reason for this is that the experience you describe seems like it would benefit from being opened in a full browser tab rather than be embedded in a smaller frame inside a story, so embedding it might compromise the experience of using it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
Astrassman
New Contributor II

Thanks, Kat and Owen!

Yes, Instant Apps is where I will need to go as StoryMaps do not provide the level of user interaction I require.  It does look like the Interactive Legend Instant App will provide most of the query options I need, though it will need careful crafting to ensure buy-in from the GIS-adverse.  

Thank you for pointing me to this resource.

Andrew

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