Story Maps Not Updating after Publish

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12-02-2022 08:00 AM
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SaraJL
by
Occasional Contributor III

Hello everyone!

I reached out to support - but I'm wondering if anyone else is having this issue.

If I open a Story Map that has already been created, make a couple changes, and then republish - the changes will show up in that current browser tab. If I go back to the Collection, reopen the map, or try to open the Story Map from my ArcGIS Online dashboard the changes do not reflect.

I also noticed that if the Story Map is embedded anywhere (like a website) it also doesn't update to show the changes in the third-party app (Wordpress, etc.)

I made a short video! Curious if anyone else has this issue.

I am using:

  • Latest version of Chrome
  • Windows 10 64 Bit

 

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11 Replies
OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@SaraJL -- This is due to a slight difference in how the browser cache works with embedded content vs. visiting the story directly. If you do a hard refresh of the collection page you'll see the update version of the story.

I believe the cache expires in an hour, so if someone else has already visited the collection before the story update they would see the updated story if they a) hard refresh the page, or b) visit the collection anytime after one hour since the story was republished.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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SaraJL
by
Occasional Contributor III

@OwenGeo Even doing a hard refresh of the browser does not update the Story Map. Is this a new change? Previously, it was almost simultaneous - if you updated a Story Map, you could see the changes in another a new browser tab or embedded content right away. At least in Chrome it was almost instant.

  • Just to try it, I even tested the map in an Incognito window to make sure that my settings were not overriding anything. The same issue still occurs if you use an Incognito window.

Collections and embedding is not the critical issue! The main problem is that if you make a change in a Story Map, publish it, and then open it in a new tab it doesn't show the updates. 

Update --> Support got back to me and are working with me on the problem! Hopefully, the intended function is that we don't have to wait an hour after updating in any format to see changes. That would make it really challenging for users.

Thank you for the help!

OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@SaraJL -- Thanks for the update. I'm glad you are working with Support on this. I am unable to repro the issues you've described here, so this may be something specific to your story, network, computer, browser, etc.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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SaraJL
by
Occasional Contributor III

I'm just curious - how are you currently testing the issue? I'm just wondering because support says they can reproduce it!

Which browser are you currently using and what workflow steps are you using to publish and reopen the Story Map? We also have SAML/Google authentication if that makes a difference.

It's a critical issue for us because we have multiple classes using Story Maps for projects - so I'm open to any troubleshooting ideas!

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RinaNagashima
New Contributor

I have the exact same issue, so I don't think  it is specific to the user. Would also love an update.

SaraJL
by
Occasional Contributor III

I have an update! (thank you for letting me know, I was wondering if we were the only ones experiencing the problem!)

I talked with support, and it turns out that if it doesn't update after publishing - the only way to see the updates is to do a total hard refresh of the browser (log out) > clear out all of the browser cache > log back in. 

This does work, HOWEVER - it is extremely frustrating in that you have to do it after every change. The issue also appears intermittently, so sometimes it works without a refresh and sometimes you have to clear out the cache.

This wasn't an issue before the Nov 22nd update, so I'm assuming it's linked. While refresh is a good temporary fix, there are a lot of issues with ArcGIS Online right now that the default response is "refresh the cache" which fixes it temporarily but is not a permanent solution. It's incredibly frustrating to have to tell users that they have to log out/log back in/refresh every time to update a Story Map.

Anyway, @RinaNagashima, I hope that helps! Let me know if you need any more info.

 

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@SaraJL @RinaNagashima -- I want to clarify several items mentioned above...

It's incredibly frustrating to have to tell users that they have to log out/log back in/refresh every time to update a Story Map.

Please note that the issues you are encountering will typically only be observed on your machine. This is because you're following some odd workflows by visiting your own story multiple times in the same browser in different tabs. I understand that you noticed an issue and were trying to troubleshoot, but unfortunately when you focus on testing whether you can see your own updates using these types of unlikely workflows on the same machine you can cause unexpected things to happen, which I understand can be frustrating and confusing if you don't have the details of how caches work. It's sort of like a Schrodinger's Cat situation where trying to observe an issue causes the issue. 😕 

the only way to see the updates is to do a total hard refresh of the browser (log out) > clear out all of the browser cache > log back in. 

In the vast majority of situations, no one should need to empty their cache or do anything out of the ordinary beyond clicking the refresh button. The reason the support analyst recommended that is because you were the one experiencing the problem, but that is not the required/recommended solution for other people reading your story.

Please know that if you publish a change, anyone else visiting that story for the first time will immediately see the latest version.

If someone had previously viewed that same story on their computer, they may initially see the old version, but only if it has been less than an hour since they last visited the story. If it has been more than an hour, they will immediately see the latest version. If it has been less than an hour, a simple page refresh (clicking the refresh button in the browser toolbar) will show the latest version.

 If I go back to the Collection, reopen the map, or try to open the Story Map from my ArcGIS Online dashboard the changes do not reflect.

Regarding stories in collections, I rarely have to do anything other than click the normal refresh page button at the top to see an updated story inside a collection. If you revisit the collection pages in a very specific sequence the story can sometimes get stuck showing the cached version. In this case, once an hour passes (since that person last visited the story) the issue will be gone and you'll see the latest version of the story. You can always visit the collection in a private browsing window or a different browser to verify the changes are live.

This wasn't an issue before the Nov 22nd update

There was no update to ArcGIS StoryMaps or ArcGIS Online on Nov 22, so I'm not sure what this is referring to? Did you apply an update to your browser or operating system on that date?

I hope this provides some additional information about how the publish process works. If there are specific workflows that you typically follow in the course of your normal work where you still see a story not update as expected, please provide those exact steps to the support analyst so they can look into it further.

We appreciate you filing this support incident and providing this feedback! We do also plan to review our caching strategy to see if there is anything we can tweak or optimize to improve the experience.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
SaraJL
by
Occasional Contributor III

Thank you for your reply! I was referring to the info from this update: What's new in ArcGIS Online (November 2022)

There were some really neat changes in ArcGIS Online that we didn't have previously! I've been experimenting with some of the design updates that have been really helpful for a few of the student projects that are being worked on 😁

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Can you share your support case number here so we can have someone look into this?

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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