What are your first thoughts about Collections?

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08-28-2019 11:39 PM
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Esri Regular Contributor

Collections are a new way of bundling related stories together in a single location that can be managed by you, the author and viewed by your readers when shared.

Get started by logging into the new ArcGIS StoryMaps, clicking your profile picture in the header, and selecting My Collections (beta).

You can also use the URL: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/collections

This is the first release of this beta feature, and we'll be adding lots more capabilities in the future, but we'd like to hear your first impressions and thoughts:

  • How was your experience of creating a collection and adding stories to it?
  • Is there anything you were expecting to do, and couldn’t?
  • Have you tried the present mode? How often do you see yourself using a Collection to present to your work to your audience?
12 Replies
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Occasional Contributor II

I apologize for my unfamiliarity with this, but where can I go to find this feature?  Is it only available in the new version of story maps?  It certainly sounds like something that I would be really interested in utilizing.

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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Leif, 

Clicking your profile picture in the header and selecting My Collections (beta) will take you there.

You can also use the URL: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/collections 

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MVP Regular Contributor
  • How was your experience of creating a collection and adding stories to it?
    • It's simple and pretty straight forward. The only part I tripped up was realizing the story needed to be published to be added.
    • Also, it would be nice to have a multi-select in the future to add items to a Collection.
  • Have you tried the present mode? How often do you see yourself using a Collection to present to your work to your audience?
    • Might be nice to have the option to keep the left panel open by default upon load. The first story could be a welcome screen describing the purpose of the Collection and describing the stories shown to the left.
    • I don't anticipate using it anytime soon. We still rely on the classic story map templates, and only the new stories are able to be added to a Collection. We self host the classic story maps too, for custom URLs. Not sure if that's in the works for the new story maps. I also present my work in a gallery format, as it can show any ArcGIS Online item type, or embed storymaps and other apps within a Map Series classic storymap.
    • When I unpublished a story map, it broke it within the Collection (storymaps.arcgis.com refused to connect). Perhaps a warning when unpublishing if it's a part of a Collection, or just complete removal from the Collection.
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Occasional Contributor

Great concept and I like where this is going.  I would also really like to add my Classic Story Maps to the Collection as well, as plans for that?

Kate

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Occasional Contributor II
  • How was your experience of creating a collection and adding stories to it?
    • Very quick and easy
  • Is there anything you were expecting to do, and couldn’t?
    • Couldn't select more than one story map at a time when adding them to the collection - makes it a little more time consuming.
    • Couldn't add unpublished stories - it would be great if you could add draft stories to a collection, even if they are hidden in public view or present mode.
    • Can't add logos or custom branding.
    • In present mode you can't see the collection description - it would be good to have some kind of introduction page.
    • I would like to be able to rename the 'tabs' so that they can be text rather than numbers.
    • The side panel menu isn't very intuitive - perhaps change the small button to something more obvious?
    • Can't add a thumbnail image to the collection.
    • No social media sharing buttons.
  • Have you tried the present mode? How often do you see yourself using a Collection to present to your work to your audience?
    • Unlikely to use it for presentations/talks unless there is offline capability - wifi connections aren't always reliable enough.
    • Potential to use 'collections' as an alternative to the classic map series template - but needs to support other item types (especially web apps) and perhaps an option to remove cover pages from the new story maps template (just like a book, not every chapter needs a new cover page)
    • If sharing with users I would probably just share in 'present' mode - it's not clear when you open a collection that you should start reading using the 'present' button rather than clicking on individual stories.
Anneka France
GIS Analyst at The Rivers Trust
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New Contributor III

I'm excited to see this option. One use case for this will be to combine student StoryMaps into one StoryMap. We can get quite a few StoryMaps (30+) from a class, so this will be helpful.

Thoughts:

  • Is there a way back to Edit from Present mode?
  • Yes, I will use Present mode. I can see using this when teaching and presenting about StoryMaps.
  • On the page that shows my collections, the Collection doesn't have an image. I wasn't sure how to add an image. I'd echo the desire to have a "home page" or opening page/space to describe the collection. 
  • When I share the Collection, I couldn't see how to get back to the Collection home page when viewing one of the StoryMaps? Is it intended to share in Present mode? I also agree it would be helpful to have an easy way to grab a link to share.
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Esri Contributor

-I am having some issues with Collections, using Safari browser. (Not with a test I created, but with "the internal one with a seal-movie as intro".

-I will use collections a lot, since a better workflow to replace the use of Storymap Series + Storymap Journal is something many customers are hoping for. Especially if it in the future will be possible to create links between sections of one story to another story (without opening a new browser tab).

-The latter feature was something I was missing in this first version.

I am looking forward to elaborate on this subject.

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Occasional Contributor II

The ability to link to sections of other StoryMaps in a collection would be great and a huge improvement on the classic templates!

Anneka France
GIS Analyst at The Rivers Trust
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Occasional Contributor III

Would it be possible to add the autoplay feature for Collections? I really like when presenting having the autplay run while speaking but that means I have to open each app individually.