When is the next release after January?

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01-24-2020 10:39 AM
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Occasional Contributor III

While we're, meaning where I work, are happy with some of the updates with this release (What’s new in ArcGIS StoryMaps (January 2020)), there are still some big improvements that have been asked for and have not heard status of or thought they would've been implemented by now. Instead there were some improvements on items I haven't see anyone ask for that made the list this go around. Here are some things that have been asked for;

Bookmarks or some way to navigate more efficiently

This has been asked about numerous times in numerous ways. Examples of it being asked for in one way or another;

Image enlargement

HTML/CSS customization

Ability to edit source code (HTML or CSS) like you can in Journal. This has been asked about multiple times;

There were some nice features added with this release and I can't stress enough how happy we were to find map actions! Along with that being able to change text color, styling options for the narrative panel in slideshow, credits, and being able to share to groups are very nice to see.

The ability to print is a huge leap as well. We're a federal agency that works closely with state cooperators and at the last regional meeting (December) their biggest concern with the new StoryMaps builder was the inability to print. They have users in their states that either have slow internet connections or prefer paper based reports so this will put a lot of that at ease. Thank you very, very much for that!

But there were also things that were implemented over some of these much needed improvements and I couldn't find examples of users asking for them. Some of them include;

  • A full-page preview mode.
  • Editing details for embeds.
  • Snap points and leader lines in express maps.
  • Heading formats.

Overall we're happy with the direction these are going in but are rather disappointed with this latest release and are looking forward to the next one to see if some of these improvements will be implemented.

2 Replies
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Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Bryan, 

Thanks for your thoughtful comments about last week’s release. We’re glad you are enjoying the new features and appreciate you weighing in on your organization’s priorities for future enhancements.

StoryMaps is a very popular product and gets used by thousands of people worldwide. So, you can imagine we get many requests for new features and enhancements from various sources: the feedback link in the story builder; our US and international sales staff; direct customer interaction at meetings, workshops, and conferences; Esri Technical Support; Twitter; and of course Geonet. The volume of feedback from the other sources is typically way more than what you see on GeoNet.

 

We are actively working on some of the features you are also interested in: bookmarks, url parameters, enhancements to collections, image enlargement, support for online video urls. We are also working on many other things that other people have requested such as reusing express maps in sidecar, accessibility features, adding audio to a story, and enhancements to slideshow, to name a few. You can expect these features to roll out over the next several releases.

 

Regarding editing source HTML and CSS customization, I can say that we currently do not have plans to build a direct HTML editor into the new product. While we know this was a popular feature in some of the classic templates, there are significant web security concerns with this approach, and it will require more thinking and research on our side before we move forward with it. We understand the need behind this request is that authors want more options for customizing the appearance and styling of a story. We plan on addressing that need in different ways in the coming months, but we don’t have anything specific to share at this time.

 

Our goal when we released ArcGIS StoryMaps in July 2019 was for it to have parity with the major features and capabilities of the classic templates one year after its initial release. We believe that we’re still on track for that and by this summer the new builder will have most of the most critical/requested features from classic.

 

All the feedback we receive and all the great stories people have already created with ArcGIS StoryMaps are definitely keeping our team motivated to continue to work hard on the product, so please keep letting us know what you think!

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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Occasional Contributor III

I appreciate the response to our concerns.

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