Workflows to Edit TEXT of StoryMap outside of ESRI?

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05-18-2021 12:07 PM
KatieGaut
Occasional Contributor
Has anyone found a good way to efficiently edit and track changes on the text within a story map for multiple editors OUTSIDE of the story map? We often have clients with multiple text editors who have NO experience with Story Maps/GIS - nor do we want to give them access to the back end of the story map editing.
 
NOTE:  The internal collaboration workflow doesn't work for us as we don't want non-GIS users the ability to accidentally edit the non-text content!!
 
We've personally tried the following:
  • Google Sheets: Cut/Paste text into Google Sheets from StoryMap, allowing us to track changes from each separate editor. We found this option horribly time-consuming to cut/paste the text and make note of what chapter/element the text was referring to.  The editors still had difficulty going back/forth to see elements associated with the text. Additionally, copying the text back into the SM was also frustrating and time-intensive.
  • Printed PDF of SM, then converted to Word Doc: This was better....but formatting often became offset, making it still difficult to discern how the text and elements related.  It was also a bit troublesome to cut/paste final text back into the SM.
Any thoughts on other options would be greatly appreciated!!
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17 Replies
BryanHemmer
Occasional Contributor III

I think you've seen previous posts related to the print to PDF option and unfortunately I haven't seen any improvement.

@OwenGeo, has there been any movement on this or has your team looked into improving this functionality?

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KatieGaut
Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the reply Bryan!  Yes, we have seen the other posts.  Currently, that’s the best workflow we’ve found (my second option above where we would print the SM, then convert to a word doc).  As you mentioned, the formatting often became pretty garbled and it’s hard to see elements associated to the text.  
   We will be looking forward to an update from Owen.  Thanks Bryan!

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@BryanHemmer / @KatieGaut 

We haven't received much feedback about how people expect printing to improve, so we do not currently have anything on our roadmap for printing improvements.

Most of the threads on Esri Community related to printing StoryMaps are just asking if/when it would be available. A few other things we've heard...

  • Here's a thread asking for some options like making link URLs and credit text visible in the printed doc. We're looking in to this, but don't have specifically in our plans.
  • You've also asked about printing a story that's in a collection (opening an item in a new tab, which we discussed on that thread as a possible solution, is coming in about a month or so).
  • We have had one or two low priority layout-related bugs about printing reported through Esri Support.

@KatieGaut -- Can you share a bit more about the issues you described above so we can better understand your challenges? What are the offset issues you mentioned when using the PDF for this purpose? Was the content offset in ways that looked like the layout was broken, or were pieces of content just located on different pages because of how the story was laid out?  Was copy/pasting troublesome because it didn't work as expected or because it's just tedious to copy chunks of text from a PDF to the story builder?

Would something like a built-in commenting feature meet your need to have others provide input on a story without giving them editing access?

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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BryanHemmer
Occasional Contributor III

One specific thread I replied to was How do I turn my story map into a PDF - I'd like to send unpublished story map to outside consultant....

I think some of the issues with printing are maps don't show up correctly or images. I posted example PDFs towards the end of the thread and also links to the story maps themselves.

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KatieGaut
Occasional Contributor

Hi Owen,

   Thanks so much for the reply!  The printing/conversion to a word doc to allow for a track changes editing process is not ideal - as when changes are then made to the StoryMap, the word doc is immediately out of date.  Ideally, your thought of a built-in commenting/text editing feature that allows our editors to provide input to the text without giving them editing privileges to the StoryMap components would be ideal.  

    Here is an option we've just found that may be a great option until ESRI has something internally:  Bugherd (https://bugherd.com/).  This allows clients to send us edits/comments/text edits with a tag on the location in the StoryMap.  It's not perfect, but it seems like a better option than we've been using in the past.  

   I'd love to keep continuing the conversation, Owen, to help ESRI design a comment/text editor solution as I'm sure we're not the only users experiencing this difficulty.  As we work through our next StoryMap project this summer we will try this BugHerd option and I'm sure will have more refined feedback for your team then.  Thanks again!

Thanks,

Katie - Blue Water GIS | www.BlueWaterGIS.com

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@KatieGaut -- Thanks for sharing Bugherd. That looks like an interesting tool, and it would be great if you could post back here if it ends up being useful for you.

@BryanHemmer - Thank you for reminding me about that post. There are some current limitations and challenges when printing stories with lots of maps. I've posted a bit more about that on this thread

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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KatieGaut
Occasional Contributor

@OwenGeo we wanted to give you the update on BugHerd...We've been talking with the developers, and it does look like it could be an excellent tool for the editing workflow we mentioned, however, we're running into a glitch to keep it from functioning in StoryMaps.  Apparently, the Content Security Policy (CSP) for ArcGIS StoryMaps is restricting its use.  The solution according to BugHerd is to add a series of domains (see article)

We have an open ticket with ESRI (Case #02824627), but it seems to be pretty slow moving.  Any thoughts on bypassing that CSP?  Note that we do not self host, and don't wish to.  

Also of note, BugHerd does appear to work for other apps such as Experience Builder and Dashobards.

Thanks!

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

@KatieGaut -- Given that information, unfortunately this type of 3rd party service not compatible with the security best practices we have in place for ArcGIS StoryMaps.

BugHerd appears to mainly be designed as a tool for website developers to elicit feedback from others. So in most cases, the site owner is installing it so visitors or reviewers can provide comments on the site itself. In this case, you are looking to use a 3rd party tool to gather comments about content created with another 3rd party tool, so it is somewhat out of the main use case of BugHerd. 

I discussed this with our developers and they said that it may be possible to request an enhancement from BugHerd to enable their browser extension to overwrite a site's CSPs, if needed. This is something browser extensions are allowed to do because the overrides are limited to that user's computer and it isn't something that's being done at the site level for all users of the site.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
KatieGaut
Occasional Contributor

@OwenGeo I've looked at a few other alternatives to BugHerd (Userback and Usersnap) and they both seem to require "adding a snippet of code to your platform or website."   see here

Is this possible with StoryMaps if we're not self hosting?

Thanks!

Katie

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