Optimize Shortlist Story Map

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12-20-2018 11:19 AM
ShawnRoberts1
Occasional Contributor

Good afternoon all, I'm working on a rather large shortlist story map. All in all is has ~550 points in it (split up into three tabs based on a field). Each point has two images a thumbnail and a "main image". These images have been resized and cleaned up based on ESRI's suggestions for optimal sizes and format.

The problem Im having is the map is terribly slow. Its innitial load is decently fast (2.55 seconds), however when I try to interact with the map, or data, it's terrible laggy and freezes quite often.Sometimes the map portion just doesn't even respond to scroll,click events or just stops loading, and when it does the side-popup can take over 30 second to appear or just hangs up with the loading wheel until the map is refreshed or chrome just crashes (see attached image for example). All of this combined makes the story map effectively useless. 

The story map has nothing custom on it (just template). The data and the map are both hosted on AGOL. 

Has anyone experienced these similar issues, and how did you overcome them? I've done about everything I can think of to optimize the data behind the map, I've read a number of other posts and taken their suggestions, however I think it needs more. 

Thanks in advance.

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RupertEssinger
Frequent Contributor II

Hi Shawn, thanks for sharing your Shortlist. The initial load speed isn't bad but like you say once you start using it, it can get bogged down. We think this is mainly because of the large number of places in your tabs, especially the middle one. The issue we are seeing is not because of the overall number of places: it occurs when a tab has a large number of places.  Shortlist doesn't scale well to that many places in a single tab. Approximately 100 or so places per tab would be a good maximum to aim for. Sorry that the app performance isn't supporting what you'd like to show. Would it be possible to spread your places over more tabs, or perhaps make a separate Shortlist, each containing multiple tabs, for each of your themes.

For large datasets, another approach would be to use a Story Map app like Map Series with one tab for each of your themes, each of which shows a web map that contains the places for that theme. Readers would interact with the places by clicking on them and opening popups. This wouldn't give you the Shortlist look and feel but it is very scalable because would just be using the standard web map point/popup functionality. 

Rupert

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RupertEssinger
Frequent Contributor II

Sorry about the issue.

If this is shared publicly, could you post the URL of your story?

Does the map draw more quickly if you view it directly in ArcGIS Online by opening it up from My Content? (If it is slow to draw in the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer it could be related to other content in the map).

Your Shortlist has quite a large number of points per tab, and that can affect app performance.

To optimize a Shortlist with a lot of points, we'd recommend unchecking the box in the Settings > General Options that controls whether the places shown in the tabs are filtered to the current extent shown in the map. 

I'd also make sure that your thumbnail files are small. It sounds like you have already, but thumbnail size can affect load time too, because the tabs show all the thumbnails.

Rupert

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ShawnRoberts1
Occasional Contributor

Hi Rupert, thanks for the reply. I initially deleted the app, but I've rebuilt it, and made it public for you to check out. https://arcg.is/10nju4 . Try using the historic features tab. 

A few other points that may be helpful, I did not build the data for this story map in the builder. Rather I built a data set first in ArcMap, uploaded it to AGOL, then used that to share as an app. 

I'm attempting to rebuild the app using the story map builder and manually re-adding all of the data (not too happy about that), to see if it will have a different effect on speed.

All of my thumbnails are main images have been resized and compressed to ensure they are small file sizes. 

Thanks for the assistance! 

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RupertEssinger
Frequent Contributor II

Hi Shawn, thanks for sharing your Shortlist. The initial load speed isn't bad but like you say once you start using it, it can get bogged down. We think this is mainly because of the large number of places in your tabs, especially the middle one. The issue we are seeing is not because of the overall number of places: it occurs when a tab has a large number of places.  Shortlist doesn't scale well to that many places in a single tab. Approximately 100 or so places per tab would be a good maximum to aim for. Sorry that the app performance isn't supporting what you'd like to show. Would it be possible to spread your places over more tabs, or perhaps make a separate Shortlist, each containing multiple tabs, for each of your themes.

For large datasets, another approach would be to use a Story Map app like Map Series with one tab for each of your themes, each of which shows a web map that contains the places for that theme. Readers would interact with the places by clicking on them and opening popups. This wouldn't give you the Shortlist look and feel but it is very scalable because would just be using the standard web map point/popup functionality. 

Rupert

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ShawnRoberts1
Occasional Contributor

Hi Rupert, thanks for the reply. I will bring this information back to the team to discuss in the New Year. I'm not too sure there is a logical way to break up this data set but we will see what comes of the conversations.  Thanks for your assistance, have a great holiday season.

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RupertEssinger
Frequent Contributor II

One more thing to try is to turn off the default behavior in Shortlist in which the places shown in the tabs are filtering to only show the places in the current map extent. If you turn that behavior off in the Settings dialog all the places will be shown in the tabs at all times, but it may fix the slow speed we are seeing. 

For example here's a Shortlist featuring 766 places in its single tab. The images are stored in Flickr. The speed is pretty good. They have turned off the default filtering, so the tab shows all the places irrespective of the current map extent.

Northwest Wisconsin Flooding

https://wem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=2b57aa9e9d464a3899376e0ad2bf0640 

Rupert