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ArcGIS Online Introduction: Web Apps (Story Maps)

Make Your Web App Public

NOTE:Remember, to make your web app public, all components must be shared with the public:

  1. Layers (Services)
  2. Map that you create from those layers
  3. Web App that you create from that map

Web App Basics

Web Apps allow a user to share maps and related information in an interactive way rather than just a static display.  You can take a shared web map and combine it with a Web App template to get a web mapping application.

  • Available to end users online in a browser
  • User doesn’t need an ArcOnline account to use the Web App
  • Can be interactive
  • Can incorporate other media: photos, text, social media data, etc.
  • Can show changes over time or follow route over space
  • Can use location services in mobile app to show a user where s/he is within the data, so to speak

See our blog post on Story Maps (from ArcGIS Online and other options), as well as a few examples that we've done:


  • Create or Choose a Web Map: Search for a Service; open it in the ArcGIS Online map viewer to get a Web Map
  • Save and share the web map, go to the context menu for the feature service layer and choose Web App
    • Web App option can work with either Everyone or just your organization (or a group)
    • Embed option requires sharing with Everyone
  • Choose template: Select a Web App template (many require a feature service, but each template has different requirements)
  • Configure: If the Web App is configurable, set the parameters as desired.
  • Save your Web App, edit the metadata, and Share it
    • Note that the App, the underlying map, and its underlying layers all need to be shared

See the next tab for a listing of Web Apps.

Share Web Apps

A link to a web app or a web app embedded in a web page or blog post will work for whichever group you've shared it with.

  • Link: A short URL ( will be provided for a link, or you can copy the URL from the address bar of your browser.
  • Embed: You can paste the following code into your web page or blog post, from an HTML editor, not a WYSIWYG editor.

    <p><iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="insert URL from browswer address bar here" scrolling="no" frameborder="0 " height="760" width="950"></iframe></p>

    The height and width parameters will need to be adjusted as needed.

Web Apps with Public Account has a post about Esri Story Map apps.  The include some information regarding the creation of Story Maps using only a free ArcGIS Online Public Account (it is possible, with limitations):

You can create a Story Map for free with an Esri public account, but there are some limitations to what you can do with this type of access.

For instance, you need to upload your images and video to a third party website such as Flickr or YouTube to create a Tour.

ArcGIS only allows ArcGIS Online subscribers to upload images straight to the Tour, although public users can upload data from a CSV file.

To import images from Flickr, you need to first find the account you need, and then pull in images from a selected photo set or a certain tag.

A YouTube import works in a similar way, requiring map builders to know the username of the account in advance as there are no social media search functions within the import feature.

Note as well that Story Map will only import up to 99 photos or videos from each source when using a public account.

In a blog post regarding choice of Story Maps, Esri blogger Bern Szukalski also addresses what can be done with Story Maps with a free public account.