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ArcGIS Online Introduction: Story Map Designs

Web App Templates

  • There are a number of out-of-the-box Web Apps listed elsewhere on this page, with examples in the "classic" Story Map Gallery.
  • Esri is moving away from a basket of different templates to a single interface with a lot of options. See their new StoryMaps web page.
  • Esri's GitHub space may lead to additional to the source code for other ArcGIS web app templates written using a variety of programming and scripting languages (JavaScript, Python, Java, C++, etc.).
  • There is also a Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS to enable non-coders to build their own custom apps.

Social Media and Public Data

Public Information

Presents a map with geolocated content from Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and Optionally allows users to swipe between layers.

Interactive: View/Query/Edit

Basic Viewer

Display a web map with a specified set of commonly used tools and options.


Provides simple editing capabilities for editable layers in a web map.

Elevation Profile

Displays the elevation profile for a selected feature or a measured line. Uses the Profile geoprocessing service to generate the elevation values along the profile


View and apply interactive filters to web map layers. The application displays prompts and hints for attribute filter values which are used to locate specific features.


Provides form-based data editing of a Feature Service. Allows users to enter data through a form instead of a map’s pop-up.

Impact Summary

Highlights an area and shows a summary of data related to its location. The data presented in the boxes, at the bottom of the map, can be any integer data.

Information Lookup

Provide users with a pop up of information based on location. If no location is found, a general message is presented. Optionally, the location entered can be stored in a point layer.

Local Perspective

A configurable template for highlighting features from a web map based on a user selected location or address.

Simple Map Viewer

Provides a simple and easy to use framework for viewing web maps in browsers or mobile devices.

Summary Viewer

Summarizes the numeric attributes of features in operational layer that are within the visible map area.  At smaller scales, points will be clumped and their attributes aggregated in the informational pop-up.

Choosing a Story Map

The ArcGIS Online web apps are also known "Story Maps.  Some of these are listed in the boxes below.  In this blog post, Esri provides some guidance on choosing the app that best fits your needs. Note the answer to the first comment regarding what's free and what's not.

Esri has a list of the most common and versatile Story Map Apps. These, and some other specialized ones, are listed on this page. Esri also has a long listing of Story Map Apps at various stages of development (including retired and "mature," but still usable).

Multiple Maps or Comparisons Over Time

Compare Analysis

Compares geographic phenomena at one or more locations with multiple side-by-side maps. Use Compare Scenes for 3-D views.

Story Map Swipe and Spyglass

These tools display either two separate web maps or two layers of a single web map. Users can slide the swipe tool back and forth to compare one map theme to a second, related theme. The Spyglass app enables users to peer through one map to another by using a spyglass function.

Story Map Series 

Presents a series of maps and other content organized using tabs, a side accordion control, or numbered bullets.

Time Aware

Displays a web map with time enabled layers.  Detailed set-up instructions in an Oct. 2015 Esri blog post.

Narratives / Tours / Points of Interest

Story Map Basic

A configurable storytelling application template for publishing a web map to a general audience.

Story Map Cascade

Combine narrative text with maps, images, and multimedia content into a full-screen scrolling experience.

Story Map Journal

Combine narrative text with maps and other embedded content. A Map Journal contains entries, or sections, that users simply scroll through. Each section in a Map Journal has an associated map, image, video or web page. Actions can also be defined in journal sections.

Story Map Tour

Present a linear, place-based narrative featuring images or videos. Each “story point” in the narrative is geo-located. Users have the option of clicking sequentially through the narrative, or they can browse by interacting with the map or using the thumbnail carousel.

Story Map Shortlist

Organizes points of interest into tabs to allow users to explore what's in an area. Users can click on the places either in the tabs or on the map to find out about them. The tabs automatically update as users navigate around the map to show them what's interesting in their current map extent.