Story Map Creation

Prior to Creating a Story Map, it is important to learn what a GIS is and how ArcGIS Online functions.  Start at the ArcGIS Online Page of this website, then return here to learn to create a Story Map!

What is a Story Map?


FROM A COMPUTER (not an iPad), Open a Browser (CHROME Recommended):

  1. Log in to ArcGIS Online (AGOL) at
    • Log in using an Organization Account or a Free Trial Account.
    • Learning Endeavors provided an account for training purposes.
  2. Go to “MY CONTENT” at top
    1. Create one or more NEW Maps or Choose an Existing Map to Begin
    2. In upper right search box, SEARCH for existing public maps to save time! IMAGE BELOW is an example of searching for existing ahupuaa maps:Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 5.37.07 AM
    3.  Any valuable maps, SAVE or SAVE AS into your own CONTENT.  This will ensure you have multiple maps to “add to your story”
    4. Do Some Analysis, Search/Add New Layers, Develop an Initial Story Concept
  3. Plan Out a Story – Have at least 5 Points on maps or multiple map extents and base maps in mind as well as related  Images, Photos, Movies, and Maps with Relevant Data Layers that will help illustrate your location based story.
  4. Organize Data and Maps – Organizing all images in a Flickr Album will be very helpful, and hosting videos on YouTube or Vimeo will be helpful.   
  5. Open the initial Map for your Story (or create a NEW Map)
  6. Start Creating the Story Map by “SHARING” it.
    1. Select Share (Sharing can only happen after saving)
    2. Select Who to Share it With (Everyone?)
    3. Choose – Create a New Web App
    4. Select on Left: Build a Story Map 
    5. Select one of the provide Story Map Templates to Use:  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to use : “Story Map Journal” template.  User friendly!Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 12.05.08 AM
  7. Create Your Story Map, Save, and Share!


The image below shows how to search for Data Layers from the Hawaii State GIS Program which hosts watershed boundaries, ahupuaa, streams, schools, watershed partnerships, critically endangered species, and many other data layers.  CLICK the yellow ADD button, then input the Find: and In: information as seen in this screenshot below to access owner:HawaiiStateGIS (case sensitive) data layers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 12.03.07 AM

SCREENSHOT of ArcGIS Online “Build a Story Map” Templates
Below here is what you will see once you begin the SHARE process, select Create a New Web App, then click on Build a Story Map option.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 12.05.08 AM

More information on Story Maps and ArcGIS can be found here, prepared by Charlie Fitzpatrick from the ESRI Education Team:

Resources on Story Map creation, including a series of videos, can be found here, prepared by Joseph Kerski from the ESRI Education Team: