Skip To Content

Author and publish your first story

ArcGIS StoryMaps is the storytelling tool in the ArcGIS platform to help you harness the power of maps to explore locations, events, and trends. It brings text, photos, and videos together with custom maps to create a narrative that informs and inspires. Elevate your storytelling with modern, predesigned themes that will put your content into a cohesive, polished story that is easy to publish and share. You can author new stories in the ArcGIS StoryMaps story builder.

Create your story

Use the following steps to author and publish a story:

  1. Create the story.
    1. Browse to the Stories page in ArcGIS StoryMaps.
    2. Click Create new story.
    3. The story builder loads and opens a new blank story.

      The ArcGIS StoryMaps story builder is where story maps are assembled from a selection of content blocks. These content blocks are selected from the block palette and can be used to add narrative text, media, maps, and immersive experiences to your story.

  2. Make the story cover.

    The story cover displays at the start of a story and provides information about your story. Give your story a title and consider adding an optional subtitle and media. The author name and publish date are added automatically. For more information on story covers, see Change story cover.

  3. Tell your story.

    Use the block palette to add narrative text, maps, media, and immersive content blocks to your story. You can add content to your story by directly typing it in (for example, narrative text), uploading it from your computer (for example, pictures), and inserting it from the web (for example, video URLs). Web maps and scenes can be added from ArcGIS Online, and you can author your own express maps. For more information on the various content blocks, see Create.


    You can rearrange content blocks in the story by dragging and dropping them before and after other content blocks. And you don't have to worry about losing your work because ArcGIS StoryMaps automatically saves your progress as you author your story.

  4. Configure the story map theme and design.

    Explore the story cover and theme options in the Design panel. These options enable you to change the look and feel of the story map. For more information on story themes, see Set a theme.

  5. Preview the story map.
    1. Click Preview in the story builder header to open the story preview.
    2. Preview your story as your audience will see it.
    3. Return to the story builder to make any revisions and publish by clicking Edit story in the header.
  6. Publish the story map.

    Click Publish in the story builder header to start the publishing process. In the publishing process, you select the audience for your story. The publisher then runs a check to ensure that the story's maps will be accessible to that audience. If any issues are detected, you will be prompted to address them before the publisher finishes running. For more information about the publishing process, see Publish a story.

Nice work—you have published your first story.

Make updates and revisions

If you need to update or revise your story, you can find all of your stories on the Stories page. From here you can edit or delete your stories. Any edits made to a published story are saved as unpublished changes until the story is republished. For more information about making changes to a published story, see Modify a published story.

Storytelling guidance and tips

The ArcGIS StoryMaps team provides storytelling guidance, tips, and other resources on the StoryMaps Resources page.