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GIS - Geographic Information Systems

A topic guide with resources providing information, instruction and inspiration for GIS users

Getting Started With ArcGIS StoryMaps

ArcGIS StoryMaps is a powerful software available through our ArcGIS license. ArcGIS StoryMaps enables one to make engaging and attractive multimedia stories involving text, graphics, photographs, maps, and other media. 

Getting Started with ArcGIS StoryMaps provides helpful guidance for those starting to use this software. 

Starting a New StoryMap

After logging into your WSU ArcGIS account and going to the ArcGIS StoryMaps app (see instructions on the left of this page), please click on "New Story" in the upper right hand corner to start a new StoryMap.

The "Start From Scratch" option probably provides the most flexibility for a new StoryMap. Even with this option, you can add map tours to a StoryMap.

You can then add a title and also add a cover image or video.

Adding Content Such as Text

Plus sign for adding contentThe plus sign allows one to add various types of content, such as text, maps and images, to a StoryMap. Simply press the plus sign and then choose your content type from the listed options. 

For adding text, click on "Text." Then you can start typing. It is very easy to add text, and then to add other content such as images that are related to the text. 

Adding Images to a StoryMap

Adding images is also easy. After click in the "plus" sign for adding content, select "Image" in the dropdown menu.

You will then have several options, such as uploading a saved image from the files on your device.

Properly Using Images in ArcGIS StoryMaps

After adding an image, if you hover the mouse over the image, you will see several options for editing and re-positioning the image. The Options button provides several options for displaying the image and for adding information about the Properties, for instance information about the source of the image.  

Adding information to the attribution field under the Properties option is one way to properly cite your image. You can add information about the image's source such as an online library.

The attribution will then appear in the upper left corner of the image, if one hovers over the circled "i" there.


It is important to include credit information for the images you use in a StoryMap. In addition, being aware of the copyright status of potential images for your StoryMaps is very important. You should always aim to avoid violating copyright law and only to use those images that you are legally permitted to use.

Bern Szukalski's blog post provides helpful advice about properly choosing and using images in ArcGIS StoryMaps.

Adding Headings and Navigation

Open the Design panel in the StoryMaps builder.

Under Optional story sections, turn on Navigation. The story navigation bar will appear at the top of the story.

To create headings that will appear in the story navigation bar, add text in the ordinary way. 

Click on the plus sign to add content block.

Click to Add text.

After typing your heading, highlight it. Then select Heading in the dropdown menu.

This and other headings you add will appear in the story navigation bar at the beginning of your story map.

These headings can be clicked to navigate to different sections of the story map.

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