Workflow for using ArcGIS Story Map Journal

Workflow for Creating a Story Maps Journal Project

Creating the map and content layers

  1. Create a public account (not a trial account) at, “Sign In.” (unless you already have an ESRI account…then just sign in with those credentials)
  2. At ArcGIS home, select “Make a Map” (button)
  3. You are now at your map-making interface…become familiar with it!
  4. Follow the instructions in the left side panel
    1. choose the area that you want in your map…pan and zoom…but don’t worry about being too exact, because you can still navigate beyond the boundaries of you map later on
    2. choose basemap…in general, start with topographic view as default…can always change
    3. Go ahead and save map (give it a name and a tag (“Story Maps”))
    4. add content…layers (a specific category of information/data) …either pre-existing content (KML files), or add “map notes” for pins
      1. add map notes…give the note a name, and use the “map notes” template…click “create”
      2. select “stickpin” or “pushpin” (doesn’t matter for now) in left sidebar…the icon will then have a grey background
      3. mouse over the map and place the pin where you want it by clicking on the map
      4. a dialogue box will open up…again enter the name of the pin for a title, and then add whatever texts and images you want to the description (don’t need to add any)…thus you are adding content to the “pop-up” box
      5. click “change symbol” to style the pin, if you want
      6. when you’re done, click “close” and you pin is embedded in the map
      7. repeat as desired
      8. OR…create a map note using the search function
        1. enter search term…in the resulting pop-up box, click “add to map notes”
        2. click on the resulting icon, then in the resulting box, click “edit”
        3. give the point a title, text description, and image, as in no. 4 above
        4. change symbol, as in no. 5 above
        5. in the left sidebar, turn off editing (click the edit button if necessary) and under contents, click on the three dots under map notes
        6. select “rename” in the menu, and rename the note to match the title you gave the point earlier
    5. click the home icon in the map
    6. save and share

Creating a Story Journal with your Map 

  1. To create the story map journal, go to
  2. select the “Apps” tab, and scroll down to “Story Map Journal”
  3. Select “Learn More” to see Overview, Gallery, and Tutorial
  4. In the tutorial tab, scroll down to number 1 and select “Start the Story Map Journal Builder.” A new window will open with an interactive wizard
  5. Select “Side Panel” layout and click “Start”
  6. Enter a title for your project
  7. For “Home Section,” for “Main Stage Content,” select “map” and open the drop-down for “select a web map”
  8. Select “Browse for Maps Arc GIS Online”
  9. Your “My Content” area of ArcGIS should open, and you should see the map you created earlier. Select it.
  10. Leave the “Location,” “Content,” and “Popup”  options on “web map default” for now … click “next”
  11. Add content to side panel of home section…text, links, rich media, etc.
  12. Click “add,” and now you are out of the wizard and in the main map builder journal interface…continue to add and organize sections.
  13. All material in all sections and the main stage can be edited at any time…always be sure to save changes (button in upper right corner)
  14. When ready, select “Share” and “View Live”
  15. Toggle back and forth between map journal builder and live view to continue revising and editing the project…remember to save often
  16. To make changes to the main stage map, go back to and edit the appropriate map there.
  17. For all content, be sure to obtain proper permissions for use
  18. Remember that all linked content may be moved/removed, and that links may become broken