Skip to Main Content

ENG 23B: Eating the Middle Ages StoryMaps Project

Create a New Story Map

The ArcGIS StoryMaps homepage consists of three main sections: Stories, Collections, and Themes. If you want to create a new story map, make sure you're on the Stories section.
StoryMaps homepage menu.

  1. Click the + New Story button to launch the ArcGIS StoryMaps builder. You can create a story from scratch or use the quick start options to add a map tour, guided tour, or sidecar content block to your story map. If you're not sure what option to use, we recommend that you select Start from scratch.
    Start from Scratch.

A Note on Screen Size

If you want to use the StoryMaps Builder, you will need to access the site using one of the software's supported browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. The StoryMaps Builder requires a display width of 960 pixels so you won't be able to design a story map on your phone. Once you've published your story map, you can view it on a variety of devices, including devices with smaller screens (e.g., cell phones). For more info, see ArcGIS StoryMaps System Requirements.

Add a Title and Cover Image

An essential component of your StoryMaps project will be the cover of your story map. The cover will be where you add a title, your name (or group members' names), and a cover image or video. This is the first thing that viewers will see when they open your story map, so it's important to choose effective title and cover media to engage your audience.

StoryMaps Cover page: Add cover image or video, title your story, etc.

  • Add cover image or video: You will need to upload a cover image or video from your computer. Linking to media isn't supported for this section of the story. You can change the layout of your story map's cover under the Design menu.

Add Content Blocks

StoryMaps content (e.g., text, images, maps, etc.) are added as individual content blocks. You can add content blocks in the StoryMaps Builder by clicking the Add Content Block (+) icon next to "Continue Your Story..."

You can add content before, after, and in-between existing content blocks. You can also drag-and-drop most content blocks if you want to reorder the placement of items throughout your story.

Add Headings and Subheadings

As you're designing your story map, you'll want to use headings and subheadings to help organize the different sections of your story. Adding headings will help improve the overall readability and accessibility of your story. After you add headings, you can use the Design menu in StoryMaps to enable a menu navigation bar for your story, which will let readers quickly jump to specific sections in your story.

You can add headings, subheadings (e.g., Heading 2, Heading 3), bulleted lists, etc. by using the customization menu in the text content block.
Text formatting options.

Add Anchor Links

Add Media

You can add images, audio files, and videos to StoryMaps as standalone content blocks or in some of the more specialized content blocks (e.g., Swipe, Sidecar, etc.)


After adding an image to StoryMaps, you can use the image pop-up menu edit the photo, add alt text, etc. Click the pencil icon to open the photo editor. You can crop the image and use the built-in annotation tools (beta) to annotate the image.
Image Menu.



Videos can be added to StoryMaps in an embedded format (video player) or as content cards. You will need to add a video to your story then use the pop-up menu bar to select the embedded video or the content card display options. The content card format is helpful if you want to include a video as a supplemental resource instead of a core component of your story map.
Video pop-up menu.


Audio files can be added to StoryMaps in a standalone content block or embedded in an image, map, etc. Check out the Breaking the Sound Barrier blog post posted below for more on how to add audio files to StoryMaps.


Tutorials & Help Resources

Add Alternative Text (Alt Text)

ArcGIS StoryMaps comes with a number of built-in tools to help improve the overall accessibility of your project. In addition to using headings and subheadings, you should also make sure that every piece of media you add to your project has an alt text description. The alt text will provide a short description of the image, map, etc., which can be accessed by viewers who are using screen readers or who have slow / spotty internet connections that can't load the media.

Alt text can be added to images, videos, other other media after you've added the media to your story map. Navigate to the options menu (gear icon) for the image, video, etc. to add alt text.
Image options: Alternative Text.

Alt Text Help Resources

Add Specialized Content Blocks

This library course guide highlights a couple of the content blocks in ArcGIS StoryMaps but there are a number of other content blocks that you can add to your story map. Check out the following tutorials to learn about some of the other content blocks in ArcGIS StoryMaps:

Cite Your Sources

As you're adding content to your story map, it's essential that you cite your sources. You can include in-text citations and a Works Cited section just like you would in a research paper. You can also use the caption line (or attribution text box) to add attribution information for any media that you add to your project.