Add YouTube videos to your Story Map Tour

Map Tour is a very popular story map template often used to tell stories using photos and other images placed on a map. Map Tour supports the ability to use videos from a variety of sources. Here’s an overview of how you can add YouTube videos to your Story Map Tour.

Note: the ability to add a video to your Story Map Tour will not be available if you have chosen to upload your images to your ArcGIS account by clicking the ArcGIS button under I need to upload my images (highlighted in yellow below)

If you have a made a choice from options found under They are already online, then the video button will be available.

Step 1: Open an existing Map Tour in builder mode

In this example we’ll add a video to an existing tour, a tour of the Esri Redlands campus. After opening the tour click Switch to builder mode found in the upper right of the application. Note that this is available only if you are the story map owner:

Step 2: Add the video as a new tour point

Once in builder mode, choose Add.

On the Media tab in the Add a new tour point options, choose Video:

In this example we’ll add an ArcGIS Overview video from YouTube. The required URL location will vary depending on where and how the image is stored. Hover over the tip (the question mark next to the video source) for help:

Once you have determined that you have the correct URL to the video source, copy and paste it into the source input. Then click the gear symbol to verify that you have provided the correct URL, and to generate a thumbnail:

You will see the check mark appear if the URL is correct:

Add a name and caption for the video in the Information tab, and place the tour point on the map in the Location tab. You can change the color if you like to highlight where videos are on the tour. When finished, click Add tour point:

Step 3: Make any additional changes and save your tour
You can change the location of the video on your tour, and make other changes as desired. Below we’ve clicked Organize and dragged and dropped the video to place it at the third stop on our tour:

When finished save your map tour.

Step 4: View your map tour

You’ve now successfully added a video to your map tour. You can open the tour and play the video when the newly added tour stop is reached. You can play the video in the panel, or click to view the video in fullscreen mode:

For best results when adding videos to your Story Map Tour, use the default three-panel layout. Using that layout the caption entered for the video is displayed underneath the video. Using the integrated layout, the caption will partially overlap the video.

For more information

For more information see

This post was originally published on August 12, 2015, and has been updated.

This entry was posted in ArcGIS Online, Story Maps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply


  1. anjiko says:

    Hi Bern – for some reason I am not seeing the option to toggle between adding a photo and adding an image in my web builder when I click on the ADD function. The Media tab simply shows a dotted box with “drop photo here” and says to check the Help guidelines for adding video. I’ve run through those instructions as well (to no avail) and am perplexed! Any guidance you can offer is much appreciated!

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Is it possible you are using the on-premises version of ArcGIS Online – ArcGIS Portal? If so you’ll be a release or so behind with some of the application templates, including story map templates. When using the public cloud version updates happen immediately, but if you are using the installed Portal on your own infrastructure, updates happen incremental with new releases of Portal.

      • sedano says:

        Hi Bern, I am leading a class at USC using ArcGIS Online to make story maps. I have a group of students that have the same problem described in this question from January. The Add button in the Tour builder only lets them drag and drop an image. Also, their Import button is greyed out. No other students in the class are experiencing this. Do you have any suggestions? We are accessing ArcGIS online with an institutional account.

        Thanks so much,

        • Bern Szukalski says:

          Sorry to hear you are having some troubles… I just authored a new Story Map Tour, added photos from my Flickr account, then added a video. I saved, then went back and opened the Map Tour in builder mode. I was able to move any of the photos, and also the video location. I was also able to use Import to add more photos, and also added more videos. Send me an email so we can connect so we can connect so I can understand more about what you are experiencing, and why –

  2. jkauffman@deldot says:

    I am having a similar problem. The button you refer to is simply not there.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Just looked again. Added pics from Flickr, plus a video from YouTube. Then saved, and closed the builder. Opened the story map again, went to builder mode, and both the Picture and Video buttons are available. I exercised all the options and the Video button is always there. The ONLY time the video button will not show up is if you choose to upload your images into your ArcGIS account. Behind the scenes this creates a feature layer, and the photos you drag and drop will be resized for optimal display as thumbnail and in the tour stop and saved as attachments to the feature layer. The video button is NOT available if you use this option, since videos cannot be stored as attachments in a feature layer. If you are using something other than storing in ArcGIS online, and still have issues, send me your steps to repro via email to:

  3. timeline says:

    Hi Bern
    I am having issues with video on a mobile device. The video boxes (mainly black area) go beyond the phone screen vertically. I can initially play a video but then the pause/play button is unavailable no mater where I click on the screen. The left and right arrows do not appear either.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Need details on the video you are trying to use, or a link, and what kind of mobile device. I just ran a test to do a reality check on my iPad and iPhone and no issues in portrait or landscape mode on either using YouTube video.

  4. says:

    I have created a story map for my first graders to experience the town. This story map contains 7 YouTube videos that are located in a playlist. I have added the videos as individual points in the story map, but at the end of each video recommended videos are appearing when the video come to an end. How can I prevent this from happening? I tried adding the following code to the end of the video ?rel=0, but that is not working – I am grabbing the URL from the URL address bar. Thank you.

  5. jacl.settelmaier says:

    I’m trying to use the option to Import a CSV file to populate my MapTour. It’s mostly working fine, but the specific nuance I’m encountering is when trying to import a .mp4 file, with the is_video attribute, and adding @isVideo to the picURL.

    I tested the youTube files from the sample CSV and they work fine, but I think it’s the .mp4 format that won’t import. Is this a limitation of not using 3rd party hosted video?

    I can manually add the mp4 video later manually in the webmap, but then it doesn’t hold a lat/lon pair, AND I’d prefer to periodically “feed” my MapTour with a CSV. Perhaps I need to further explore housing my CSV content into a hosted Feature layer that contains all the same info that I can more readily edit. If I Save Layer my Map Tour Layer, will I be able to create a Feature Layer I can maintain?

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      It seems it is the MP4 video format that is an issue, and it seems to be a current limitation of not using YouTube. You can always manually make edits in the Map Tour builder, and while not as elegant, if you’re not doing frequent updates, or don’t have a lot of tour stops, then perhaps not such a big deal. Map Tour is one of the original story maps, and is slated for an upcoming overhaul. In the meanwhile, I’d recommend just accepting it for what it is, and try a different workflow for maintaining the MP4 files. I am unsure about the feature layer workflow you suggest, and have not tried that…