Using 3D web scenes in Story Maps

A scene allows you to visualize and analyze geographic information in an interactive 3D environment. Using ArcGIS Pro you can author and publish scenes. Scenes can also be authored and viewed using the scene viewer, a built-in ArcGIS Online application.

A scene may make an interesting addition to your Story Map, or it may even be essential to telling your story completely. Shown below is Mountains of Fire, a Story Map Journal that includes scenes.

Scenes can be added to your story map using the scene viewer, here’s how.

Using the scene viewer in Story Maps

Scenes can be viewed using the scene viewer in desktop web browsers that support WebGL. Note that scenes are not currently supported on mobile devices, and subsequently web scenes in story maps used on mobile devices are not supported. For more information see Scene viewer requirements.

When using the scene viewer, a complete set of tools is available to select basemaps, control the environment, toggle layers, search, and if logged in, edit and modify the scene. The scene viewer also includes UI options to navigate within your organization.

In the context of a story map these tools and UI elements are not needed, or desirable. They can be omitted by minimizing the scene viewer UI, a strongly recommended best practice whenever displaying scenes using the scene viewer in story maps. Using this technique you can add any web scene to a story map using the scene viewer URL.

Adding scenes to Story Map Journal

Story Map Journal is ideal when you want to combine narrative text with maps and other embedded content. A Map Journal contains entries, or sections, that users scroll through. Each section in a Map Journal is composed of a primary viewing area, or Main Stage, plus a side panel that can include text and other media.

To add a scene to the Main Stage of your Story Map Journal, open the scene viewer using the minimized UI described above, then follow these steps:

1. In Main Stage Content choose Web page.

2. Under Webpage URL, paste the scene viewer URL with minimized UI.

3. Click Configure.

4. To ensure the scene fills the entire Main Stage, choose Fill (the default) as the position.

5. Uncheck Unload when reader navigates away. Unchecking this option ensures the scene does not have to reload if the section is visited again. This is optional, but highly recommended.

6. Click Next to continue authoring your Story Map Journal.

Adding scenes to Story Map Series

Story Map Series lets you present a series of maps and media via tabs, numbered bullets, or a side accordion. To add a scene to your Story Map Series, choose the desired layout option, then follow these steps. Note that these steps are very similar to what is used for the Map Journal.

1. Depending on the Story Map Series layout you’ve chosen, you will be adding a tab, bullet, or entry.  In Content choose Web page.

2. Under Webpage URL, paste the scene viewer URL with minimized UI.

3. Click Configure.

4. Choose Fill as the position (the default).

5. Uncheck Unload when reader navigates away. Unchecking this option ensures the scene does not have to reload if the section is visited again. This is optional, but highly recommended.

6. Click Add to continue authoring your Story Map Series.

Adding scenes to Story Map Cascade

(Story Map Cascade is currently in beta, and the steps outlined below are subject to change.)

Story Map Cascade is composed of sections containing narrative text and media, such as images, web map and web scenes, videos, or other web content. Sections can be sequential or immersive, and scenes can be used in both types of sections.

To add a web scene to a Cascade section, follow these steps:

1. Click Add Media

2. Choose ArcGIS

3. Click the globe icon to filter for scenes.

4. Click the scene you want to add.

5. Click the gear for additional options you can apply to the scene.

For more information:

This post was originally published on March 20, 2015, and has been udpated.

This entry was posted in 3D GIS, ArcGIS Online, Story Maps and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

9 Comments

  1. varvara_t says:

    Hi,
    thank you for a useful article, it helped me a lot while creating my 3d story map.
    The only thing I couldn’t figure out – how can I point out the default location, like for web maps?

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but I assume the default location is the default saved extent/tilt for the scene? If so, when you mouse over the scene with the minimized UI on the main stage, you will a few controls appear including the Home button which will return you to the default for the scene.

      • varvara_t says:

        Sorry for poor explanation, I’m afraid that’s not the exact problem I was talking about. When I add a new section I am to choose content for Main stage. If I point “Map”, I can also indicate Location, Content, Popup etc. For 3d scene I am to choose “Web page”, and there I have no settings. So how can I tune the default view for this page of the Map journal, for example, mount Everest?

  2. csloan93 says:

    This article has immensely helped me in creating the 3D story map that I have had envisioned. There are a couple of things that I would like to do that I am not able to right now, and maybe I am just overlooking some simple things that would allow me to do these things. First I would like to know how to incorporate different views within the web scene (such as moving from one place to another with different tabs on the story journal). This can be done using the maps, but since the web scene is an embedded URL, there are very limited options as for as setting the extent goes. Also, is there a way to not completely limit the UI, but only partially limit it? I would like to keep the tools on the side of the screen (layers, environment, etc.) but I would like to get rid of the login ribbon at the top of the screen that allows navigation away from the content. The full UI gives me the tools but also the ribbon on the top of the page, and the min UI gives me neither. I would like to know if there is a way to filter out some but not all of the UI based on certain criteria.

    Thanks,
    Cameron

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      The scene viewer is new, and still evolving. And configurable apps that support 3D have not yet arrived. As those evolve, they will provide better solutions to your needs. But in the meanwhile…

      > First I would like to know how to incorporate different views within the web scene (such as moving from one place to another with different tabs on the story journal)

      Not possible now, but you can use slides in your scene (which appear when you mouse over even when the UI is minimized) to “bookmark” places you want to go. The web scene URL will take a an inline parameter that moves your seen to a particular slide. See this post:
      http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2015/07/17/using-3d-web-scenes-in-story-maps-redux/

      > I would like to keep the tools on the side of the screen (layers, environment, etc.) but I would like to get rid of the login ribbon at the top of the screen that allows navigation away from the content.

      I can’t think of a way to accomplish this now, but as 3D capable configurable apps are introduced you will be able to get rid of the login and control other parts of the UX.

      • csloan93 says:

        Thank you for your help! The slide tip worked perfectly for what I need it for. I will keep my eyes peeled for any further updates/expansions.

      • xzhang_dewberry says:

        It would be nice to beable to pass map extent to Webscene viewer URL like on webmap viewer, We have 2D and 3D maps side by side. We like to pass current map extent from 2D map to 3D webscene viewer to same extent.
        Thanks

  3. whsgis says:

    Is it possible to use scenes in other story map templates? If so, which ones? Thanks

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Yes, absolutely. Any Story Map that you can add a web page via a URL will support adding scenes. That included Story Map Journal, Story Map Series, even Story Map Tour. For the later, add a video under “other.”