Adding links to sections in Story Map Journal

Story Map Journal is one of the more popular Story Map apps, ideal for creating multimedia stories that combine text, maps, images, and video. It’s a good choice when you have lots of text or a rich array of content.

Using Story Actions you can create links from text in the side or floating panel that will jump to a specific section. This can be useful if you want to create a table of contents, or otherwise want to provide the ability to quickly navigate to a specific section. Here’s how you can use story actions to create links to sections in your Map Journal.

About Map Journal Sections

A Map Journal is organized into sections, beginning with the home section and continuing in order until the end of the Journal. The Home section is the first section, and additional sections are numbered in sequence.

You can use section numbers to open a Map Journal at specific section by adding &section=<number> at the end of the Map Journal URL, where <number> is the desired section number. For example, the following URL opens Mountains of Fire at the fifth section (note the addition of &section=5):

Adding section links using Story Actions

Story Actions are links you can add to your narrative to design how readers experience your story. For example, if your story mentions Chicago you can make the word “Chicago” a link that will zoom the map to Chicago, or change the Main Stage content to display a photo of the city.

You can also create a link that jumps to another section of the story. For example, if Section 3 of your Map Journal includes a map and narrative about Chicago, you can create a link that jumps directly to Section 3 in your story.

Example: A Table of Contents

The following example uses a Story Map Journal to describe America’s five largest cities. The Home section is an introduction, and each of the five cities is described using a unique section that includes a map and narrative describing each of them.

Story actions were used to add section links that create a table of contents in the Home section; Click any of the listed cities to jump to the section that describes it in more detail.

How to add section links

Follow these steps to add section links using story actions.

Step 1: Author your Map Journal with the desired sections. It’s a good idea to Save at this point. You must have the sections already created in order to add story action links that jump to them.

Step 2: In edit mode, select the text you want to use as the link in the side or floating panel.

Step 3: Click the Navigate button in Story Actions.

Step 4: Choose the desired section from the dropdown list.

Step 5: Click Apply to save your story action link.

Repeat the above steps as desired. In our example we also added a Home link in each section which jumps back to the Home section.

For more information

For more information, see the following:

This post was originally published on June 24, 2015, and has been updated.

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

Leave a Reply


  1. heguangm says:

    I assume you are on the story map team. I would like to contact you individually for some questions. How? May I have your email add?



  2. richm says:

    When people scroll down to the last section of my map journal, it jumps them to the ArcGIS Online account registration form. Is that how it is supposed to work?


  3. starlene says:

    wasnt there code somewhere to make these links also available as a button? I thought i saw an example somewhere to add buttons to story maps but I cannot find it anywhere…any suggestions? thanks

  4. jerryddavis says:

    Does anyone know how to create hyperlinks from the journal’s main map point features to associated journal sections? I guess what I’m trying to do is to combine the functionality of a tour with a journal.


  5. losandri says:

    Hi there,
    My links are all working, but they don’t navigate to the top of a section. Instead, they take you somewhere in the middle of the section.
    I would like the links to navigate on-click to the top of the sections so that the section heading is visible without having to scroll.

    Any suggestions?


  6. impulsmap says:

    Hi !
    I would like to custom the way “story actions” appear in the leaft panel.
    I don’t like the undelined dashed grey appearance.
    Is it possible ?
    Best regards,

  7. Jaa says:

    I can’t seem to be doing this with Portal 10.3. Is this feature not included in Portal 10.3?


    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Story Maps are updated automatically online, but when implementing an on-prem Portal for ArcGIS the story maps are delivered as part of the portal. Section links using Story Actions was not supported in the version of Map Journal that shipped with Portal 10.3.

      That capability is part of what ships with the new Enterprise 10.5, which includes what used to be separately known as ArcGIS Server and Portal for ArcGIS.