How do I copy a Story Map from one organization (or portal) to another?

This article covers a topic related to the classic Esri Story Maps templates. Story authors are encouraged to use the current-generation ArcGIS StoryMaps to create stories. However, Esri will continue to maintain the classic templates for your use. For more information, see the product road map.

I’ve been asked the question in the title of this article many times, usually when someone has a trial ArcGIS Online subscription or public ArcGIS account and now has established a paid subscription. It also might come up if you have a staging instance of Portal for ArcGIS and are migrating to a production Portal.

Overview and Gentle Warning

This process involves copying your Story Map apps and component web maps from the old account to the new account. Copying these items causes them to get assigned new IDs, so the copied Story Map needs to be modified to replace the old IDs with the new IDs.

You’ll be using a free, unsupported tool called ArcGIS Online Assistant to help with the copying and editing. The process doesn’t involve editing any of your existing Story Maps or web maps (you’ll only edit copies), so there is little risk in corrupting anything, but it’s a good idea to exercise caution when using any unsupported tool.

If you are uncomfortable with editing JSON there is also a nice (paid) tool on the ArcGIS Marketplace that can help you avoid having to use the process below. It’s the Admin Tools for ArcGIS (Pro) from GeoJobe, and it makes copying story maps and their components (as well as many other admin tasks) much easier and more friendly if you don’t want to edit JSON.

If your Story Map has hosted services there are a few additional steps you’ll need to go through, so be sure to see the section dealing with that at the end of this post.

If you uploaded images into your story in builder, those images are not copied over when you copy the story item. You’ll need to re-upload the images in the new story

Step 1: Take inventory of your original story’s web maps

You’ll need to create a reference table to keep track of your old and new web map IDs. You can find the web map IDs in a variety of ways, but one way is described below:

Search for “webmap” in the Story Map web mapping application item’s JSON and record each id in your reference table in the Old ID column.

Step 2: Copy all maps and apps

While still logged into ArcGIS Online Assistant with your old account choose I want to…Copy Content. Log into your new account when prompted.

If you are trying to accept a story map from someone with a public account or an account in another organization you may need to create a temporary account in your organization for them to copy the story map to. Whoever uses the Assistant to copy the items will need account credentials for the old and new accounts.

Copy all web apps and web maps into the new account by dragging them from the left column to the right column. Before you do this step you might want to create folders in your new account so that you can keep the migrated Story Map organized and separated from any existing content in the new account.

Copy web maps and web application items for your Story Maps by dragging them from the left column to the right column.

At this point you are done using the old account, so log out of the ArcGIS Online Assistant.

Step 3: Update web map IDs in copied Story Maps

When web maps are copied to a new organization or portal they are given a new web map ID. You need to find the new IDs and record them in your table so you can repoint the copied Story Map to the copied web maps.

Record the id from the Description section for each web map.

Now your table of matching Old and New web map IDs should be complete and you can swap in the new ones for the old ones.

Edit the JSON in the Data section of your Story Map web mapping application item.

What if my Story Map contains hosted services?

There’s a beta version of the ArcGIS Online Assistant that will copy hosted services. You can try it, but it isn’t thoroughly tested yet. If it doesn’t work you’ll need to republish your hosted services in your new account and then use the same procedure you used above to edit your apps’ JSON to point to the new web maps, but this time you’ll edit the web maps’ JSON to point to the new services.

Product Engineer on Esri's Story Maps Development Team.

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