If a story map is created that is accessible for everyone, the concerning web maps with my layers have to be published/shared with everyone before.

Doesn't this mean that the maps, layers, etc. also can be used by the whole ArcGIS online community for their web maps?

The reason why I ask is, that I would like to create a story map and provide access for everyone, but I do not want my data, which has been a huge effort to capture, to be used by everyone.

2 Answers 2


There are a number of ways to limit access to your maps and data when using storymaps. The first is to limit access to your layers. There is some good documentation on this available here. This means that you can make your data public, but limit it's use to your specific organisation, or specific apps.

You can also create views of your data if you want to limit what features and attributes can be seen publically. See this blog post for the latest additions to this feature.

Finally, you can then disable the Save As option within your webmaps. All in all, your maps and data are pretty safe and secure!

There is also another option to secure your data even more. If you do not need popups, and the data is unlikely to change, then you could publish the data as a tile layer. Tile layers can be published directly from ArcGIS Pro/ArcMap/ArcGIS Online - see documentation here. The benefits of this are that the data is returned as images as opposed to JSON (i.e. text) so is more difficult to intercept and copy.


This seems to be covered in the Story Maps Frequently Asked Questions:

As part of ArcGIS Online, Story Maps use the standard ArcGIS Online security and sharing model. When you author a story map, you decide when you are ready to share it so that other people can start viewing it, and you can choose how you want it be shared.

  • This does not answer my question. As is listed in the FAQs, when the story map should be accessible by everyone, it means that all used web maps and layers have to be shared before. And that's my question, if I share these web maps and layers, if they can be found within the ArcGIS Online layer search and then used
    – the_chimp
    Mar 8, 2017 at 14:09
  • My understanding is that the "standard ArcGIS Online security and sharing model" used in ArcGIS Online for Organizations enables you to share to less than everyone via groups.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 8, 2017 at 14:19
  • But I do need to share the storymap to everyone via the web. This seems not to be possible without sharing the raw data via ArcGIS online with everyone too.
    – the_chimp
    Mar 8, 2017 at 14:27
  • I think it would be helpful if you could revise your question with quotes from and links to the documentation that you are reading, and preferably include some results of your own testing.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 8, 2017 at 21:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.