How to personalize your Crowdsource story even more

Story Map Crowdsource (beta) was just released and we’re already seeing some fun stories being created with it, such as this one that’s collecting selfies of people attending the 2016 Esri User Conference. Check out the gallery to see some other good Crowdsource stories.

We plan enhancements to Crowdsource to give you even more configuration options, but until then we wanted to share a little hack to change some things about the app that aren’t in the builder…yet.

Warning! this tip involves editing the JSON of your story and carries a risk that you will break your story if you are not careful. Unless you are comfortable with this process, it’s recommended that you only do this on a new story, not one where you’ve already started collecting photos.

Personalizing the contribution panel

We know many people will want to personalize the labels and text on the contribution panel, like you can see on this Crowdsource story we did for the National Parks Service.

Here are the standard (left) and customized (right) versions, side-by-side.

You can personalize any of the text you see in the contribution panel except the text on the two buttons at the bottom of the panel and the “Show terms and conditions” link (although you can alter the terms and conditions themselves, see below).

This is a great way to provide more direction to your audience regarding what you want them to contribute, and it also lets you create a Crowdsource story in a language other than English.


Ok, here’s what you need to do…

  1. Go to the ArcGIS Online Assistant and log in with your ArcGIS Online account.
  2. In the header, click I want to… View an item’s JSON.
  3. Find your Crowdsource story application item in the left side bar.
  4. Scroll down to the Data section in the right panel and click the pencil icon to start editing the JSON.
  5. Find the parameters you want to change (as described below) and edit them.
Be careful not to remove any quotes or commas or you will invalidate your JSON and break your story.

All changes should be made to the “contribute” section of the JSON:

  • To change the panel header, update the title attribute in the “contribute” section.
  • To change a field label, update the label attribute for whichever field(s) you want to change.
  • To change the placeholder text inside a text box, update the placeholder attribute for whichever field(s) text you want to change.
  • To alter the terms and conditions, update the termsAndConditions attribute.

Here’s the JSON you need to update to change the contribution panel title and terms and conditions.

Here’s the JSON you need to update to change the field labels and placeholder text for the Name, Location, and Description.