Story Map Shortlist places disappear from other tabs if items in the first tab list are deleted or moved during an edit session

Last Published: April 25, 2020


In a Story Map Shortlist app which contains multiple tabs, it is possible to lose data immediately after launching the Shortlist Builder, before clicking other tabs, under these conditions:

  • Deleting one or more places from the first tab. 
  • Moving one or more places from the first tab into other tabs

These actions may result in places in other tabs disappearing during the edit session. There is no notification provided indicating the places are no longer present.


This is a known issue.


If this bug occurs, do not click Save in the Shortlist Builder. Instead, close the browser window containing the Shortlist Builder without saving changes; places are preserved when the Shortlist is reopened. The next release of the Story Map Shortlist app (expected date: June 2017) includes a fix for this issue.

At the moment, there are no solutions to retrieve the disappeared places. However, the following workarounds help avoid this issue when editing in Shortlist Builder. If place(s) must be deleted from the first tab, or moved from the first tab in the Shortlist to one of the other tabs, follow the instructions below.

  1. Before making edits, click another tab (other than the first one) in the Shortlist.
  2. Return to the first tab.
  3. Make any edits, as needed.
  4. Confirm that other tabs still contain their places before clicking Save. Do not click Save if the tabs are empty.

In the Shortlist Builder, tabs show all places in the Shortlist, regardless of the current extent of the Shortlist map. This is the case in the Shortlist Builder, regardless of whether the tabs show all places or just places in the current extent, when it is viewed by other users. In summary, if a tab in the Shortlist Builder with defined places appears empty in the Shortlist Builder, it is happening because of this bug, and not because of the extent of the map view.

It is recommended to create a backup of the places in the Shortlist before making any edits. A Shortlist stores places in a layer in a web map, so a backup copy of the places in the shortlist can be made by saving a copy of the web map. If a new Shortlist is created without using an existing web map, the Shortlist Builder automatically creates a web map to store places, and gives it the same name as the Shortlist. If an existing web map is shared as a Shortlist, this web map is used to store the places unless the option to import existing point features from the web map into the Shortlist was selected. In this situation, the Shortlist creates a copy of the original web map and appends Shortlist Builder to its name.

To make a copy of the web map, follow the instructions below.

  1. Close the shortlist, if it is open in the builder.
  2. From the My Content menu in ArcGIS Online, open the web map used by the shortlist in the ArcGIS Online map viewer.
  3. Click Save As to make a copy of the web map.

If necessary, a Shortlist can be regenerated from this web map by following the steps to import the places it contains. As a general note, do not attempt to edit or change the layer named Shortlist layer in the web map, as this layer is used to store places. Editing this layer directly in the web map can cause further issues, including loss of data. The above issue does not apply if the shortlist was created using a web map containing point features with the 'as-is' workflow. When using the 'as-is' workflow, places are managed and edited directly in the web map, so no place editing takes place in the Shortlist Builder.

For more information, refer to the following Story Maps FAQ, Can I use existing point data as places in a Shortlist?

Article ID:000016017

  • ArcGIS Online

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