Turning the map, based on the location of the kiosk

January 2, 2019

Lately we developed a wayfinding software for a newly renovated mall in Tartu, Estonia. The solution there is simple with just 2D map with no possibility to rotate or drag the maps on the screen. Users get to choose their point of interest on the menu and a route pops up on the map leading the way. In case the location is on another floor, the software simply switches around to show the route on the correct floor.

As 3D Wayfinder is a web-based application, then each kiosk is using web browser with kiosk specific URL for the wayfinding project. The URL specifies kiosk ID, so that wayfinding software can identify which kiosk is being used and count usage statistics. Also URL parameter can specify the rotation of 2D map.

How it´s work?

To make it easier how it works we bring you an example of changing the URL:

1)Let’s say that you have a kiosk with ID number 1. Normally the URL for that kiosk would look something like this: http://clients.3dwayfinder.com/NameOfYourProject/?kiosk=1#!/

2) To rotate that you just need to add “&map2DRotation=90#!” after the kiosk ID number. Here’s an example: http://clients.3dwayfinder.com/NameOfYourProject/?kiosk=1&map2DRotation=90#!/

Here is an example of how the map looks on the kiosk inside the main entrance:

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 13.55.53

The red “You Are Here” icons make the map universal. Below is an example of the same map being used next to another entrance, the picture is just simply turned toward the user of the kiosk and the “You Are Here” icon placed in front of that particular entrance. This additional solution makes the user experience a lot more straightforward.

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 13.41.09

It is also possible to use different kind of arrows for the ”You are here” icon. This way it is simple for the users to understand which way they are standing and how the kiosk is placed in the mall.

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Using widgets in wayfinding application

April 13, 2018

Wayfinding applications are not just maps with “You Are Here” dot anymore. There are many possible functionalities and widgets that our customers prefer to see on their wayfinding applications. 3D Wayfinders HTML-based user interface makes it really easy to add and use such widgets in wayfinding application.

As wayfinding kiosks are usually in visible places. Visitors would also like to find other kind of information than the building map and directory listing. Large shopping malls are usually accessible via intercity bus or metro stations. It is important to find the commuting schedules. Also in larger modern shopping malls. There are integrated cinemas, which would also like to show their programme.

Nowadays people have smartphones, that can show weather forecast and date beside the clock. But still one of the things our customers are asking for quite often. This is a clock integrated to the wayfinding application.

wayfinder widgets

We have created a NPM package ‘ng.clock’ for the widget. It can be found at https://www.npmjs.com/package/ng.clock. Demo of the clocks can be found here https://codepen.io/tonister/pen/qpyBgQ. This clock widget is made as an AngularJS 1.x Directive. The choice to use AngularJS is due to the fact that almost all our latest templates have been created using AngularJS.

3D Wayfinder user interface is created with HTML. It is easy to implement any widget or integrate bus or cinema schedules inside wayfinding application user interface. Although it might be good to mention that for some of these features the API licenses are not free. If they are free then they are very limited.

Thanks to HTML5 based layouts it is easy to integrate different kind of widgets in wayfinding application. For example exchange rates, events, news, weather forecasts, social media feeds, CAP alerts, time remaining till closing.

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New improvements for 2D floor plans

January 30, 2018

We have added a couple of improvements for 2D floor plans, that make uploading 2D floor plan images easier. We are also working on couple of new features. That will make using 2D maps much easier.

3D and 2D maps share the same data in 3D Wayfinder. This is for using 3D and 2D side by side.

As 2D maps will be shown in 3D Wayfinder editor as textures on a plain. There are couple of requirements that have to be filled, like texture shape and size.

2D floor plans

Now we have added automatic texture resizing. So 2D map images don’t need to be square-shaped anymore. The longest side should still be at least 1024 pixels, if its less, the map will be resized to this value.

We will also resize the map to the closest larger power of two when none of the sides is 1024, 2048 or 4096 pixels. The ratio between the sides will stay the same so the map image will not be distorted after resizing.

We require the longest side to be 1024 pixels. But if you want to have a large and good quality map, then uploading an image with 4096 pixel side is a way to go.

Shopping center 2D floor map.

2D floor plans are a good start for wayfinding solution since they often already exist, so no extra effort goes into creating a map.

Right now our system allows uploading only raster files like PNG or JPG. Soon we will add new feature which enables uploading vector files like SVG. This means that maps could be zoomed in as much as needed and areas can be made clickable automatically.

We are also working towards the goal that 2D and 3D maps wouldn’t need separate templates anymore. It can be specified in the settings if you want to use the map as 2D or 3D.

This means that in the future it will also be possible to use both maps at the same time. 2D in mobile and 3D in kiosks.

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Wayfinder with Digital Signage software

November 2, 2017

We have tested 3D Wayfinder integration with Digitalsignage.com software. Integrating wayfinding with digital signage media management gives additional purpose for advertising screens.

DigitalSignage.com is created by MediaSignage Inc. It is free digital signage software. Including signage player and media content management. Their software is used in over 200 countries. Since the first release, the software has been installed on hundreds of thousands of PCs.

DigitalSignage.com software is web-based. So it is really easy to use 3D Wayfinder as a part of the media player screen layout. Let’s say, that there are top and bottom advertisement banners on the portrait screen and wayfinding application is set-up on the middle of screen.

Wayfinder kiosk

Screensaver mode

More advanced integration is switching advertisements with wayfinding application. This is something, we call “screensaver mode” when creating layouts for 3D Wayfinder. With Digital Signage software the simple way is to switch between wayfinding and advertising screen. Digital signage itself lets you create switching timelines, channels and content. We do not go into that much. Because there are plenty of examples in their documentation.

More sophisticated way to change between 2D map and screensaver can accomplish with event and triggers. Under Digitalsignage.com documentation http://docs.digitalsignage.com/ look for remote values. It describes what should be include in your app to be able to send event to their server.

Two functions that are important in 3D Wayfinder events case are ‘onSessionStart’ and ‘onSessionEnd’. They both are used by our statistics module. But if you do not have any need for statistics then you could overwrite these functions.

With signage free version you can use our 2D map with ease. Just include HTML component into your campaign and add link to your project.

digital signage

From documentation we could find out that signage players HTML component does not support webgl. But according to docs we should be able to get out 3D maps working with Browser component and signage player should be working on windows machine. Browser component is available for enterprise users.

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Keeping floor plan editor idle in the background

August 1, 2017

The new 3D Wayfinder Administration Panel is centered more around the floor plan editor. To provide better usability we keep the 3D editor idle when moving away to other pages. So switching between editor and other views is much faster now.

The new Administration Panel has been publicly available for testing since the beginning of this year. At the end of the summer we will only support the new administration panel. Although the current administration environment will be available for some time.

Loading the 3D floor plan editor takes a couple of seconds because we need to load 3D floor-plans models and also additional editor tools. Now when the editor is always in the background. We do not need to load the 3D editor again. This makes the usage more faster and user friendly.

new 3D floorplan editor

Our new administrator panel is being built on Angularjs. To achieve loading of editor once we have created the service that holds the canvas element. It is also attached our editor API to it. Controller then adds canvas to the editor view and provides connection to API actions.

To see and test new Administration panel and floor plan editor, please log in here. If you don’t have an account with 3D Wayfinder, you can create it here for free.

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Wayfinding kiosk with Raspberry Pi

July 11, 2017

We have recently experimented with a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, to see how it can work as media player for digital signage display or wayfinding information kiosk. As a result we can say, it works well with 2D wayfinding maps and with 3D Wayfinder Advertisement Module.

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a small credit card sized linux based open source computer. It is equipped with:
– Broadcom 64-bit quad core CPU clocked @ 1.2 GHz,
– 1GB of RAM,
– built-in WLAN and BLE modules,
– HDMI output.

But everything is soldered to the board hence there is no option to upgrade, except for the microSD card. You can also have a nice box for it, so it doesn’t look like a hackers development board.

Raspberry Pi

Compared to other small form factor computers like Intel NUC or Gigabyte BRIX, it is much cheaper. Raspberry Pi with a nice case and microSD card would cost about 50..70 USD. The NUC or BRIX boxes start at 110..130 USD new, and you still need to equip them with a hard drive (SSD/HDD) and memory module(s) (DDR3/DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM) which would cost you about an extra 30 USD for a 32GB SSD and ~25 USD for DDR3 or ~30 USD for DDR4. Totalling up to about 165..190 USD.

Raspberry PI plays in Full HD, so it is not a problem to use large resolution screens.

Wayfinding with Raspberry Pi

Enable WebGL

For 3D the Raspberry is still a bit weak and by default it doesn’t have WebGL enabled. To enable WebGL you have to:
1. Open up the terminal application (or command prompt if you prefer to call it that)
2. run command sudo raspi-config
3. navigate to Advanced Options
4. enable GL support.

The GPU on the Raspberry PI 3 Model B doesn’t support floating point textures, so we cannot use transparent textures.

To build wayfinding or digital signage project based on Raspberry Pi you need to use a special linux distribution that opens a browser in full-screen mode instead of the regular desktop interface.

At the same time the kiosk based on Raspberry Pi is quite bullet-proof. There’s no need to worry about excessive power consumption as it actually only consumes about 3.7W under full load and only about 1.4W when playing a FullHD video, which is roughly 10% of the Intel NUCs ~38W while under full system load and ~18W while watching a FullHD video.

chart

It boots up fast from a microSD card which can be easily replaced when it wears out or breaks.

Although remote managing a kiosk that uses a Raspberry Pi can prove to be quite a cumbersome task as you cannot use regular GUI remote management tools like Teamviewer or LogMeIn. The fastest way to remote manage the Raspberry Pi is to use SSH, which is a CLI (Command Line Interface) and this might scare-off most of the users that are not used to poking around via a CLI.

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Request for a 3D Wayfinder demo

October 27, 2016

Our sales team can help You to find the best wayfinding solution for You or Your customer. We can help You with creating 3D floorplans, designing a custom template and integrating wayfinding with other software. Now you can request for a 3D Wayfinder demo. 

We have made getting to know our software and our projects even easier for you than before. You can now find the request for a 3D Wayfinder demo button on our homepage.

Exploring 3D Wayfinder with your own resources is the most common way of getting to know our software. But it is even simpler if you ask for a demo and can have an interactive conversation with our people to clear out all the details of your floor plans creation needs and wayfinder requirements.

We will show you the basics you need to get started and will answer all of your questions about the software. During the demo we can also discuss any custom solutions and requests you might have.

Request for a 3D Wayfinder demo

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Branding your wayfinder application

October 11, 2016

With 3D Wayfinder you can brand your wayfinding application just like it has been developed by yourself. It is possible to use custom loading bar and even get your own layout for administration panel.

We are using small watermark with 3D Wayfinder logo on 3D floor plans. But this only appears, when you are using free plan. As soon as you choose another plan, the watermark disappears.

Branding_your_wayfinder_application_using_enterprise_license

When using the Business plan it is possible to customize the loading bar of your wayfinder application.

brand_your_wayfinding_application_with_enterprise_license

With the Enterprise license it is even possible to change the branding of the Administration Panel. This way you can offer the 3D Wayfinder under your branding or integrate 3D Wayfinder inside your digital signage solution. For Enterprise licensing, please contact us.

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New 3D demonstration projects to get your 3D Wayfinder started

July 11, 2016

We have uploaded new demo projects into 3D Wayfinder. These new 3D demonstration projects with 3D visualized models allow our users to start checking out 3D Wayfinder. Without having to upload their own model or floor plans. You can start creating a new project instantly. You can look around in our demonstration data to learn how the 3D Wayfinder works.

The new models cover a variety of different kind of buildings and model qualities. You can see the modelling of Standard and Lite versions of shopping malls. In addition to a residential building and a hospital. This allows you to access our 3D architectural visuals with our Free user. You can see the different kind of structures and textures yourself. All these functions are available for use by registering with 3D Wayfinder.

New_3D_demonstration_projects_shopping_mall_and_hospital

You can also use the projects to take a look at the options of editing and creating your own paths into the 3D architecture. In the “editor” panel you are able to create and delete paths made out of nodes and direct people where you want them to. This will allow you to see how the software will look like in the wayfinding kiosk.

You just need to create an account and start discovering the possibilities of 3D Wayfinder.

Get a quote

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Towards rule-base wayfinding

September 25, 2015

Future in wayfinding includes definitely possibility to create complex rules for path finding. Now there are also node restrictions in 3D Wayfinder to specify working days etc.

One of the last addition to 3D Wayfinder was node weights for calculating optimal paths. This made possible to guide visitors in some recommended way. Now there is also possible to restrict some nodes based on time and day.node_restrictions_wayfinding_paths_by_date_and_time

In many public buildings, there are rules for locking doors, elevators or gates. There can be different areas open during working hours than weekends or night times. This is common for shopping malls, train stations, university campuses etc. Even large office buildings are keeping some doors open during the weekends as there might be service providers like dentists, children playrooms etc. When providing wayfinding to your visitors, it is important to follow the same rules.

With 3D Wayfinder, it is possible now to create path restrictions according to work-day and time. To create this kind of restrictions, just open node attributes under editor.
Under Node attributes in 3D Wayfinder Editor, there can be entered JSON. In future we will provide also special UI for that.

Here is the example that will allow to pass the navigation node from 10AM to wayfinding_paths_restriction_node_attributes9PM:

{
“allowedTimes”: [
[
10,
21
]
]
}

Adding other blocks, you can also specify by days.

We are currently developing also other rule types, like security or accessibility. These rules help to create adaptable and user-friendly way-finding applications which are useful and finally elementary for large buildings.

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