Setting up wayfinding software for refugee camps

December 14, 2022

We have build many wayfinding solutions for hospitals. Hospitals have more options than refugee camps. Refugee camps are usually underfunded and over-crowded. This creates new set of challenges completely different to hospitals. Navigating refugee camps with 3D Wayfinder software is easy and avaible for everyone who have smartphone. Read more about wayfinding software for refugee camps.

First you can not set up self-service touch kiosks in refugee camp. Because it is expensive and easy to vandalize. Traditional maps can be confusing and difficult to position yourself there. Our team has discussed this a lot. Especially now, when we have crisis in Ukraine. More than 3 million people have escaped Ukraine mainly through Poland.

Luckily smartphone prices have gone down in last 5 years and are wildly used even rural conflict areas. It is not uncommon to see at least one refugee family member with smartphone. This one piece of technology is what we can use to refugee advantage in these large camps.

Navigating refugee camps with 3D Wayfinder software is easy and avaible for everyone who have smartphone.
The picture illustrates a large refugee camp

3D Wayfinder software is HTML-based so any smart device is more than enough to use it. We have developed easy to use QR code based solution to position your self inside the camps and our software guides you to needed destination. QR is cheap and if there is no need for investments on touch screens/self-servicing kiosks it will bring price down significantly for organizations that manage these refugee camps.

QR-code based wayfinding software for refugee camps

The idea itself is simple, organizations provide refugees on camps with Wifi or 4G through local telecom service providers. Tents are given code/name and provided with QR code stickers. Refugee scans it to open software and automatically positioning them self. Then selecting via search or from list the tents code/name and get live direction to their destination. Vital location are highlighted for quick selecting in software. If they still get lost they can scan near by tents QR code and get new direction from there. We can provide 2D maps of the area and tents through aerial photos. It reduces the human labor to map the camp on site. This solutions is still under development and all ideas to improve it are warmly welcome!

We have developed easy to use QR code based solution to position your self inside the refugee camps and our software guides you to needed destination. Navigating with 3D Wayfinder software in refugee camps is easy.
Syrian refugee camp.

Let us build better future for us in cities and for people who are forced to be refugees!

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3D Wayfinding solution for airports

March 13, 2019

Airports are often places that many people do not visit very often and therefore they can be difficult to navigate. Finding the right gate in the right terminal is something that can cause a lot of stress under the time pressure and unknown venue. Luckily there are wayfinding solution for airports. Also we have installed our software in many airports across the globe what make navigating easier.

Integrating different features into Wayfinding system is made easy thanks to the open platform. One solution that could help airport visitors is a Wayfinding solution that directs user to the right gate after scanning the boarding pass. Also integrating barcode reader to Wayfinding will make user experience better and can help show innovativeness of the venue.

Lately, we were happy to offer our solution to one of the biggest airports in Indonesia. Our local partners helped them to set up the whole system. It is also based on enterprise license server solution which offers them a possibility to host solution in their own server. Also they wanted to include boarding pass barcode scanning feature. They want to give their visitors an easy and quick way to find their desired gate.

Indoor positioning is the right solution for airports. We believe that guiding people with the help of 3D Wayfinder software will make using the airport more convenient. User comfort and satisfied guests should be the goal of every airport. We hope you had the idea to contact us for wayfinding solution for airports.

3D wayfinder software in airports. 3D Wayfinder R&D AS has developed many solutions to airports!

3D Wayfinder has developed many solutions to airports. To get some more information about different integration possibilities contact us today and we are happy to give you a demonstration of our software. If you are interested of our wayfinding solution for airports then contact our sales department.

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On Screen Keyboard Open Sourced

January 25, 2019

3D Wayfinder uses a in-house built JavaScript Keyboard for search input. A On Screen Keyboard (Keyboard later on) is used when there is no physical keyboard. For security and ease of use reasons we can’t use the Operating Systems builtin Keyboard.

3D Wayfinder in-house built JavaScript Keyboard for search input on screen.
Norwegian keyboard

Previously we used our own User Interface library to manage the state of our applications. But times have moved on and we are now using other more popular and powerful open source libraries like AngularJS and VueJS. We managed to use the old Keyboard also with these libraries. But it wasn’t very handy and meant that we had to import libraries that were not necessary for whole project (eg jQuery).

So we decided to get free of 3rd party libraries and make it easy to install via npm (nodejs package manager).

Our On Screen Keyboard is usable with any UI library that supports importing ES6 module formats. You can define Your own keyboard layouts and actions with a JSON layout file. So we can have any language that we ever need and also make also fully custom keyboards that only a number pad or have special buttons for custom actions. Also the Keyboard itself allows to switch the layout.

Check out the GitHub page.

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Using wayfinding software in retail stores

December 3, 2018

Wayfinding software could make visiting retail stores more pleasant. Getting lost in big shopping mall is something that most of us has experienced. Finding what you need might be especially tricky when you are in the shop for the first time and therefore it would be good if you have the mall layout always in your pocket. Our wayfinding software can make it possible! 

For retailers it is important to keep their costumers happy so that they will keep returning. Often they do it by advertising sales, offering loyalty programs or organizing events in stores. We do believe that keeping costumers happy is very important and therefore have developed a solution that makes it easier for clients to find the products they need.

Needs of people are in a constant change and it is important to make shopping as efficient as possible. Finding what we need can be especially complicated in stores that we do not visit every day and are not familiar with the layout of the store. For example those can be a construction or interior design stores. Using wayfinding solutions in such places makes the visit more pleasant and invites the costumer to return.

Using wayfinding solutions based on iBeacons can quickly and precisely locate the costumers in store and help them find what they need. System can be used on mobile and using costumers live location show them the path to find a right shelf and wanted items location on there.

Screenshot 2018-11-29 at 15.27.40

Example how different product groups are visualized on 3D map.

Wayfinding software is useful when costumer doesn’t know where to look for a wanted item. That can be for example gourmet foods – some shops but them together with everything else when others have a separate section for them. It is possible to search for different product groups but also just for one specific item. That way can wayfinding solution benefit both the store and client.

For retail managers using wayfinding software is beneficial and easy. We can offer you different solutions to fit your business strategy. In case you need to change layout on the shelf then there is no reason to worry about that. Changing data in software is easy and anyone can do it without any special technological skills.

It is also possible to create shopping list prior entering malls and wayfinding software can help to create the efficient way to find the items that are on list in a logical order.

Main goal with our developed software is to benefit both the retailers and their clients. Contact us with your idea and we will offer you a solution to make your costumers experience even better!

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3D Wayfinder user manual is updated

September 28, 2017

Many things in our new administration panel work a little bit differently than they used to. If you need help to figure things out, check 3D Wayfinder user manual.

User Manual

We have updated all the topics and we add information when new features are added. You can find 3D Wayfinder user manual from our web page under “Docs” from main menu or you can use the direct link https://3dwayfinder.com/documentation/user-manual/

User manual for our previous administration panel is also still available, you can find it here: https://3dwayfinder.com/documentation/user-manual/#5

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New administration panel is up and working

September 7, 2017

It has taken some time and lots of effort but we have finally made it. New 3D Wayfinder administration panel is finally online and usable for all clients.

new admin

We have made many smaller and bigger improvements to make 3D Wayfinder administration panel  easier to use. Especially for new clients. For example the editor has been changed to make it more logical. All the materials have previews for better overview and managing of 2D maps is more convenient.

It should also be more comfortable for those who prefer to use our app on smartphones or tablets.

There are still some kinks to straighten out so if you notice something that isn’t working the way it is supposed to, let us know.

“Sign in” leads straight to new administration panel but if you prefer to use the old one, go to old.3dwayfinder.com or use the link at the bottom of the sign in page. 

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Choosing the Best Wayfinding Software

July 5, 2017

There are lots of different wayfinding software and it might be difficult to decide which solution to pick. We have used our experience and gathered some suggestions that will help you choose the best wayfinding application.

Over all the best wayfinding software application is always the one that adapts exactly to your specific needs. Having more options and can help to cater this.

Best Wayfinding software should be..

Wayfinding application should be easily integrated with other applications. One of the most common integration is showing social media content in wayfinding applications. As shopping malls and other public building usually have their news already on Twitter, they would like to include the news feed also in wayfinding.

path-top-down-view

Have a look at our wayfinding possibilities here.

You can choose to buy the product and do all the hosting and managing yourself. Or you can pay for this service. In that case make sure how much you can control the app once it’s up and running. Are you able to change the opening and closing times yourself? Can you add a new location and generate a path way? Or do you need to contact the company for every little change.

Look and feel customization is also something that should be provided. Choosing from existing templates is more cost effective than custom designs but even then it should be possible to change the basic things like the font, it’s size and colors.

Nowadays you can pretty much always choose between 2D or 3D maps. 3D maps are effective and showy on the screen, but it could be costly and time consuming if you want to change the location of the kiosk. The best wayfinding software should provide the option to use both.

3a

You should also check how accurate and detailed the maps are going to be. Although the best way to ensure accuracy is to provide correct data yourself.

Even if you want to use only information kiosks in the beginning, it never hurts to be prepared. If you choose the application that is also mobile friendly, it will save time and money in the future.

Indoor positioning and navigation

The indoor positioning and navigation ability is a must while using the wayfinder mobile app. Right now the iBeacon technology, that uses smartphone’s Bluetooth connection seems to be the most reliable one. Navigation system can also use WiFi networks but it is cost effective only in places like big malls, where every shop already has their own network.

nexus_5

When visitors are searching for something, targeted ads are most impactful. Customers can be attracted by giving out coupons, offering special deals, providing additional information. While nobody is using the information kiosk for wayfinding, the whole screen could be used to display ads.

And last but not least, the pricing. Make sure to find out beforehand what are you going to pay for. For example: will it cost more when you want to add another kiosk later?

There are some other questions you should ask:

Can you use the app online?

Is multiple language support provided?

Can the specific routes for disabled access be displayed?

Will the app collect user data for statistics?

To find the answers to these questions contact: info@3dwayfinder.com.

Have a nice summer,

3D Wayfinder Team

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Faster loading of 3D projects

April 25, 2017

We have changed the logic of initializing POI data in 3D Wayfinder. This gives up to 80% faster project initialization for medium and large projects. In very large projects, the increase is even larger – more than 90%.

After data is loaded from the API 3D Wayfinder system had to setup the 3D scene. That also included generating polygons and textures for each POI. These included a POI icon or the name of the POI on a billboard (facing the user all the time). POIs without icons needed to have the name displayed but the only way to display a text in 3D space is to generate or load a image. So we used a canvas element to draw these names. But this is a costly procedure. 

Now we create only these images that are flagged as “Always visible” at the start. So the startup time is a lot faster. Check the following comparison table. That gives faster loading of 3D projects. 

Project Before After Setup Gain Total Gain
Medium 765 ms 174 ms 77,25% 5.63%
Large 6563 ms 1039 ms 84,17% 11.52%
Very large 26710 ms 403 ms* 6627% 54.86%

* Project doesn’t have any “Always visible” POIs

Initialization time before and after change compared with medium and Large projects:

wayfinder_loading_speed_increased_grapgh

Initializing is only a part of the whole loading. Loading the data and 3D models from server is another component of the whole loading process, so the afterall loading process is better about 5-55% (with connection 20Mb/s).

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Showing multiple floors in path animation

March 20, 2017

New feature we have added for wayfinding applications is accordion style floors when using path animation. This means, that all floors will be visible on the screens when showing the path through multiple floors.

In 3D Wayfinder you will see all floors as they exist in real building, so they are just simplified 3D models of the real floor-plans. When switching between floors, new floors will drop into scene on top of the previous floors or fly away, if going downward with the path. All floors are exactly covering previous ones, so basically whole 3D building models are sliced by floors.

Now it is possible to keep the floor plans apart from each other, so you can see all floors at the same time. This is useful mainly for wayfinding, so it is easy to remember the whole route. But we will definitely develop this “accordion” mode further, so it can be used also in other applications. For example in BIM applications, it is possible to highlight objects in all floors at the same time. Or visualize the whole factory with multiple floors or create multi-layer metro station animations.

Animation_floor_animation_in_3D_wayfinder_optimize

Currently the distance between floors is configured under settings. In future we will add features for separating the floors by dragging the floor-buttons apart. This makes the browsing of 3D buildings much more flexible.

To use this accordion style path animation, go to Settings in Administration panel. Then find Path->3D->Leave a offset between floors. For example use 50 as an offset, and then see how it looks.

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3D Wayfinder development template is now available

January 11, 2017

A new template for development purposes has been published with simplified javascript API. Now it is even easier to get started with 3D Wayfinder and the integration of 3D maps into web applications.

We have published a special template for development purposes. It includes a 3D map with resize function, floor buttons, list of locations and groups etc. Also each part in template has a tooltip, where it is possible to see the javascript function which has been used for that specific section.

3D Wayfinder development template

In Addition with the template we are releasing a new SimpleWayfinderApi class that extends the existing Wayfinder class. You can find the SimpleWayfinderApi documentation here. To use the SimpleWayfinderApi in Your application embed with <script src=”//static.3dwayfinder.com/projects/shared/js/simpleWayfinderApi.js”></script >

It includes basic functions for getting floor, group and location data. Functions for getting specific objects (floor, group, location) to accept the object’s ID as a selector instead of using the object itself as a parameter.

The development template is a good way to start building your web-based 3D applications.
You can use this template by getting the embedded code from the template page. The template itself can be accessed via the administration panel at admin.3dwayfinder.com when selecting the view with template “DevTemplate”.

In addition to the new development template it is possible to test the new SimpleWayfinderAPI in a sandbox at CodePen.

Both the development template and simple wayfinder API will be updated with new features and functions regularly.

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