Wayfinding for Transportation Hubs

April 13, 2020

Airports, harbors, railway stations and other junctions can be massive facilities. For example, the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo is one of the busiest in the world and services a million (!) people daily. The large number of commuters, staff, supplementary businesses and the train traffic itself need to be organized efficiently. This is the reason why wayfinding for transportation hubs should be considered.

3D Wayfinding R&S AS build and develops software for transportation hubs!
World Trade Centre Station

Comprehensive venue management systems and wayfinding for transportation hubs

Finding your way in a crowded unfamiliar place under time pressure can be a stressful experience for anyone. Having an intuitive 3D model of a transportation hub online helps people preplan their movements and also reduces the need for staff. But 3D Wayfinder solutions are so much more than just pointing people in the right direction. There are nearly endless ways to integrate the needs and functions of a a facility into our systems.

Making life easier for travelers

The kiosk solutions are an excellent example of that. Kiosks can be used to print tickets or identification cards. In the Sepinggan International Airport we created a solution that allows people to scan the barcode on their ticket and get directions exactly to the gate they need. Furthermore, it’s possible to create an integrated solution that guides travelers beyond the transportation hub. Showing relevant public transportation schedules, taxi contacts and their fares or even weather forecasts.

Untapped business potential

Implementing 3DWayfinder solutions also means opportunities for all the businesses involved with the venue. You can have local sales and special offers for the cafes, stores and restaurants. A flight is delayed? Why not have a discount for those passengers in a nearby Starbucks! With the mobile app it is easy to notify people about these kinds of special offers. Also, the mobile app is useful for letting people know about delays or other important announcements.

Increasing the venue’s efficiency

Another important aspect to consider is the managerial opportunities. It is possible to remotely control things such as lighting, humidity and ventilation. Remotely locking or unlocking doors in times of emergencies could quite literally save lives. The kiosks, website and mobile app users also provide valuable information about how travelers move and which facilities are the most popular. These insights can help make the facility more customer friendly and efficient. This in turn will increase the venues popularity over time.

Wayfinding for transportation hubs is certainly a way to take your operations to a whole new level. There are always ways to improve and to automatize certain functions. Making finding your way in a busy terminal, and therefore increasing customer satisfaction, should be a priority for all transportation hubs. Combining this with increased business and streamlined operations will be a winning combination.

Get in touch with us to learn more!

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Latest updates on our CMS

August 27, 2019

For the past few months we have been working on making content management system better and more user-friendly. There is a constant work on fixing bugs and but with this blog post we are ready to introduce you a few updates that make using our CMS easier.

1. Adding a new POI directly from editor.

Before it was necessary to add every POI under “Locations” section but with our latest update it is possible to do it directly in the map editor. Just choose the desired POI, click on “Edit” and from section opening on the right just click “Create new”. Simple as that!

Entering a new location directly in map editor

2. Hiding/showing mesh

With some models it used to be quite a time-consuming work to get the nodes in their right positions. Sometimes node appeared on the mesh and therefore it was needed to move them downwards manually. With our latest updates it makes removing mesh easy and fast. Just select the mesh you would like hide and click on “Hide mesh”. No more manual work!

With our latest updates it makes removing mesh easy and fast. There is a constant work on fixing bugs and we are ready to introduce you a few updates that make using our content management system CMS easier.

3. Connecting nodes on different floors

It used to be complicated to connect nodes on different floors due to different possibilities of stairs, escalators, elevators etc. Luckily we have removed that problem and added a pop-up box when the user tries to take the path from one floor to another.

There will be some more updates coming soon! We will let you know more on that in our next blog post.

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3D Wayfinder had guests from Tartu Art school

October 2, 2017

Our office was really crowded last week when we had visitors from Tartu Art School. More than 20 people who have just started their studies to become 3D modellers.

uus

Tartu Art School is the only school in Estonia that teaches 3D modelling and visualization as a vocation. As a part of their curriculum the students visit different companies to see how their skills could be used in the future.

Since 3D models have such a big part in our work, it is also important for us to introduce our company to potential future employees or users of our app.

photo_2017-10-02_11-59-01 visitors

So we talked about what we do and how we do it and how students could use our product. 3D Wayfinder is currently used for mostly way-finding applications. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be used in variety of cases. It’s also perfect for presenting architectural models or – why not – make a virtual art gallery.

It is interesting and useful for us to see what kind of applications the students can find for 3D Wayfinder. So we can make it more flexible and beneficial for a wider range of customers.

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Creating BIM Applications with 3D Wayfinder

June 15, 2017

3D Wayfinder is now being used for Building Information Model (BIM) applications. By creating BIM kiosk software for Estonian National Museum we have added many new and useful features to our software and improved the performance for larger models.

Estonian State Real Estate Ltd ordered Building Information Model solution from us for recently opened Estonian National Museum. Now the visitors can easily explore the 3D model of the whole construction. Also they get the overview of the building by all the details.

erm2016

What is BIM applications?

BIM model is a digital equivalent of the building. It can contain everything from doors to electric fixtures. Although BIM applications technology and methodology is more common in the design of the building. It has large potential benefits for buildings management and maintenance phase.

Estonian National Museum’s new building is meant both for exhibitions and scientific work with net area of 33 879 square meters. We received a model of a building made with Revit, Autodesk software for BIM. It contained highly detailed information – e.g. all the pipes – so it needed a lots of simplifying.

erm_wayfinder_BIM

After the adaptations we still had a huge file with close to 12 000 separate elements. It is the largest model we have had in 3D Wayfinder. It was also the reason why we changed the logic of initializing POI data to make the loading of large objects faster.

Table view for all objects in BIM model was done by using Spreadcell. Spreadcell has easy upload from MS Excel files and it provides table-view, sorting etc by webservices (in JSON format). All the objects are divided into separate groups so the final user can choose what do they want to see, hide or find.

ERM_wayfinder_BIM

Kiosk design

We also built and designed the kiosk from scratch. Since most of the modern kiosk hardware is only enough for showing advertisements or 2D wayfinding plans. The kiosk is equipped with a landscape LCD screen, a touch panel and a dedicated graphics card. It makes kiosk suitable for applications that require greater graphical computing capabilities.

ERM_BIM_kiosk

3D Wayfinder application helps to make BIM useful for those who have no access to specific softwares themselves. For example we can integrate BIM with different management softwares. Also add the ability to write comments. In this way we make it easier for different parties to collaborate on centrally shared model.

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Separating materials from geometry

June 7, 2016

Until now all the materials in 3D Wayfinder have been replaced with each 3D model update. Now it is possible to keep the materials and their attributes’ values. This will save a lot of time, when creating a nice-looking 3D wayfinding application. See how to separating materials from geometry.

Separating_materials_from_geometry_in_3D_Wayfinder_software

We have added a small feature to our 3D model converter. That enables to replace the 3D models without overwriting the materials. This means, that all the changes that were made in 3D Wayfinder for the purpose of tuning materials, are not lost when replacing 3D models. See it in user manual.

3D modelling software packages are different and the way 3D models are exported also varies. In most cases you need to change the color of the materials (diffuse and ambient color). After the creation of the model to get good looking 3D floor plans. We are now supporting specular shader, transparency etc. that might not come directly from the converted models. All these material attributes can be changed in 3D Wayfinder, but these values were replaced each time the geometry was updated. Now there is the option to keep the materials and their values, when replacing the 3D model.

At the same time we have added ambient attributes to each material when uploading the 3D model for the first time or when replacing the model. So there is no need to enter the “ambient” attribute anymore, just change the color.

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Preview of inserting external 3D models to floor plans

June 17, 2015

Currently we are developing features to insert external 3D models to floor plans. With this it would be possible to add these “little details” (like escalators, benches, trees or even cars). That make the floor-plans look realistic. The best thing is, that it doesn’t require any 3D modelling skills. So all our users can detail the floor plans by themselves.

3D object library can be opened in Editor window with object thumbnails:

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_from_library_to_add_3D_models_to_floor_plans

Added objects appear on the 3D scene. The good part here is, that the same model can be used inside the scene many times. Therefore it doesn’t increase the downloadable model sizes as each model will be loaded only once.

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_to_scene

3D models to floor plans can be resized and moved inside the 3D Wayfinder.

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_rotate

With external 3D models. We will definitely provide common library of models we are using to detail the floor plans. For example these will include trees, cars, different indoor plants, escalators, tables, stairs and so on. See our user manual.

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