Mobile Wayfinder Maps for Maze

November 3, 2020

We have made a mobile-friendly web application for large corn maze. Application helps to navigate in the maze, but at same time it will not disappear the fun of finding the right path in maze. Continue reading to see, how that’s possible.

Our customer Port Farms is operating large corn maze in Pennsylvania, not far from Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The maze labyrinth will be updated every year and it is more than 500 feet in length and 300 feet wide.

We have created a web-based mobile application for Port Farms, with a map of the maze. When starting, the map tiles are not visible. At the entry point of each section, there is QR-code and by scanning the code a part of the maze map will open.

3D Wayfinder R&D AS custom made solution - corn maze map with partly open map tiles.
Maze mobile map application

It is similar to strategic computer games, where you cannot see the whole map, but just the part you have discovered. By using 3D Wayfinder geolocation API, the actual location is shown by a red dot.

You may ask, why do you need to provide the map in maze or labyrinth at all? One thing is to wonder around the maze and finally get your way out. Another thing is to explore (and in some way we may even say to “conquer”) the maze and discover it. Without needing paper and pen, you just scan the QR codes and open up the map. But it doesn’t mean that you will see the right way through. You still have to try and guess.

3D Wayfinder with similar tiled maps can be used in any other maze, labyrinth or theme park. By scanning the code or following the link, you can add information layers to the map and get the needed info at the right location.

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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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New features in 3D Wayfinder

January 15, 2016

With the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year there are many new features added to 3D Wayfinder. The goal of these changes was to add flexibility to customizing the behavior of the 3D map and wayfinding. Custom models for path, path types, POI options and many more.

In parallel with large customer projects, we have added many new features to 3D Wayfinder. Most of them were requested by our customers and we have added them as features/settings for all our users. Below are listed the most important ones.

Custom models for path visualizationcustom_path_models_wayfinding

It is now possible to choose your own custom models for path visualization. Path models can be different kind of arrows, footprints or simple tubes/lines. Changing path visualization models can be done under settings.

In near future we’ll add some sample path models also to our blog.

Path types and accessibility paths

It is now possible to add different kind of inaccessibility attributes to the path . This can be used for defining paths  that are also accessible with wheelchairs and/or baby strollers. This also enables defining other kinds of areas, like paths for service personnel etc.

Currently it has to be entered to the node attributes in json object format:

{

“inaccessibility”: [

 “wheelchair”

]

}

wheelchair_wayfinding_inaccessibility_Path_types_and_accessibility_paths

The nodes with these kind of restrictions cannot be used for path finding with “wheelchair” option. It is useful to set these restrictions for stairs or doors.

To use the inaccessibility in user interface, you have to change the accessibility option first:

this.wayfinder.accessibility = “wheelchair”;

Then it is possible to use the same show path method:

this.wayfinder.showPath(poi.node, poi);

And after showing path, just change the accessibility option back to blank:

this.wayfinder.accessibility = “”;

Also check out our blog post about how to set up time dependent navigation rules.

POI specific options

Advanced_POI_settings_specific_options

It is now possible to create special settings for each POI (location). These settings can be chosen from the list of all POI settings, like the size of the billboard image or billboard text size, highlight color, activation radius, billboard height etc.

This feature allows to customize the map by locations, for examples larger shops can have larger texts or text colors can be set by each shop. Also it makes easier to use logos or icons on the map, as the billboard images don’t have to be the same size anymore.

In the future it is possible to add new settings that can be used when developing your own template.

Top-down view for Path showing

path-top-down-view-for-path-showing

Now there is a simple option under settings to turn the map to top-down view when showing the path.

In general it is not a good idea to show the “You are here” location from top-down view, but rather  from certain angle (especially when it is possible with real 3D models as in 3D Wayfinder), which provides a better overview of the map and also makes the map look better.

Now when using the same angle, as displaying the “You are here” location, and visualizing the path, it may happen that the visualized path might not be visible. This is due to tall objects like walls that might block the view of the path. Using the top-down view during path visualization solves this problem.

Pause options between changing floors

According to valuable customer feedback, the transition of switching floors happens too quickly , which might be a bit confusing for the end-users. We solved this issue by adding the “pause-time” option to the settings. With this option it is possible to adjust the duration of the pause before switching to the next floor. The pause duration can be defined in seconds,  which makes it easiest to find  the proper delay that helps  all wayfinder users to understand, which floor they have to go to.

Kiosk view enhancements

In addition to being able to save the view angle, it is now possible to save the zoom factor for “kiosk view”. By clicking the “You are here” button, the map assumes the “kiosk view” saved in the editor.

In the future we will add this view option as a separate object so the view can be linked with any location or node.

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