Portals in wayfinding software

May 25, 2016

We have implemented new type of nodes – portals. This makes it possible to guide visitors instantly from one point to another.

Portals in wayfinding software can be used for creating an instant path between a large number of floors or when floors are drawn on the same map as shown in the image below.

Portals_in_wayfinding_software

In the case where a building has a large number of floors the portal nodes become exceptionally useful they allow the path to “jump” instantly from one floor to another making the path visualization instant.
The portal nodes are useful in the case where there is a greater distance between locations where you don’t need to show the way. For example in the case when using a train or a tunnel in between locations.

The nodes operate the same way as in the popular videogame Portal. The main idea is that you can create two gateways in between which the path can move freely either way.

Currently the portal nodes only operate on 2D maps, but at the moment we are working on developing portal nodes for 3D maps. They will be available soon to make your wayfinding solutions even more flexible.

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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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Node weights in path calculation

August 21, 2015

We have updated path finding functionality and path calculation. Now it is possible to change the weights of navigation nodes in 3D Wayfinder floor plan editor.

Path-finding application calculates automatically the shortest route from the starting node to the required location. In mobile applications, the Kiosk node can be your position inside the building. With 3D Wayfinder, the shortest route is calculated in a 3 dimensional room. It means the shortest path through all the floors.

Now it is possible to change the weights of the connection nodes. With this wayfinding application calculates optimal route, which doesn’t have to be the shortest. For example when you would like to guide your visitors to use the path inside the building instead of going around the building. Then you can set the weight for outdoor nodes higher. The weight is basically virtual length that will be added to the route, when passing the navigation node with a weight.

path_finding_functionality_in_3D_WayfinderTo use the weights you have to select the navigation node in 3D Wayfinder floor plan editor and change the node weight from the text box. By default all the weights are 0.

For example lets, say that waiting for the elevator takes usually 3 minutes. Lets assume, that visitors are moving with a speed of 3 km per hour, which is 50 meters per minute. So with waiting the elevator, visitor can pass 150 meters (3*50). If we would like to take account this in path calculation. Then we can add weight of 150 to the navigation node, that is marked as elevator.

Pathfinding functionality comes bundled in an add-on you can order from 3D Wayfinder Administration panel. It is also included in the Pro plan.

Read more about 3D Wayfinder’s path-finding capabilities.

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