How To Use Whitepoint As a Guided Walking Tour App

We receive a lot of inquiries about using Whitepoint as a guided walking tour app in everything from cemeteries to towns. Recently, some inquiries got us thinking about frequently asked questions and additional possibilities for these use. That means it’s time to tackle the subject of guided walking tours.

Bumps In The Road When Building A Guided Walking Tour

First off, guided walking tours – whether across a city or outdoor exhibit – pose a number of problems that Whitepoint naturally addresses.

Tour Guides and Interactivity

Guided walking tour of town at night.

A guided walking tour app can tell visitors where to start and the significance of those quaint storefronts.

Tour guides aren’t always available for guided walking tours, and you want to deliver a lot of information. At the same time, you don’t want to bore people – you want them to be able to access the information they want when they want it.

Lots of signage and brochures – which you’ll have to update and print over again – aren’t necessary. The key is interactivity, which gives your audience the flexibility to discover the information they’re looking for. The Whitepoint framework provides ample opportunity to share lots of information, pictures, and even links to more information.

Going Mobile

Guided walking tours are by their very nature mobile.  Most of your audience – or at least a member of the group with which they’re traveling – is already carrying a mobile device. Why not use that to deliver an interactive presentation?

Whitepoint offers an iOS and Android app already available for free download to access your guided walking tour presentation.

What About Kiosks?

Kiosks can be a great solution for a guided walking tour. In this scenario, a tablet or similar device is available and acts as a kiosk at each stop. You may or may not decide to encourage visitors to access the tour information using their own devices.

You could also issue your own devices for visitors to use. In both of these scenarios, Whitepoint helps you manage and deliver your guided walking tour content.

Frequently Asked Questions For Guided Walking Tours

Here are some of the questions we’ve received regarding Whitepoint as a guided walking tour app:

Whitepoint’s tour content is divided into three types: Scapes, scenes, and whitepoints. How do these types of content play into my guided walking tour?

“Scape” is essentially our word for tour. Therefore, your scape may be of a historic district or home. Scenes could represent portions of your tour – such as streets of a district or rooms in a home.

Whitepoints are like data points. You share a dedicated image, text, and links for more information about a specific thing or aspect of something. They can be specific stops along a street or important aspects of a room, such as furniture or portraits.

Almost anything can be a scape as well. So, the home that is a whitepoint in a larger scape of a historic district, might deserve it’s own separate scape too.

What if I have lots of images I would like to use for a single whitepoint?

We suggest choosing the best image for the whitepoint, then you can provide a link to additional images in a Pinterest or Instagram account. To do so, you will use the widget capability available in whitepoints. It’s easy.

How do people download the app and access the guided Walking Tour on their mobile device?

There are several ways, but this method minimizes any potential confusion for your guided walking tour:

  1. Post stickers that provide a QR code for the free Whitepoint Android and iOS app download.
  2. In the Whitepoint app, instruct visitors to search for a keyword that describes your guided walking tour, such as “Springfield Homes.”

Do you have other questions about Whitepoint as a guided walking tour app? Or, do you have ideas or examples of a guided walking tour? Please do share below!

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How To: Posting QR Codes and Stickers For Free Whitepoint Tour App

We’ve made reference in the past to QR codes and stickers – including in a recent article on using Whitepoint as a guided walking tour app – offering visitors a free download of the Whitepoint app.

These are great for posting at each stop of a walking tour, at the front door, or at an information desk.

The following graphics are suitable for printing and provide QR codes for both iOS and Android. If you wish to print stickers especially, we recommend the PDF files and uPrinting.com for best results.

Download Whitepoint in Google Play.

This nifty graphic with QR codes is available in iOS App Store and Google Play varieties for your smart tour needs.

Android

PNG File: Google Play Whitepoint App Download Graphic with QR Code (less than 1MB)

PDF File: Google Play Whitepoint App Download Graphic with QR Code (less than 1MB)

iOS

PNG File: iOS Whitepoint App Download Graphic with QR Code (less than 1MB)

PDF File: iOS Whitepoint App Download Graphic with QR Code (less than 1MB)

Questions? Tweet us @WhitepointMobi or comment below.

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5 Tips For More Meaningful Content When You Create a Virtual Tour

Pictures are great. Sometimes the 360 degree spin-around can work too. But many places, properties, and products require more than just pictures when you create a virtual tour.

We recently explored the topic of virtual tour marketing as a tool for business and the many subjects that virtual tours can be based on. Regardless of your subject when you create a virtual tour, here are some ideas to remember about the quality of your content.

And, whether or not you use Whitepoint to create a virtual tour, these tips will be of help.

First, A Few Words About Products and Places as Tour Subjects

Create a virtual tour of a car dashboard

This dashboard may be old, but it’s still confusing – when you create a virtual tour, images alone are no longer enough.

A picture of the back of a Blu-Ray player doesn’t explain much. How about the dashboard of a Ford Fusion?  An ice cream counter? The different restaurant options at a resort?

You may not have to create a virtual tour based on any of the above. But, each of these subjects illustrates the potential for rich, meaningful content when you create a virtual tour.

With easy access to information via mobile devices, consumers are demanding a level of detail that goes beyond what was offered in the slideshows of the past. If you are selling something – whether a place, product, or experience – and you want to create a virtual tour, you have to remember this fact.

5 Tips for More Meaningful Content When You Create a Virtual Tour

  1. What are the aspects of your place or product that customers ask about repeatedly? A simple picture may not suffice. Can you use data points to communicate more in-depth information? In the Whitepoint virtual tour framework, those data points are called whitepoints.
  2. What are the aspects of your subject – whether it’s a place or location – that cause the most guest services or customer service headaches? When you create a virtual tour, you may need to get feedback from staff or even customers to identify these aspects. You may need to either dedicate more images to that aspect of your virtual tour or try thinking in terms of data points (whitepoints).
  3. What are the features of your place or product that cause faces to light up? Odds are when you’ve described your product or destination, there was a specific part that got a distinct and positive reaction from your listener. Be sure to focus on that when you create a virtual tour.
  4. Does your subject photograph better at a particular time of day? Is an aspect of it more appealing at a specific time of day?
  5. What are the angles that best showcase your subject? Certain aspects of your destination or product may be more easily explained when displayed in a certain position or from a certain angle. Your team and customers may give you better insights on this.

Hopefully these tips help provide new ideas – or at least new perspectives – on how to improve the quality of content when you create a virtual tour. After all, it isn’t just about taking pretty pictures anymore.

Do you have any ideas to add? We’d like to hear from you.

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Is Virtual Tour Marketing a Tool For Your Business?

Virtual tour marketing is an obvious tool for the residential real estate industry. However, there are other areas where virtual tour marketing can help catch new eyeballs and new revenue.

Virtual Tour Marketing: What Is It?

First, let’s define virtual tour marketing as using images and technology to capture the interest of potential customers for a place, event, or product.

For years, putting linear style photo tours online so the tours were viewable on desktop computers was enough. Now, more and more, mobile devices are responsible for a large portion of total web traffic. Imagine how much of it is on demand traffic while in a retail store or in front of a travel destination. Therefore, we now have to make sure that mobile devices – phones and tablets – are included in the technology part of our definition.

Virtual tour marketing can help market products as different as messenger bags and laptops.

This messenger bag and Chromebook both have a lot of features. Despite the dramatic differences between these types of products, virtual tour marketing can help engage customers with both.

Again, virtual tour marketing always comes to mind in the real estate market. In fact, virtual tour marketing is now an expectation of customers in that industry. And, along those lines, anyone in the hospitality industry has come to realize the value of customers “seeing” properties online or on mobile devices.

Therefore, hotels, resorts, casinos, and restaurants are all great candidates for also putting virtual tour marketing to to work.

Virtual Tour Marketing for Products: It Helps Capture Customers

Consumers are educating themselves and purchasing more and more online. If you sell something, it’s important to find new ways to get the information to customers that they need. As a result, tours of products are playing more critical roles in winning customers.

For some time, pictures online were enough to differentiate a product offering. Now, there is more competition in winning customer attention. Bicycles, electronics, medical devices, and cars are just as deserving of a “tour” as any place or property.

In addition, products like these often require that consumers educate and familiarize themselves after the purchase as well. Virtual tour marketing can also be a tool used to educate existing customers and keep them coming back – product orientation and tech support are both areas where virtual tour marketing can play an ongoing role in customer engagement.

This is why we do what we do at Whitepoint – we can help make virtual tour marketing not only smarter, but more effective.

Do you have ideas on how virtual tour marketing might impact your business? Let’s discuss . . . 

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Our Virtual Campus Tour Software Is Now An Even Better Deal

As of today, we now have an additional benefit that is exclusive to schools: We are now offering a free uplift for all academic institutions from our Pro Plan to our Premier Plan. This makes a virtual campus tour solution for more reasonable for any school – from universities to charter schools to daycare facilities.

Here’s How our Academic Offer Works

If you’re a school or part of a school and want to use Whitepoint to provide a virtual campus tour, you’re in the right place. Or, maybe you want to use Whitepoint as an educational technology tool. No problem. Simply view our Pro Authoring option. We’ll confirm that you’re an academic institution based on your email address.

Here’s What Our Academic Offering Means for Your School

Whitepoint virtual campus tour demonstration

Whether a small private school or a globally recognized campus, Whitepoint is now an affordable virtual campus tour software for all.

This offer provides plenty of benefits that are perfect for schools:

  • More smart tours that can be built by students, departments, anyone.
  • Custom branding capabilities.
  • Reduced cost of more than 50%.
  • More flexible monthly payment.

Essentially, our academic offering means we’re providing you benefits of our Premier Plan ($1499.99) at $49.99 a month.

Technically, this is a limited time offer, so we can’t guarantee that it will be around forever. If you have been looking for a virtual campus tour solution, this is a great chance for your school.

A Virtual Campus Tour and Educational Technology In One Package

Now, your school can provide a virtual campus tour for your web site and mobile devices without taking on app development or reconstructing your web site. Building a virtual campus tour can also offer students experience in content management and curation as an educational technology tool. Or, you may wish to use Whitepoint as an educational tool in the classroom.

With the benefits of our Premier Plan, you can construct up to 10 scapes – for example, you may wish to break your virtual campus tour into separate smart tours. For most schools, 10 scapes is plenty. For larger schools, separate departments and even classrooms can have their own authoring subscriptions.

Several Virtual Campus Tour Plans Available

Our Basic Plan is of course free to everyone all the time – whether used for a virtual campus tour or product demonstration. Compare the Basic, Pro, and Premier offerings. Sign up as an author. At the very least, you can use our Basic Plan for free.

Reach out or comment below and tell us about your virtual campus tour needs. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Smart Touring and Educational Technology

Whitepoint was recently mentioned as an educational technology tool in an article on TechFaster. After reading it, we were reminded of several educational technology uses for the Whitepoint platform.

Educational Technology Applications for the Whitepoint Framework

All of these potential uses are perfect for authoring by both students and teachers as part of the learning process. The subject of the scapes might often be the focus, but the very process of authoring can be valuable in learning as well: Gathering, editing, and managing content can offer great learning opportunities for team building and project management.

Virtual Tours of Historic Places

As an educational technology, the most obvious application for the Whitepoint framework is in building and sharing virtual tours of historic places. Because the Whitepoint platform allows for more than just a virtual tour, there is ample opportunity to leverage smarter touring to make interactive encounters with historic places more meaningful.

Interactive Maps

Old map as interactive educational technology.

Using the Whitepoint framework as an educational technology can make this map image a much more meaningful interactive teaching tool.

Generating interactive maps is also another educational technology use for Whitepoint.

Like a smart tour of any historic site, students can use maps with rich content – images, text, and links to audio or video – to learn more about different regions and the world.

In addition, interactive maps can focus on geographic regions during certain points in history, such as Colonial America or the Byzantine era.

Interactive How To’s and Guides

Both teachers and students can leverage the educational technology potential of Whitepoint in building interactive guides. Step by step instructions on performing tasks or interactive guides illustrating processes – such as photosynthesis – can be powerful tools for learning. Having students construct their own guides is one way to pull in cross-disciplinary learning opportunities.

Campus Tours

We’ve written before about Whitepoint as a framework for building and sharing campus tours for students and visitors.

However, the Whitepoint platform can also serve as an educational technology for groups of students in class to build and map tours of their school. In addition to serving as a great orientation tool for new students, this application would provide opportunities for lessons in teamwork, photography, writing, and technology.

Do you have other ideas for Whitepoint as an educational technology? Or, maybe you have questions? We’d love to hear from you.

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How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint (Part 2)

In Part 1 of How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint, we covered some of the basic first steps in gathering content for a smarter virtual tour using Whitepoint. In this installment, we’ll walk through the steps in using the Authoring Panel and making your tour available on both desktops and mobile devices.

First, A Bit About Authoring Accounts: Here’s How You Create a Virtual Tour for Free With Whitepoint

A museum, like the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco shown here, could be a scape, a scene, or a whitepoint when you create a virtual tour.

Think about it: A museum, like the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco shown here, could be a scape, a scene, or a whitepoint when you create a virtual tour.

Our Basic Authoring is free and provides more than enough features to meet the needs of those looking to create a virtual tour.  Sign up for your free account at our Authoring Panel. Just follow the instructions for account setup.

We offer advanced account options for additional features and capabilities if you find that you need them. Regardless, everyone starts with a free Basic Authoring account.

Starting a Scape In the Authoring Panel

Remember the scapes, scenes, and whitepoints we discussed in Part 1 of this series? You’re going to want to have at least that scape image handy.

When you log in to the Authoring Panel, you have a number of places you can go. But, for our purposes here, we’re going straight to “Start a New Scape.”

Among the first questions, you’ll be asked if your scape is to be public (available to everyone) or private (available only with a password). Most are public.

You can always change “public” vs “private” later. And, later, you’ll see that no scape goes live until you say so anyway.

Previewing Your Smart Tour Content

One helpful trick is to set your scape to private until you’re ready for the public to view it. This is helpful if you’re building your scape over a longer period of time and want to do so in privacy while maintaining the ability to preview it during construction.

Uploading Your Image Content

Next, you are prompted to upload your scape image. Once you do that, you will be moving on to uploading scene images.

You will be asked if your scene is a new or existing one. Most scenes are new if you’re building a new scape. Later as you manage your smart tour content, you will see how this question helps you save time by incorporating content you’ve already created.

Once a scene image is updated, you will be prompted to plot a whitepoint on that scene image. Most scenes have whitepoints, so you simply click where you want to plot your whitepoint.

However, if your scene does not include a whitepoint, that is OK – just click “cancel” on the left hand side of the screen, and return to the main authoring screen.

You will see your new scape listed under the “Personal Scapes” or “Team Scapes” menu item.

Don’t Forget Your Texts

Key content opportunities exist under scapes, scenes, and whitepoints. These texts can be added / edited under the “Details” tabs of scapes, scenes, and whitepoints.

To access the details tab for scapes: Click “Edit Scape Details” in the scape’s main tile view.

To access the details tab for scenes: Click the pencil icon in the desired scene’s tile in the scape’s main tile view.

Descriptive content is key when you create a virtual tour.

All of the descriptive information that appears for whitepoints is handled via the “Details” tab for that whitepoint.

To access the details tab for whitepoints: First, click the “View Whitepoints” button in the desired scene’s tile.

You’ll see a menu of available whitepoints for that scene on the right of your screen.

Discovery and Going Live

The “Details” and “Visibility” tabs for scapes (just click “Edit Scape Details” in the scape’s main scene tile view) include all of the information you need to make your scape available to and discoverable by the public.

Under the menu item “Discovery” via the “Details” tab, you can add key search phrases as well as categorize your scape.

Availability / discoverability is key when you create a virtual tour.

The availability of your scape as well as public versus private access of your scape is handled via the scape’s “Visibility” tab. Your intentions for visibility are critical when you create a virtual tour.

Under the “Visibility” tab, you can change the status of your scape – available (active) or not available (inactive) – as well as manage public access of your scape.

There you go. That’s how you create a virtual tour with Whitepoint that’s smarter and able to be delivered via tablets, iPads, phones, and desktop.

But you might not want to stop there. Anything in a scape can be edited and updated at any time in the future. When you return to your scape, you’ll see the scenes displayed in their individual scene tiles in the main scape view. They can be re-ordered if necessary, and each can be edited or deleted by simply clicking the pencil or trash can icons respectively.

The key area you may find yourself revisiting most is the whitepoint dialog accessed by clicking “View Whitepoints” at the bottom of each scene’s tile. You’ll see a list of associated whitepoints appear on the right of the screen.

Do you still have questions about any of the above? Have you run into any problems? Let us know – we want to hear about your projects and help when you create a virtual tour. Comment below or reach out at our contact page.

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A Smarter Virtual Tour App for iPad: Whitepoint 2.1

The next version of the Whitepoint smart tour viewer app for iPad and iPhone is now available in the App Store. Specifically, it looks great on iPad, and the potential for smarter virtual and on-site touring is particularly noticeable in that larger format.

Improvements Over the Previous App for iPad and iPhone

The latest version of the Whitepoint app for iPad and iPhone improves substantially on the layout and stability of the previous (and first!) version. However, there are some noticeable feature enhancements:

  • A grid view of featured scapes – smart tours – on the main screen.
  • A breakdown of available scapes by category – such as museums, travel, real estate, resorts, or educational facilities.

Potential Uses for a Smarter Tour App for iPad

Whitepoint tour app for iPad running on iOS 7.1

Here’s a screenshot of the new Whitepoint tour app for iPad running on iOS 7.1.

As mentioned earlier, the iPad format is particularly promising for self-guided tours of sights, exhibitions, and amusements. Whether an iPad is provided for visitors or they bring their own, it makes a lot of sense for providing more meaningful experiences.

Visitors can of course download the app for iPad or for iPhone and manage the touring completely on their own.

And, if they have an Android phone or Android tablet, that’s OK too. We have them covered with our Android app.

A Future Enhancement

Our Android app already features the “Save Scape” feature – meaning that users can download and save a smart tour to a mobile device rather than rely on a web connection. This is especially helpful in spaces without wifi, poor mobile connectivity, or when crowds bog down connectivity.

Users will see this “save scape” capability soon in our app for iPad and iPhone.

Happy #whitepointing!

Have you used the app for iPad or on an iPhone? Tell us what you think – what you like and what you don’t like.

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How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint (Part 1)

How to create a virtual tour - It begins with a good overview image.

How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint, Step 1: Have a good overview image to introduce your scape. You’ll probably want to plot each of the scenes on your scape.

On this blog, we tend to get into the nuts and bolts of virtual tours, mobile-friendly tours, and related topics which means it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture: How to create a virtual tour with Whitepoint.

We’ll assume for the purposes of this blog article that you’ve already selected your subject for your virtual tour.

The first steps in how to create a virtual tour are actually about gathering the necessary content.

1. Have A Good Introductory Image

This can be an overview image – such as an aerial style map or even a graphic that you’ve created. About 900 (wide) x 500 (high) pixels is best.

2. Select Your Scene Images

Whitepoint breaks virtual touring down into scenes – so if your scape is a park for example,  a scene might be the visitor center or a dock at the lake. Again, about 900 x 500 pixels works best.

You’ll have multiple scene images depending on the size of your scape. Go ahead and consider the order in which you want those scenes to appear in your scape.

You’ll be able to plot where these scenes appear on your scape image (number one above) if they are shown there.

3. What About Greater Detail? Whitepoints.

Whitepoints are what enable you to provide greater detail about your scape. You can highlight these as they appear in each of the scene images. So, for our park example above, if the visitor center is a scene, perhaps restrooms, the water fountains, and a concession stand are whitepoints in that visitor center image.

Gather pictures for each of your whitepoints – about 500 x 500 pixels works well. And, be ready to share a couple of sentences to describe each of your whitepoints. You also have an opportunity to provide a related link.

You might want to put a rough outline together of the above and organize your content before logging in to the Whitepoint Authoring Panel.

Coming Up in Part 2 of How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint . . .

With good content gathered, we’re well on our way in this first part of How to Create a Virtual Tour With Whitepoint. Next, in part two, we’ll run through the steps involved in logging in to the Authoring Panel and putting that content to good use.

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Introducing Our Virtual Tour Partner Program

In retail, medical, real estate, and countless other industries, clients increasingly need the ability to share meaningful and compelling visual information – a smarter virtual tour of products or places.

Virtual Tour Meet Smart Tour

Virtual Tour Partner Program for Web Design Firms and Freelance Web Designers

Web design firms and freelancers who want to offer smarter virtual tours and a mobile app presence to clients should sign up for our Virtual Tour Partner Program.

Whitepoint offers its smarter virtual tour (or, smart tour) framework that enables delivery of that information via web sites, of course. But, one unique advantage with Whitepoint is the mobile app presence that clients get immediately  - content is updated in one place and simultaneously reflected across web site and mobile app.

Web designers and web design firms know their customers and the opportunities there are for providing more compelling information about places and products.

Hence, The Virtual Tour Partner Program

Whitepoint is now offering its Virtual Tour Partner Program to web designers – freelance or firm – providing an immediate new revenue opportunity.

Just for signing up, web designers and firms can get the Premium Package for 50% off.

As if that’s not enough . . .

  • There is no limit to the number of packages you can buy and sell.
  • There are no restrictions on what you charge your customer or clients.
  • There is no limit to the potential related services you can offer in providing Whitepoint smart tours to your customers.
  • You’ll get priority support and attention from our team whenever necessary.

Find out more of the details and how to sign up at Whitepoint’s Partner Program page.

Potential Customers and Uses

We’ve found some of the greatest potential in real estate (especially luxury home virtual tour uses), medical offices, retail stores, museums, galleries, and cultural districts, for example.

But, as we’ve said earlier – designers, you know your customers best. And, we’re sure you’ll find new applications for the Whitepoint smart tour framework. We’re continually amazed by some of the ideas we see.

Happy #whitepointing!

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