Adding Video and Audio To Your Virtual Tour

Need a walking or virtual tour that includes audio or video? We’re routinely asked how this can be done with the Whitepoint platform for smarter virtual tours. Here’s how.

First, A Bit About Whitepoint Tour Structure for Smarter Tours

Your tour – whether it’s a walking tour or a virtual tour – is referred to as a scape. Scapes have scenes, and within those scenes are points of interest, or whitepoints. You can learn more about tour structure and getting started building a Whitepoint tour in our YouTube tutorials.

Whitepoints provide the opportunity for text and an image. They also provide linking capability with widgets.

Widgets Are How You Link To Audio or Video

Headphones for audio and video tour

You can easily add audio or video to your Whitepoint tour using widgets.

Widgets can be used for links to YouTube and Vimeo files, for example. If you have a separate video or audio file hosted somewhere, that works too. In short, all you need is an audio or video file with a web address. If you have that, the file can be linked from a whitepoint of your choice.

In the Authoring Panel, you’ll simply add that link in the widget link field for the associated whitepoint.

This capability is included at no additional charge in all Whitepoint authoring subscription plans.

Some Things To Keep In Mind About Audio and Video In Tours

There are a few things to remember when you add audio or video to your smarter virtual or walking tour:

  • Your users or visitors will need Internet connectivity to access the audio and video linked using widgets in your tour, even if the scape is saved to the device.
  • Depending on your user’s mobile OS, the content will open separately in the default app for that content type. YouTube or Vimeo content for example will open in the YouTube or Vimeo apps, if installed on that device.

Need Embedded Audio or Video In Your Tour?

Again, the capability discussed above is included at no additional charge in all Whitepoint authoring subscription plans.

Embedded audio or video in your scape however can be accomplished with our custom authoring and app plans. If you’re interested, reach out and let us know.

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A Smarter Historical Walking Tour: Olmsted Falls

Olmsted Falls

Screenshot from the Olmsted Falls, OH Whitepoint walking tour.

To be fair, many historical walking tours are also architecture tours and vice versa. A look through the Whitepoint tour built of Olmsted Falls, OH reveals plenty of walking tour options that take visitors through years of history, architecture, and craftsmanship in this little known area of the country.

Like any good walking tour, there’s a little something for everybody.

A Historical Walking Tour First and Foremost

Whitepoint shown for Olmsted Falls, OH - historical walking tour on Whitepoint

A whitepoint from the Olmsted Falls, OH historical walking tour for mobile.

When building a walking tour of any area, one of the challenges of course is determining the size and scope of that tour. For the Olmsted Falls tour however, multiple stages are planned for the visitor – eleven scenes in all for the tour in fact – and this provides plenty of material for visitors and residents to organize their approach to exploring the area.

By arranging it this way, guests can break the tour up over a number of days or separate visits. It’s a smart way to do it, and one that we haven’t seen in other historical walking tours built yet on the Whitepoint platform.

Whitepoint Scene Image - Olmsted Falls

Scene image from the Olmsted Falls historical walking tour on Whitepoint.

From churches to historic homes, craftsmanship and culture, there is plenty to dig into on this tour. Much of the content explores aspects of the area dating from the early 1800’s and all is accessible – and engaging – to both children and adults. It also neatly makes connections between history and current standing structures. By utilizing Whitepoint widgets, the tour’s content and scope could be even further expanded with audio and video if desired.

Another Featured Whitepoint Scape

We’re proud to present the Olmsted Falls, OH Walking Tour as a featured Whitepoint scape. To all involved in constructing this historical walking tour, great job! Engaging texts, good content, and interesting subject matter help make this a truly smarter walking tour. We know students, tourists, and your community are getting new perspectives on your home.

As with any Whitepoint scape, the tour is available to anyone on the free Whitepoint app available for both Android and Apple iOS. And, any community can build a historical walking tour of their home – just visit Whitepoint to learn more.

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3 Ways Your Web Agency Can Make Money With Whitepoint

Is your web agency or online marketing business looking to expand its revenue streams? If so, great! And, if not . . . you should be.

Luckily, there are a number of ways you can drive revenue with Whitepoint depending on the revenue goals and business model of your specific web agency. We’re sharing a few of them here based on recent conversations and questions from businesses like yours.

The Key Is Flexibility for Your Web Agency

As you may already know, we offer free plans for anyone to build smarter virtual tours of places and things. As a web agency, your value is the ability to generate and maintain useful content, and that’s what your clients demand from you.

The Whitepoint platform is designed with maximum flexibility in mind. That means you as a web agency can deliver content in a number of ways, as you’ll see below.

We provide the platform to help manage and structure both the content itself plus its delivery.

And, you? You get to focus on delighting your clients.

#1 – Deliver a Custom Tour App At a Fraction of the Cost

Just turn the key - opportunity for your web agencyWe offer the ability to deliver custom iOS and Android apps that deliver a customized smarter tour experience utilizing the Whitepoint platform and tour logic. You get immediate access to the back end, administrative, and CMS style infrastructure that helps you design, manage, update, and deliver that smarter content.

This means greater, ongoing revenue opportunities for your web agency. Interested? Reach out.

#2 – Offer a Custom Tour App That Integrates Multiple Client Accounts

Just turn the key - 2 of 3 opportunities for a web agencyDo you have an existing or prospective client such as a cultural district, real estate development, tourism bureau, or region? Or, do you see an opportunity to create one?

Whitepoint can be used to provide an app-based smarter virtual or walking tour of the area. Accounts – such as restaurants, museums, and retail shops – pay to be included as stops along the tour either as scenes or whitepoints.

And guess what? Each of those stops – whether restaurant, museum, or shop – are candidates for their own Whitepoint scapes too. Sound good? Let us know how we can help.

#3 – Manage Whitepoint Scapes For Customers

Just turn the key - 3 of 3 opportunities for a web agencyIf you or your customer aren’t feeling the whole custom app thing, you and your clients can leverage Whitepoint’s free iOS and Android apps to deliver smarter virtual and walking tours. You’ll want either our Pro or Premier authoring subscription plan for your client.

From there, you design, manage, and update content to your client’s wishes. We’re here to help your web agency leverage this opportunity.

Finally, Whitepoint Makes It Even More Profitable For Your Web Agency

As a web agency, you qualify for our Virtual Tour Partner Program which offers deep discounts to you . . . just for being an agency.

Need help or more ideas? Got questions about a particular job? We want to hear from you – reach out today.

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A Smarter Walking Tour: Art On The Riverwalk

A river and two hundred years of shipbuilding have helped shape the people and unique identity of Milford, Delaware. Now more people are learning about that identity thanks to artists, students, residents, and some corporate sponsors through their Art on the Riverwalk Tour project.

Walking Tour Scape Image - Art on the Riverwalk Tour

Image from the Milford, Delaware Art on the Riverwalk Tour scape in the Whitepoint tour app. The numbers represent the scene points.

Some years ago, one of the ships that had been built in a Milford shipyard in the early 1900’s was rediscovered. The Augusta was restored and now enjoys a new life as a reminder of Milford’s past and also as a new source of inspiration.

For the town’s Art on the Riverwalk Tour project, eighteen sculptures inspired by the Augusta were created – many by artists and students teaming up – and are now displayed along Milford’s Riverwalk.

The resulting walking tour amid these sculptures, along the river, and through the town is creating new ways for locals and visitors to discover and engage with Milford.

A Featured Whitepoint Scape

We’re proud to present Milford, Delaware’s Art on the Riverwalk Tour as a featured Whitepoint scape.

Walking Tour - Sculpture on Milford, Delaware Art on the Riverwalk Tour

Image from the Milford, Delaware Art on the Riverwalk Tour scape in the Whitepoint tour app. This scene image captures a sculpture by Cathy Walls, with a whitepoint for more information.

This smarter walking tour was arranged with each of the sculptures representing a scene along the Riverwalk tour. The whitepoints – opportunities for visitors to get more detailed information about points along the tour – provide alternate views of the individual sculptures, pictures of the artists, texts about the works and links for more research.

The Art on the Riverwalk Tour is available to all free of charge via the Whitepoint app on iOS and Android, whether visitors are walking the river or just joining the tour virtually from the comfort of home.

To all involved in the Milford, Delaware Art on the Riverwalk project . . . Great work! Cities across the world can learn from your example.

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Virtual Touring Software for a Variety of Industries

We’re continually amazed at the variety of businesses and industries that work with Whitepoint’s virtual touring software platform. One interesting idea recently came from a caterer who wanted to use a virtual touring software to showcase their catering displays and menu.

It makes sense – it’s one thing to see a plate of pasta. It’s another to also understand the ingredients in that pasta or to be able to identify it among other dishes in a dazzling display of culinary delight.

Virtual Touring Software for . . . Everyone?

photo of coffee shop display case with lots of delicious options - how could virtual touring software be used?

It’s just a case in a coffee shop right? But what are all of those delicious options? And how can you use virtual touring software to share them with customers?

The fact is that virtual touring software has a place as a digital marketing tool in almost any business or industry. And, this is only becoming more pronounced as reliance on images increases in marketing along with the proliferation of mobile devices. People want image-rich content. And, they want it more and more on their mobile devices.

The big difference is how we define “virtual touring” and the virtual touring software behind it. As we’ve stated elsewhere, at Whitepoint we’re working toward a goal of smarter, more interactive virtual touring geared toward mobile devices.

The need for smarter content in real estate marketing is obvious. But there are tons of other industries and businesses where the need is developing: hotels, resorts, automotive, retail, museums, galleries, restaurants . . . you name it.

How Users Find Your Business’ Tour in the Whitepoint App

Screenshot from Whitepoint virtual touring software

Screenshot from the Whitepoint app showing the search box and “find by category” button on the app’s main screen.

Users need to download the Whitepoint app for iOS or Android. Once they have that, your tour can be accessed by browsing the categories displayed on the right of the Whitepoint app’s main screen.

Additionally, they can search for your tour using the search box in the top right of the Whitepoint app’s main screen.

As an author, you have the ability to categorize any scape you build and to add descriptive text that helps users find it.

Depending on the nature of your business – if your users are in an on-site scenario such as the lobby of a building or in a museum exhibition – a little signage and QR codes can assist them in the two step process they need to follow: 1) Download the app and 2) Locate your scape.

Even More Options for Sharing and Highlighting Your Scape

As if that isn’t enough, our virtual touring software offers the ability to simultaneously provide your tour for users on desktop computers outside of the Whitepoint app.

And, if you sign up for our Premier Authoring subscription plan, you can have your scape featured on the app’s main screen for even easier access.

Curious how Whitepoint’s virtual touring software can be used in your business? We want to help. Reach out here or contact us at Whitepoint

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How to Add Descriptive Content to Whitepoint Virtual Tours

Helping people make virtual tours smarter is what the whole Whitepoint platform is all about. Therefore, one of the most common questions we get from users is how to add more descriptive content to our virtual tours.

Makes sense, huh? Here are some ideas on how to do that.

Whitepoints are the Data Points

First off, the best place to add descriptive content – whether textual and / or a link to other even richer content is within the whitepoints of any scape (our word for a Whitepoint virtual tour).

Golden Gate Bridge scene image, Whitepoint virtual tour

This is a scene image from a Whitepoint virtual tour of the Golden Gate Bridge.

As discussed elsewhere in this blog, whitepoints are the aspects of any scene image that require more detailed information.

For example, if you look closely in the accompanying image of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge – taken from a scene in an actual scape – you’ll see a whitepoint. Your virtual tour user could tap that point on his or her mobile device and get your ideas or more information on the steel used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Another Opportunity for Descriptive Content

Currently, our scene image editing and authoring capabilities do offer a field for text-based descriptive content. But, as our authors have noticed, that text does not yet display in the scapes. Future plans for scape display do utilize that content. It is not yet being used beyond basic search capability. So, it is helpful to add that information, just don’t think something is broken if you can’t view that text.

Descriptive content in Golden Gate Bridge Whitepoint virtual tour scene image

This is the same scene image from the Golden Gate Bridge Whitepoint virtual tour. More descriptive content has been added graphically to the image.

If you believe scene images like the accompanying Golden Gate Bridge image are deserving of text content, it’s easy to accomplish. Simply add the text when editing the scene image before your upload.

In our testing, we’ve found that sizing the scape image to about 900 pixels wide x 500 pixels high first, then adding your text is the best approach. This way you can judge what looks best in text vs image size.

Whitepoint Virtual Tours as Presentations

Taking it a step further, this is how Whitepoint virtual tours can actually be used as presentations.

Whitepoint virtual tour as presentation tool

This is an actual scene image from a Whitepoint virtual tour used as a presentation. The scene image features text, and whitepoints offer opportunities for more information.

In the accompanying image, you see a scene image that utilizes only text – this is simply a graphic that was uploaded as a scene image. In this example, the whitepoints are intended as jumping off points for more detailed exploration of a particular phrase or idea.

. . . kind of like a smarter virtual tour of a concept.

Do you have a question about authoring your Whitepoint virtual tour? Maybe you haven’t signed up as an author yet? Please, share your questions with us – we look forward to hearing from you.

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#EdTech in Action: South Asheboro Middle School

With a little help from technology, students at South Asheboro Middle School – as well as their community – have benefited greatly from the efforts of enterprising staff at their school.

EdTech in Action

Walking tour app and EdTech

Students at South Asheboro Middle School created a Whitepoint scape to guide others on a walking tour of their historic downtown. Above, their custom scape image – with scene points – depicts the town.

Featured recently in a community publication, their story is an excellent case study in how education technology tools can enrich student learning.

As Barry Barber, technology facilitator at South Asheboro Middle School, states in the article:

From researching the history of Asheboro at the public library to taking a tour with a local historian, the students have learned a lot . . . Putting together the information into a mobile app has given our students real-world experience in collaboration, creative thinking, and problem solving.

A recipient of a small education grant in 2014, the group has spread their technology purchases across disciplines, stretching the value of those tools and maximizing their educational application.

But, at the heart of any effort like this are good people that make things happen.

A Featured Whitepoint Scape

We’re proud to present the Historic Downtown Asheboro walking tour – built by students at South Asheboro Middle School – as a featured Whitepoint scape, available in the free Whitepoint app on iOS or Android.

Good work students and educators!

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The Art Basel Miami Week Guide 2014

Art lovers, each year we update and edit our guide to the Art Basel Miami week fairs. Well, it’s that time again.  If you’ve never been, it’s unbelievable the amount of art (and number of people) that descend upon Miami. The weather isn’t bad either.

Want To Include Your Fair or Installation in Our Art Fair Guide?

Use the contact tab or tweet @WhitepointMobi with #ArtBaselMiami and let us know.

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A Content Management System for Smarter Virtual Tours

We recently had a project come through that specified data storage requirements. The resulting discussion got us thinking again about Whitepoint as a content management system for smarter virtual tours.

Smarter Virtual Tours Can Mean Lots of Content

Statue as stop on virtual tour - content management system helps organize information.

For this stop on a virtual tour, you might have a number of related links for more information. This is where a content management system helps.

Constructing and managing a virtual tour kicks up a good bit of content of different types. What we’ve found from experience is that the gathering of all that related content can be the most burdensome aspect of virtual tour construction.

In a Whitepoint virtual tour, what is largely stored are images and other content associated with data points (whitepoints). These points are the aspect of the tour most likely to change, move around, and get updated.

As a result, Whitepoint acts as a content management system to help you keep those whitepoints in tact and available for future use wherever necessary. For example, you have the option to delete whitepoint information entirely or save it for the future. This comes in handy especially in situations such as museum tours – where data points are likely to shift in the space periodically.

Here’s One Way a Content Management System Helps

It isn’t so much that audio and video files need to be stored and managed, it’s that each data point has attributes that need to be managed. This is where the difference lies between a content management system and a system for file storage.

For example, each data point consists (hopefully) of an image, text content, and other information. For each of those data points, our content management system provides for multiple social media tie-ins as well as what we call a widget. A widget can be a link to an audio or video file on a Vimeo or YouTube account, for example. Keeping all of these associations organized and reusable is not only convenient, it’s a headache and time saver.

Whitepoint (As Content Management System) + Dropbox (As File Management System) = Virtual Tour Construction Bliss

Content management system for smarter virtual touring - an image of a city at night.

Lots of different images in your virtual tour – the city at evening or the same city at daytime, for example – are tough to keep track of.

Generating content is a headache for most organizations. With virtual tours especially, different types of content can come from lots of different places – different people, desktop computers, or mobile devices.

As a result, a shared folder on Dropbox works extremely well for collaborating on virtual tour projects (Whitepoint does support authoring by teams, by the way). We’ve also shared some ideas on file naming conventions to use in these scenarios.

The expectations for virtual tours are expanding, and it isn’t too much to expect more when you’re building one. A content management system for smarter virtual tour content is a good place to start.

What are your expectations in a content management system when building a virtual tour? Have you found a file sharing tool you like? Tell us!

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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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