Whitepoint: A Virtual Campus Tour Solution

Oglethorpe University recently went live with their Whitepoint campus tour. We had the opportunity earlier in the year to work closely with them in learning what their needs were, what students liked and didn’t like, and what wasn’t effective about their existing virtual campus tour.

Oglethorpe University Virtual Campus Tour Image

An Oglethorpe University campus mobile tour as seen from an earlier version of the Whitepoint app for Android.

For most schools, the virtual campus tour means a number of images of the school with captions, uploaded to their web site. For others, a virtual campus tour may mean a Flash-based virtual walkthrough of the campus, which rarely – if ever – gets updated.

Oglethorpe is a beautiful school with a rich history. And, it’s a perfect case study for how a smart tour can help highlight points of interest. Whether or not your school has hundreds of years of history and stone architecture, prospective students need to see the highlights of a school’s campus. And, existing students, as well as the countless visitors to your campus throughout the year, likely need help navigating it.

Regardless of how you choose to build a smart campus tour, here are a few points to consider:

  • More prospective students are using mobile devices to explore their college choices. Deliver the content in a format that utilizes the benefits of mobile devices and technologies. Pictures of your school’s campus can make a big impact on the iOS retina display, for example.
  • Existing students and visitors are more likely now to be using a mobile device to navigate a school’s campus. Different smart campus tours can be tailored for specific uses such as those of prospective students, existing students, or families visiting the campus for graduation.
  • Tour content should be compelling and dynamic. Static virtual campus tours of the past don’t resonate with today’s prospective student. And, glossy brochures alone logically don’t carry the weight they once did. The expectation now of the prospective student’s demographic is that content be rich, of value, and up-to-date. If you utilize a tour content management tool – like Whitepoint – it makes it easy to manage, update, and deliver that content across desktop and mobile platforms simultaneously.
  • Building another custom app or Flash-based tour will likely mean more content that just doesn’t get updated. By their very nature, Flash-based tour presentations or custom tour apps are less likely to have content updated regularly. Specific skill sets are required and the update process is far more cumbersome.With Whitepoint, management of content is handled online via the authoring panel and largely requires uploading of pictures and writing content. That’s it.

And, last but not least, building smarter virtual tours with Whitepoint is a great way to involve students in a rewarding edtech group activity.

Getting started building a tour with Whitepoint is easy and affordable. There are subscription-based authoring plans available for a variety of tour capabilities.

Already using or thinking about using Whitepoint as a campus tour technology? We’d love to hear from you – just post a comment or tweet @WhitepointMobi.

Happy #whitepointing! You can get started with Whitepoint mobile touring and social mapping today.

Matthew White

Matthew White blogs on all things related to virtual tours, mobile touring, and tour apps as well as how they relate to web design, SEO, and content marketing. There is also of course helpful information on using Whitepoint - the framework for smarter virtual touring and mobile-friendly tours.

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How To Build a Creative Portfolio for the Mobile Web

One interesting use for the Whitepoint mobile touring framework is as a content manager for basic slideshow functionality. And, the jump to a creative portfolio isn’t far given the Whitepoint platform’s flexibility.

For artists, designers, interior decorators, and architects, this is good news. The mobile web has changed the way that creative portfolios are managed and presented.

Obviously, there are a number of slideshow solutions available out there. But, Whitepoint provides unique advantages for pushing content across iOS, Android, and via your web site if you want. This is perfect for those art fairs, meet ups, or conversations over drinks.

Furthermore, this includes simultaneous distribution of your content – meaning that you update the content in one place, and it is immediately available across each of those vehicles.

Getting Started

If any of the below doesn’t make sense to you just yet, remember that getting started delivering content with Whitepoint is easy, and we offer YouTube tutorials to help get going with authoring. And, in the event you’re a creative who doesn’t have graphic design experience or access to expensive graphic design tools, we provide some graphic design tips for building Whitepoint tours and guides as well.

Showcasing and Highlighting Work

There are several ways to share a portfolio using Whitepoint and provide more information about specific aspects of images. But, the fastest path forward is by building a basic slideshow:

  1. Take each of the images for the portfolio and add any necessary text to them. These are your scene images.
  2. Design one introductory – or overview – graphic and use this as the main scape image.

This approach will work for galleries who wish to offer slideshows of available work, artists and students who wish to build and distribute a free portfolio of their work, and in any other situation where a portfolio of existing jobs is needed.

Don’t forget the resources mentioned above to help get started. Happy #whitepointing.

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Introducing . . . ScapeViewer!

In addition to viewing scapes on our Android and iOS apps, wouldn’t it be nice if those tours could also be taken by your every day desktop user? According to feedback we’ve received, our users definitely think so. Enter the ScapeViewer ™.

Tours Can Be Viewed On Desktops

Here’s how it works: When a scape is authored on Whitepoint, that scape is available immediately for viewing on our Android app, our iOS app, and anywhere the scape is linked up by the author using our ScapeViewer technology.

And, by “linking up” we mean simply adding to a web site a few lines of code that we provide. It is very simple. No Flash player. No weird add-on software to download. Just basic scripting.

This capability is perfect for real estate tours, office tours, product tours, and different types of support documentation – such as “getting started” guides (read more about those types of uses in our blog entry on Whitepoint as a content management tool).

There will soon be a number of examples of this technology at work, but one of the first uses is in delivering an office tour for a sports medicine and chiropractic facility.

Smarter Virtual Touring

We’re excited about this feature set because it makes Whitepoint an even more flexible and powerful framework. The problem with building what have often been called “virtual tours” up to this point has been the lack of interactivity with material. They’re often boring static lists of images, or in a best case scenario, a Flash presentation. They are usually painstakingly put together, then left alone and seldom – if ever – updated. Any web designer knows that they are a pain to deal with.

Whitepoint, on the other hand, provides an easy vehicle for updating and maintaining scapes – smarter virtual tours. And, when they’re updated, changes are reflected across the board in the different instances – across the apps and in the ScapeViewer implementation.

One change, in one place, is reflected immediately. Everywhere.

Need More Information?

Read more about linking your virtual tour to your web site with ScapeViewer.

Or, just reach out below with your questions.

 

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First Time Navigating the Whitepoint App? Try the Scape Demo.

We’ve loaded a demonstration scape to help those new to Whitepoint. This is perfect for first-time users and those who are wondering what one of those tabs in the top right corner does.

In the Whitepoint app interface, you can search “scape demonstration” in the top right corner in the search box.

Whether you’re using our Android app or our app for iOS, this will help you understand how to quickly get where you need to go.

Happy #whitepointing!

Updated July 20, 2016.

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Whitepoint Goes to the 2012 Miami Art Fairs

Ahhhhh yes, Miami. A scape that maps well over a dozen of the most popular art fairs is now available on Whitepoint. It will be updated throughout the week. If it is your first time in Miami for the fairs, this is a great way to get your bearings before being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mental stimulation.

We’ll also be working on at least two other related scapes throughout the week.
You can find the Miami Art Fair scape under “Visit” on the main screen of your Whitepoint for Android app.

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