A Free and Easy WordPress Plugin for Linking Virtual Tours

Need a WordPress plugin that will make including virtual tours for your web site easier? You’re in the right place.

We’ve built a free WordPress plugin that helps you easily link smarter virtual tours built with the Whitepoint framework to your WordPress posts. You can find the plugin in the WordPress plugin directory, but here are some additional details to help in using it.

First off, yes, our WordPress plugin is free. And, come to think of it, the WordPress content management system is free too. Not a bad deal, all in all.

Here’s the link: ScapeViewer for WordPress.

Why is There a WordPress Plugin for Whitepoint?

The Whitepoint framework helps you build and manage more intelligent virtual tours. Like WordPress, Whitepoint is at its core a content management system. WordPress and Whitepoint utilize a similar approach to the process of managing content. It makes sense that WordPress users would also be interested in linking scapes (Whitepoint tours) or building their own scapes.

In addition to mobile display of smarter virtual tours, Whitepoint offers the ability for those tours to be viewed on desktops.

If you’re not familiar with the idea of a Whitepoint scape, take a look at this post with a short scape demonstration (which was built with the help of said WordPress plugin).

Until now, there were some issues in getting WordPress to include the necessary code in posts for a clean user experience while opening and viewing Whitepoint scapes. The WordPress plugin takes any required coding out of the picture altogether and makes it a lot easier to quickly link up a Whitepoint tour.

And, What Does Whitepoint’s WordPress Plugin “Do” Exactly?

As mentioned above, the WordPress plugin will insert the necessary JavaScript automatically. That alone takes the biggest headaches out of the WordPress integration process.

A virtual tour built with Whitepoint linked in a WordPress post

When you embed a scape link using the WordPress plugin, you have multiple options including alignment. In the above example, the graphic link to the scape is aligned right.

The plugin includes a shortcode generator that asks a few simple questions before providing the shortcode that’s needed to insert the link to the scape. All you have to do as a WordPress author is copy and paste that code into your post.

You will need to know the scape ID of the scape that you want to link up. That’s easy. If you are a Whitepoint author, you can find the scape ID in the “Team Scapes” or “Personal Scapes” link in Whitepoint’s Authoring Panel.

So, What’s an Example of How Someone Could Use This?

Let’s say you operate a real estate web site and need to link up multiple properties to a WordPress blog or web site. Maybe you link up a virtual tour to a daily blog post.

As a Whitepoint author (you will need to have an authoring account), you build out your scape, then using the WordPress plugin, you provide the scape ID. You insert a shortcode into your WordPress page and you’re done.

Finding Another Author’s Whitepoint Scape ID

Even if you’re not a Whitepoint author, you can link up the scape or virtual tour that another Whitepoint author has built. Just have them provide the scape ID.

Or, visit their scape from a desktop and take a look at the address bar:

Virtual Tour Link for Whitepoint WordPress Plugin

Here’s an example of a web address for a scape. Using the WordPress plugin and scape ID of 24, you could link up your WordPress post to this virtual tour.

The number you see is the scape ID. In the above example, it’s 24.

Questions? Insights? Ideas on how you can use this?

Meanwhile, happy #whitepointing.

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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Password Protection for Mobile Tours Now Available

Ever thought about offering a tour for mobile devices that only certain people can access? Maybe guests, visitors, or employees? No problem.

Password protection for mobile tours and desktop tour access is now available to Whitepoint Pro and Premier Authoring Accounts.

Examples of Password Protected Tour Scenarios

For example, this is helpful when you’re using Whitepoint access as a perk to ticketholders for an exhibit. In an exhibition environment, you may want a separate scape – our term for “tour” – for those who have paid admission. This might replace an audio guide, for instance.

Golden Gate Bridge - Screenshot from a Whitepoint Tour

If you were providing a walking tour of the Golden Gate Bridge, you might want to offer mobile tour access to ticketholders only.

In a training scenario, you may want trainees to have access to material that the public can’t see or access. Password protection for your kitchen tour or retail shelving training presentation is a perfect fit.

Currently, the capability is available in the Whitepoint Android app and for the ScapeViewer – tours that are accessible to desktop or laptop computer users. Password protected access to scapes will soon be available in the iOS app.

Your Tour Secrets Are Safe

And, don’t forget: For Premier Authors, scapes can be listed as public, private, or super private – depending on your desired level of secrecy.

  • Public – Scapes, or tours, that are listed as public are available for searching.
  • Private – Scapes, or tours, that are listed as private can be discovered by search but not accessed without the password.
  • Super Private – Scapes, or tours, that are listed as super private can not be discovered by search and also require a password.

This means your password protected scape could be used in a public facing scenario or for internal use only. Whether guest, visitor, or employee, they can access the scape by mobile device or desktop computer. For added security, you may even want to consider a DIY kiosk. Or, issue standard tablets or iPads for specific uses.

Haven’t built a scape yet? Get started today.

Updated July 18, 2016.

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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Now Available on Google TV!

The Whitepoint app on Android (Fly, release 2.25 at time of posting) is now compatible with Google TV.

We’ve confirmed that it looks and functions great specifically using Sony’s Google TV buddy box – the NSZ-GS7 – on a 40-something inch Samsung.

And, you can get an even better deal at Amazon on that box, when it was last checked. It’s a fun toy, and you don’t have to buy a brand new TV . . . though you could if you just had to.

If you own a Google TV or Google TV buddy box, just visit the Google Play Store and download the updated Whitepoint app. As always – it’s free.

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Swipe and Save Scapes with Whitepoint

Well, here it is! Android users, download it. Whitepoint Fly (2.0) and later features:

  • Swiping through scapes
  • Save scapes for viewing
  • Thumbnails on scape listings, with description display
  • Huge performance enhancements across the board – including faster download and display
  • A much smaller app footprint

The swiping advantage is obvious of course, as are the performance and interface improvements. So, what about saving scapes?

Saving Smart Tours in Whitepoint

By saving (downloading) a scape ahead of time, you can view the scape if you are offline later. Authors and scape owners, this is perfect for situations where you want to provide tablets or kiosks for exhibitions or retail stores, for example.

Users, it is perfect for situations where you’re not sure you’ll have connectivity, or you know that web traffic will be too demanding.

And, it helps if you want to save your mobile data plan usage and download the scape while on wifi. Then, just view it later.

Happy #whitepointing. Download Whitepoint Fly for Android today.

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Important Android and iOS Updates This Week

You’ll now want to update your apps to at least 1.6 on Android and 1.2 on iOS. There is one critical update to database connectivity and some slight UI improvements posted this week.

Both are now available in their respective stores: Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS.

Also be sure to check out this week’s ScapeViewer announcement – so many exciting developments in process and on the way.

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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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Whitepoint 1.6 for Android Available

We recently made some small changes and improvements in the latest version of the Android app, and it is now available.

Some people have reported successful automated updating of their app, and others have had to uninstall then install from the Play store. Not sure why that’s the case, but keep that in mind if you’re not sure that you’re running the latest version.

If you haven’t already, download the latest version of the Android app here.

 

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Whitepoint as a Content Management Solution

5/13/16 Update: The potential applications for Whitepoint as a content management solution in various environments are continually evolving. Be sure to search our blog for “content management” to discover more.

Once Whitepoint’s authoring platform went live, we received interest from various groups looking to manage content – from walking tours of communities to campus tours. We’d love to hear about your ideas and applications too!

It is easy to think of Whitepoint as simply a virtual touring technology, but in fact, it is just as much a content management tool as it is a virtual tour solution.

Yes, that’s right. Here’s just one way: The Whitepoint framework can act as a content management solution specifically for sales and marketing of retail products. And, in doing so, it will tailor product tour and related support material across iOS, Android, and desktop web shopping experiences simultaneously.

Content Management Solution . . . How?

With a product or even a real estate property for example, you generate a lot of content – pictures, text, links, and jumping off points for further engagement. That’s a lot to manage. Whitepoint helps you organize that visually and in a way that keeps that content being put to good use. Still not sure how? Here’s more on Whitepoint as a content management system for smarter virtual tours with some nitty gritty details such as storage requirements and more.

Convenient Content Updates

In fact, using the Whitepoint framework, you can update content across multiple online retail sites at once. That’s a huge advantage when maintaining product walkthroughs, tours, and how-to documentation.

We’ll be sharing some examples of all of this in the near future. Keep an eye on our blog as well as our Twitter and Facebook accounts. And, be sure to take a look at our Featured Scapes and tours for mobile while you’re at it.

Still have questions? Just reach out below.

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Whitepoint for iOS Now Available!

9/25/14 Update: Since this post announcing the iOS app availability, our iOS app has been updated repeatedly to include substantial layout and performance improvements. Discover the latest version today in the App Store.

Whitepoint 1.0 for iOS is now available in the App Store. View scapes on iPhones, iPads, and Touch with this free app download.

Just as we’ve done with the Android app, you’ll see that certain main screen options are greyed out. Don’t worry, it’s not you. We’re providing a preview of the kinds of functionality you’ll be seeing in the near future.

Personalized user accounts and authoring will be made available publicly very soon.

Have comments? Concerns? Questions about the app? Comment here or email us at support -at- whitepoint -dot- mobi.

Now go . . . wait for it . . . and Whitepoint Your World! 

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Whitepoint 1.3 (Rush) Now Available in Play

9/25/14 Update: Since this post, our Android app has been updated repeatedly, including substantive performance improvements. Please search and download the latest version today in the Google Play Store.

We made several recent updates to address issues and make improvements here and there. While this isn’t a major release, be sure to update the app for your Android device.
There are specific improvements in the areas of back button capability as well as orientation. Some upcoming features are still “previewed” – look for improvements in a major release soon!

We’re still limiting compatibility to certain flavors of Android as we continue to ensure that we’re providing the best experience we can. If you have any thoughts on the release, please share them. We look forward to hearing from you!

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