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Scanning Realities

Laser-focused insights into the current geospatial landscape and beyond

Bulent YusufAug 6, 20195 min read

Enhance building information with Points of Interest in NavVis IndoorViewer

Are you seeking an easy, intuitive way to manage building information? Learn how to enrich building information as Points of Interest (POIs) with NavVis IndoorViewer.

Psst! Your building wants to tell you something. Put your ears to the nearest wall and listen. Faintly, ever so faintly, it whispers; "Information yearns to be freeeeeee."  

What kind of information, exactly? Details about the physical and functional characteristics of a building on the macro and micro-level. Recording the condition and features of a site are fundamental to facility management, sure, but knowledge about the kind of assets contained within aren't always as fully accessible. 

How old is that electrical fuse-box, for example? When was it last serviced? Does it require specialized tools? Knowing in advance of a physical inspection would save a lot of time and money.

Also, by free we're not referring to 'free hot-dogs,' but free as in 'fewer limitations.' That's where NavVis IndoorViewer brings exceptional value, delivering interactive building information through something as universal as a web browser.

Tackling the poor state of building information

One challenge all facility managers and stakeholders face is that there's no agreed best practice for managing and disseminating building information. The landscape ranges from flat tools like a spreadsheet, to advanced methodologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM), and more techniques in-between.

A basic spreadsheet lacks visual information, which means it doesn't provide contextual insights to the location and its surroundings, so it couldn’t possibly cover all the pertinent data. However, using BIM for facility management isn't optimal, either. The value of BIM lies with efficiently managing the design and construction of a built environment – not so much with long-term operation and maintenance. There may be information quality issues with BIM models, for instance, or complex documentation that requires specialized software and training.

NavVis IndoorViewer is another means of cataloging building information that's more intuitive but just as precise – requiring only a web-browser to access.

POI information in NavVis IndoorViewer can be presented as text, images, audio, video or HTML.

Within NavVis IndoorViewer, the Point of Interest feature is an easy-to-use, scalable content management system to enrich 3D scans with interactive building information. POIs are simple to use, generate, and share, and enhance your environment with contextual geo-tagged information. This information is viewable as text, images, audio, video, or HTML files. Users can even plot detailed routes to and from each POI.

In this blog post, we'll show you in how straightforward it is to view and manage building information as Points of Interest (POIs), plus more advanced features like importing and exporting POIs and full-text search.

What is NavVis IndoorViewer?

In brief, NavVis IndoorViewer is a web-based application which combines realistic 3D visualization of buildings with a well-designed interface that anyone can use.

Building scan data uploaded to NavVis IndoorViewer is presented as fully immersive 360° images, point clouds, and floorplans. While the 360° and point cloud views let users move through scanned spaces in 3D, the map view provides a 2D overview of the scanned structure and its surroundings.

Points of Interest are clickable icons within NavVis IndoorViewer where viewers can call up detailed information on a location and find routing to their destination. There’s also full-text functionality with auto-complete suggestions, and the ability to share content and locations online.

Best of all, NavVis IndoorViewer provides a seamless user experience without the need to install third-party browser plugins, and runs on desktops and notebooks in all major web browsers. If you don't have a subscription to NavVis IndoorViewer already, sign up for your free trial today.

POI features Guest / Standard user Editor / Advanced user
Web-based access
Clickable icons
Full-text search
Share online
3D and 2D view
Create and edit
Define categories
Import POIs
Export POIs
Customize view
Control access


Managing Points of Interest in NavVis IndoorViewer

Let's go through the main areas of content management in NavVis IndoorViewer.

Content Editors can add and edit content in just a few steps, by right-clicking on the desired location and selecting "Create POI." After that, they can assign the POI values such as type, language, name, and description. Default icons are allocated based on the type, but you can also upload custom icons if necessary.

Content editors can also set the POI view for the end-user, choosing between the closest panoramic image or the current view. By default, it will be the closest panoramic image.

You can also determine the importance of a POI – critical for highlighting things like first aid stations or emergency assembly points – so they're the last POIs to disappear when zooming out of the map view. A life-saving feature, quite literally.

Deleting individual POIs is managed via the "Edit POI" dialogue; removing multiple, or all POIs is done by selecting a POI type or group – though we recommend you export a backup before doing so!

Advanced Features in POI managementAdvanced users can manage users and access for POIs in NavVis IndoorViewer, or upload custom categories and languages.

Advanced users can manage users and access for POIs in NavVis IndoorViewer, or upload custom categories and languages.

Now we come to the fun part. Ready to proceed to the next level in POI management?

Power users can control access to manage users and permissions, so you can potentially oversee a team of content editors who collaborate to annotate the physical space.

You can also define custom types and type groups for your POIs, and import POI batches from physical asset databases or other applications. This last feature is incredibly useful to bring a library of existing POIs bang up to date.

Last but not least, a very cool feature is the ability to set up a full-text search in multiple languages. You can import custom dictionaries, and conceivably build a POI library in English, German, French, or Latin – whichever vernacular the building requires.

Wrapping up

In summary, curating Points of Interest from within NavVis IndoorViewer will take your building information management to the next level.

With everyone working from a single source of truth, efficiency and collaboration between building stakeholders is improved massively. End users will have easier access to information, can access documentation on the fly, and be more on top of one of the most vital tasks in facility management. Spend less time on site, and more time getting things done.

Curious to learn more about NavVis IndoorViewer? Good, because there are more compelling features that we'd like to share with you. Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a blog post about the unique ways our outstanding software solution can enhance the great indoors.

In the interim, if you're ready to take NavVis IndoorViewer for a test-drive, sign up here for a free trial. We look forward to hearing from you.


Bulent Yusuf

Bulent is the Content Marketing Manager at NavVis. He loves technology, writing, and above all speaking about himself in the third person.