Authoring is the process by which scapes are built and managed. Anyone can be an author - in fact, authoring is free and available to the public: non-profit, for-profit, public, private, or personal.
Most authors use a Basic Authoring Account. Again, there is no charge for this account, and it is the status you receive by default when you create a Whitepoint ™ user account. This account provides more than enough capability for the average author.
For those who demand more, Whitepoint offers expanded capabilities too. This help documentation will guide anyone through becoming a Whitepoint author however.
If you're not yet familiar with Whitepoint's exclusive scape / scene / whitepoint / widget logic and framework, we recommend that you download the app or read the Overview and Visiting sections of this help documentation.
Getting Your Account Up and Running
The very first step is to visit authoring.whitepoint.mobi and click the link to create a new account. You will be asked for some basic information to establish your account. If you're largely going to author for personal purposes, we suggest getting started by using a personal email account. If you plan on authoring for your job and want to strike a work / life balance, we suggest using your work email address. You can always create a separate account for your personal interests outside of work.
Along those lines, it is also a good idea to have your user name reflect your personal versus professional interests.
Let's say your name is Joe and you work at the Museum of Wax Candle History. You've been tasked with authoring a scape for the upcoming exhibit on tapered candles, but no account exists for the museum yet. You'll want to get started with your email (which happens to be firstname.lastname@example.org), and you have several options for a username which complements your authoring purpose: Museum of Wax Candle History or WaxCandleHistory.com. Both of these can be user names. Spaces and "dots" are allowed.
The following week, you find that Whitepoint is such an incredibly cool tool that you'd like to use it to document your personal collection of Marvel action figures. Your personal email is joe@lightningDSL.com - you set up your personal account with that email address. That same day your action figure collection is coming to life online and in the Whitepoint app.
Inside the Authoring Panel
Note: A YouTube tutorial covering much of the content detailed here is available at Whitepoint's YouTube Channel under "Get Started Authoring."
Log in with your account at authoring.whitepoint.mobi.
Getting around is quite easy. You'll see your main menu to the left, which will take you almost everywhere you need to go from managing account information to editing your existing scapes. Whitepoint authoring has some pretty cool capabilities, but we're most concerned with keeping it as simple as possible and only showing authors what they need, when they need it.
The authoring panel has its own look. You know that you're there when you see the "Authoring" label with the Whitepoint icon in the top left corner.
Your First Scape
In the main menu (on the left side of the screen) of the authoring panel, click "Start a New Scape."
Whitepoint authoring has collaboration capability (which is pretty cool if we do say so ourselves) and if you've already been invited to collaborate on a scape, you may see the ability to create a scape for a group or to create one personally ("create a scape for my account").
You may want to create a personal test scape for yourself first. Or, if you've been invited, dive in on the collaboration if you want. You will only see this prompt if you've been invited - by referencing your specific account - by another account unit administrator or author with sufficient rights . . . but that's for another class. Carry on.
You'll be following the prompts. Based on the answers, different authors will take different paths. Here, we'll cover the points that relate to almost all scapes.
You will be asked if your scape has a fixed physical location. This has different meaning for different people and situations, but here's a good way to think of it: Are you authoring a scape of a hot new running suit or the ice cream counter at your ice cream shop? The running suit does not have a fixed physical location. The ice cream counter does. And, the ice cream shop where that counter resides has a physical address.
Once you've entered the introductory information, you'll be prompted to provide a scape image - this is a good overview graphic or photo that may or may not depict all of the scenes that will be included in your scape. Don't worry - you can change this, as well as all other images you upload at any time in the future. When authoring scapes, nothing is set in stone.
After you've provided enough introductory information and have followed the prompts as far as you can, remember that you can always click "Cancel" to return to the main menu. You can edit your scape later.
By following the "Start a New Scape" logic, we encourage you to provide as much of a skeleton for your scape as you can. Where you don't have photos, you can use placeholders. And, as you follow the logic, you won't have to provide all the content at one time either. In fact, it is a good idea to do that later once your "scape skeleton" is built.
Your scape is not "live" and able to be seen on the Whitepoint app and ScapeViewer ™ until you change its status later. The status of being "live" to your audience is called "Active" - versus "Inactive" which is like keeping your scape in a draft form that only you can see when you log in to the authoring panel. We'll talk more about that below in "Editing and Managing Your Scape" as well as "Going Live."
When you're tired of answering questions and just want to see what you've done so far, click "Cancel."
If you created your scape for yourself (a "personal scape") you'll see it listed under "Personal Scapes" in the menu to the left. If you created a scape as a member of an authoring team, you'll see it listed under "Team Scapes."
Seeing your scape listed there means that you can always return and edit your new scape.
Editing and Managing Your Scape Content
Locate your scape in the authoring panel, click it. You'll see your screen populated with what we call scene tiles.
You'll see in those scene tiles the scene images that you've chosen for each of the respective scenes. Everything you need to do to a scene or its associated whitepoints you can do by way of this view.
Adding, Editing, and Deleting Scenes
In the bottom right corner of each scene tile, you'll see a pencil icon (edit scene) and a wastebasket icon (delete scene).
The last scene tile is always dedicated to adding a scene. Click the "+" to start authoring a new scene for your scape.
Scenes can be rearranged (in most web browsers) by simply dragging and dropping the tiles. You'll then be prompted to save the new order or reset the order of the scenes of the scape you are editing.
When clicking the icon to edit an existing scene, the "edit scene" dialog will drop from the top of your screen. Here, you can reposition whitepoints on the scene image, and, if you scroll down to just below your scene image, you'll see that you can update your scene image. If you choose to update the image, you will be prompted with related actions - such as repositioning whitepoints - tied to this change.
The "Details" tab in the "edit scene" dialog includes the "Scene Name" field. This field is critical, because it determines what that scene is named in your scape's scene list. The name will also appear in the top left corner when your scene is displayed for users.
All other information in the "edit scene" dialog is optional, but highly recommended. Fields in this dialog make for keyword rich content, helping your scape to be more easily found by users.
Adding, Editing, and Deleting Whitepoints
At the bottom of each scene tile in the authoring panel's main scape view, you'll see a red button that says "View Whitepoints." Click it.
Once clicked, on the right side of your screen, you'll see a container with whitepoints that are already associated with that scene as well as the option to add a whitepoint ("Add New").
Each whitepoint also has a "-" to its right; clicking this sign will initiate the process of deleting a whitepoint. Don't worry - clicking it will not immediately wipe out the whitepoint. Instead, you will be prompted with options tied to deleting that whitepoint.
To edit individual whitepoints, simply click the link. The "edit whitepoint" dialog will descend from the top of your screen. Just as with scene images, you can update a whitepoint image here. Under the "Details" tab, you see the "Whitepoint Name" field. This field is critical and determines the text that appears in the top left of a whitepoint display.
Headers 1, 2, and 3 are optional. They are the fields that appear in the top right of a whitepoint display. The description text appears under the headers and is the meat of the whitepoint's content.
Use of the headers is up to you - they make great fields for part numbers, prices, or in any situation where there is consistent identifying information about objects in a group.
Finally, the "Widgets" tab in the "edit whitepoints" dialog is where you include more interactive content tied to your whitepoint. Maybe you have a link to a YouTube movie or an audio file or just a link to an outside web site. This is the place to include it. Widgets provide the jumping off point for further exploration of things, places, people, or ideas that your whitepoint represents.
Whitepoints in Limbo
Along with the scene tile display, you may or may not see additional whitepoints listed in a separate container to the right with the heading "Whitepoints Not Currently Associated With a Scene."
This container is reserved for whitepoints that were created, but then maybe disassociated with a scene yet saved for the future.
This capability is perfect for situations such as a seasonal retail display - you will probably want to tell people about those same Christmas lights next November. But, in March, not so much.
The "Edit Scape Details" Button
Finally, we have the "Edit Scape Details" button that appears between the title of your scape and the scene tiles in the main scape view of the authoring panel. Click it.
There are a number of critical pieces of data for your scape's display included in the "edit scape details" dialog that drops from the top of your screen.
Under the "Layout and Image" tab, you can update your scape image as well as reposition any related scene points - just look above and below the image for these options.
Under the "Details" tab, you have the "Scape Name" and "Description" fields. This is where you edit the information by which your scape is searched for and identified. The description is optional, but it is highly recommended - it makes your scape more visible for searches and enhances your scape's display in scape sorting results. Write a healthy couple of sentences or paragraph as your description.
Also, under the "General Details" item in the expansion list, you'll see "Discovery." Click it. Here you can include search keywords to help interested users find your scape - just separate the words and terms by commas.
Also, note the "Category" dropdown. This is also a very helpful tool in assisting users in finding your scape. If you're category isn't there yet - please let us know. We love hearing about all of the possible uses of Whitepoint authoring.
So let's say you've created your scape, you've edited it, and you're ready to show it to users of the app and by ScapeViewer. Locate your scape in the authoring panel, click it, and click "Edit Scape Details."
You'll see "Status" and a dropdown for "Active" versus "Inactive." Think of this as your on/off switch. Select "Active" to go live. You may at any time in the future change this selection to "Inactive" if you wish, to remove the scape from view in the app and ScapeViewer. You can even turn it on every Friday night at 8 o'clock and off by midnight if you wish. It's your call.
As you can see, public and private password-capable access is available to upgraded accounts. The active/inactive setting works the same - like an on/off switch - in public or private contexts.