Layar Creation Tools: Hoppala Augmentation
Continuing our series on Layar Creation Tools, we turn to Hoppala Augmentation, a tool that allows non-techies to edit and publish their very own layers on the Layar Reality Browser.
Hoppala is a very powerful “CMS” for creating content on Layar. Instead of playing around within pre-created layers, Hoppala actually helps you through the process of creating a developer account with Layar to manager your own layers. Our very own Ivo van Barneveld took a closer look at Hoppala, and here’s what he had to say…
Hands-On with Hoppala
It’s easy to get started with Hoppala Augmentation. On the Hoppala website there is a video that explains how to create a layer in 4 steps, it’s really helpful and shows clearly how to get started. Unfortunately, there is no other information (documentation, tutorials, etc) available other than this video.
Registration is simple. Once you have logged in, you can easily add your own layers so you can publish your own content in your own layer.
Editing a layer is also simple. By clicking a layer, you open up a page that allows you to drop POIs (or “augments” in Hoppala’s terminology) on a map. You can also enter an address to navigate to a specific location. A disadvantage is that you need to add every POI manually in this way; there is no option to upload a database of POIs.
Once you have placed your POI, you can edit it by clicking on it. A box with 5 tabs appears where you can set the details for the POI. All the attributes that Layar supports seem to be available through Hoppala: 2D or 3D layers, customized actions, customized icons for POIs etc. For the inexperienced user seeing these attrributes might be overwhelming.
It’s good to know that you only have to set a few (as shown in the video) for the POI to show up in your layer. The more advanced user will like the possibility to tweak his/her POIs. There is no further explanation about the attributes, so Hoppala does presume some prior knowledge of Layar. A suggestion for improvement would be to distinguish required and optional fields.
Publishing the POIs is straightforward. Once you have published your layer through Layar’s publishing environment, every POI that you have added through Hoppala will immediately show up in the layer.
To conclude, Hoppala is a very user-friendly tool to create a layer, with a good video tutorial on how to get started. Many options are available for the more advanced user, and the less advanced user will still be able to publish his/her POIs.