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Setup navigation using Initial Views and North Points
Setup navigation using Initial Views and North Points

How to set direction and initial views using CloudPano's core concepts of Initial Views and North Points.

Clayton Rothschild avatar
Written by Clayton Rothschild
Updated over a week ago

Note: If you are having issues with your tours created prior to March 9, 2023, please check out the Troubleshooting section of this article.

North Points and Initial Views are core concepts that you should understand to make the most of your CloudPano projects.

Introduction to Navigation

We follow a compass when moving from scene to scene. By default, your viewer will arrive at one scene facing the same direction as the previous scene. If a user leaves a scene while facing northwest, then they will arrive at the next scene facing northwest. This allows for a natural feeling of movement.

If the compass is wrong, then northwest for one scene may not be the true northwest for the next scene! You can calibrate the compass to set its base "North Point" by clicking it. You only have to do this once per scene during tour creation.

You can override the compass and always load a scene at the position you set, no matter where the user is coming from within the tour. If you would like to manually set a default "Initial View" when a user enters a scene, you can do so by clicking "Set Initial View."

North Points

You dont have to set Initial Views for your scenes, but we do recommend setting the North Point for each scene so that the user can naturally move from one scene to another and maintain his direction.

How to use North Points

Click the Compass in the top right of a scene to calibrate it and set its 'North Point.'

If the compass is wrong, the user may arrive at a scene facing backwards - the compass wasn't ever calibrated. You only have to do this once per scene during tour creation.

Initial Views

Initial Views are overrides that make sure the user always faces the same direction, no matter how they arrive at the scene. If the user enters a scene from the north or south or any other direction, they will always see the Initial View you set.

How to use Initial Views

Click 'Set Initial View' to always load a scene at the position you set and ignore the internal compass heading.

When set, Initial Views are shown as overrides on the compass. You can drag these around.

Use Initial Views only when coming from certain scenes

Click the 3 Dots next to the 'Set Initial View' button to choose 'Set Initial View when Coming from...". Here, you can use a different initial view depending on the scene that the user arrives from.


I have problems with my tours created prior to the release of the Compass North Point system.

Tours created prior to March 9, 2023 were created by specifying a hard-coded navigation mode: "Initial View Navigation," "North Point Navigation", or "Hybrid Navigation."

To answer questions about these legacy tours, check out this article: How Legacy Tours Work With the New Compass System.
If your tour was created after March 9, then read on.

My North Point is being ignored.

You likely have an Initial View override. Check the compass to observe the initial view and delete it by clicking it and choosing 'delete.'

I want to control what the user sees everytime they arrive at my scene.

You need to use Initial View overrides. Otherwise, navigation occurs using the compass - so the user arrives at a destination scene looking a different direction depending on where they are coming from.

I arrive at a scene facing a slightly different direction each time, but it is always random.

If your arrivals are way off, then the north point of the destination scene likely needs to be calibrated to match reality. Click the compass to set the true north point, and you will now always arrive at the scene facing the direction you expect.

So, if you leave a scene facing 40 degrees northwest, the destination scene should face 40 degrees northwest. If you leave a scene facing 50 degrees northweest, the destination scene should face 50 degrees northwest - the arrival looks slightly different, than before, but is consistent with what the user expects.

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