Today Louisville-based indoor mapping and accessible wayfinding technology provider, GoodMaps, and Phoenix-based Accessible Avenue, a mobility-industry consulting firm that assists industry organizations to improve the accessibility of their products and services, announced a strategic partnership that will accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge navigational technologies within the rapidly expanding mobility industry. GoodMaps was formed to create technology that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to explore and successfully navigate the environment as well as for all other individuals. GoodMaps Founder and CEO, Jose Gaztambide shares, “GPS wayfinding has made it possible for blind and visually impaired people to independently travel outdoors but it does not work indoors. By utilizing revolutionary LiDAR and camera-based mapping, GoodMaps quickly creates secure indoor digital maps and provides indoor positioning as accurate as a couple feet, all without the need for any hardware.” “Partnering with GoodMaps represents a natural extension of Accessible Avenue’s mission to transform mobility for everyone,” says Founder and CEO Ron Brooks. “For example: we know that one of the biggest barriers to the use of public transit by people with disabilities is the ability to navigate transit stations and facilities and the surrounding neighborhoods with confidence. GoodMaps is solving for that exact challenge, so their technology represents a game-changer for any organization that wants to create more accessibility for people with disabilities who need to navigate indoor as well as outdoor spaces.” About GoodMaps GoodMaps was spun out of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in early 2019 with a mission of expanding accessible navigation technology. GoodMaps is a digital mapping and accessible navigation company focused on making buildings more accessible, welcoming, and safe. GoodMaps uses LiDAR, image recognition, and positioning technology to create unparalleled mapping and navigation experiences for audiences ranging from firefighters to people who are blind, to facility managers, and even first-time visitors. For more information about GoodMaps, visit www.GoodMaps.com. About Accessible Avenue Founded in 2020, Accessible Avenue exists to connect public agencies and private organizations with consulting and training services that can assist in the development and delivery of mobility and transportation related facilities, products and services that are accessible for everyone, including older adults and people with disabilities. More information is available at https://www.AccessibleAvenue.net.
In honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, GoodMaps is pleased to announce that its free app with both outdoor and indoor mapping technology is now available in the UK and Ireland. GoodMaps’ highly accurate LiDAR indoor mapping and camera-based positioning technology is easily maintained with no hardware infrastructure to install. GoodMaps’ goal is to make buildings more accessible, safe, and inclusive across the globe. Expansion of GoodMaps UK Venues GoodMaps is pleased to announce a selection of multinational organisations have committed to making their UK buildings more inclusive by offering accessible indoor navigation to their customers, employees, and the community. GoodMaps is excited to work with clients in the UK and Ireland who see the value in incorporating the GoodMaps navigation platform within their spaces. An announcement of publicly available GoodMaps buildings will be coming in the near future. Neil Barnfather has joined GoodMaps to head European operations and sales. Neil is well known in the global disability community and as an international entrepreneur. Asked about what he was most excited to achieve at GoodMaps, Neil replied, "the opportunity to bring this impactful and game changing solution to our community across Europe truly spoke to my altruistic and social spirit." To learn more about how you can have your venue mapped in the UK to promote accessibility and other benefits, contact Neil Barnfather here: email@example.com Download GoodMaps Explore iOS Download GoodMaps Explore Android
Read original article on the APH Blog GoodMaps is making everyday travel more accessible. Born as a spin-off of the work APH started with Nearby Explorer, GoodMaps has been hard at work creating and implementing their state-of-the-art mapping techniques, including mobile LiDAR scanners and Camera-based Positioning System (CPS) for incredibly accurate maps. Not only has this simplified the mapping process for venues, but it also makes the free GoodMaps Explore app fast, easy, and effective for travelers. Want to learn more about what makes GoodMaps tick? Read our introduction blog, and get to know the GoodMaps advantage: The GoodMaps Advantage promises: more accurate navigation; more simple implementation with little to no upkeep; to be more usable by providing free and intuitive apps for users; to be more secure for the venues that can control levels of information access. Now that you’re familiar with GoodMaps, let’s talk about all the exciting plans they have for 2021! APH Smart Cities Expanding on a previous APH initiative to make our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky an accessible city, GoodMaps is working with local venues to switch from the infrastructure-heavy beacons of the past, to their new and more accurate mapping system. Building on the great relationships APH has maintained in the community, GoodMaps is already transitioning previous legacy buildings that used the old Indoor Explorer technology to this new accessible tech. The goal of the APH Smart Cities initiative is to continue expanding the accessibility and safety of indoor spaces in the Louisville area with the mission to bring on more buildings so we can become a fully inclusive community for people who are blind or visually impaired. So far, the following buildings have committed to this technology transition: Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) Louisville Science Center Floyd County Library Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts (KMAC) Actor’s Theatre of Louisville LouieLab (a civic innovation hub and coworking space) Louisville Metro Hall Speed Art Museum Muhammad Ali Center University of Louisville Student Activities Center With many more to come! GoodMaps Explore New Release Since our last check in, GoodMaps released a new version of their GoodMaps Explore app on both iOS and Android platforms. The new release contains improvements to indoor directions, outdoor to indoor transitions, and indoor location notifications. The full release notes can be found here: GoodMaps Explore What’s New. Plus, they introduced a great new audio tutorial featuring GoodMaps Chief Evangelist Mike May and J.J. Meddaugh from A.T. Guys! The audio tutorial is great for users who want to learn about the Explore app, covering both indoor and outdoor use. It’s even broken into chapters, so busy travelers who want to learn about one specific feature can do so quickly. Take a listen. Going Places We can’t give you any details yet, but GoodMaps is on the move. The team is hitting the road to expand its impact across the country and beyond! Stay tuned for updates as the year goes on.
GoodMaps is happy to be collaborating with Accessibility.com. They are on a mission to create objective and trustworthy information and resources to become a catalyst for equal access to the physical and digital worlds. Their website covers everything from Digital to Physical Accessibility as well as providing background info on disabilities and even influential lawsuits. Recently, GoodMaps was featured in their blog to highlight the benefits of creating accessible indoor spaces. The article, "Is Lack of Information Access Getting Between You and Your Customers?" discusses what business owners have to gain by mapping their building and implementing indoor navigation.
Eyes on Success, Episode 2125 GoodMaps Indoor Navigation Aid (Jun. 16, 2021) GPS technologies and apps are a great asset in helping the blind navigate and become more mobile. Unfortunately, GPS is only effective in navigating outdoors. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mike May about the new GoodMaps app and how it has overcome technical challenges faced by other approaches to indoor navigation in the past. The Hosts: Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey Check out Eyes On Success (formerly ViewPoints) A weekly, half hour audio program for people living with vision loss. Find out more about the show and get links to past episodes at: Eyes On Sucess Find the podcast on iTunes or use the podcast URL Find us on social media at: Eyes On Success Facebook Eyes On Success Twitter Eyes On Success YouTube
Sight and Sound Technology Podcast host, Stuart, sits down with Neil Barnfather, Vice President, Europe for Goodmaps. GoodMaps was born out of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). Founded in 2019 and based out of Louisville, GoodMaps (previously named Access Explorer) was created by APH with a simple mission: to further the cause of accessible navigation. Realizing that the mission of universal accessible navigation was limited by the lack of indoor digital mapping, the GoodMaps platform and company were born. About Sight and Sound Technology Sight and Sound Technology is the UK's leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. Our podcast is another channel for us to communicate all our latest news, talk about our product portfolio and speak to the people for whom our products are making a life-changing impact.
Don't leave the soft skills behind Awesome Inc Podcast Episode 68: Jose Gaztambide, CEO of Goodmaps highlights the importance of caring about people, knowing the value you bring, and work life balance as a founder. Goodmaps is furthering the cause of accessible navigation with their digital indoor mapping solution. They providing a customer portal where venue owners can access and edit their digital maps in multiple views: 2D floorplan, 3D model, and LiDAR point cloud. About Awesome Inc Awesome Inc's mission is to help people pursue their definition of AWESOME by building community around the creation and education of technology and entrepreneurship. Episodes will focus on those who have been inspirations to our entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout Kentucky. Additionally, we aim to highlight up-and-coming entrepreneurs, innovators, and tech-savvy individuals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries
Getting Unlost From having his story written in Crashing Through to founding Accessible GPS company Sendero, Mike May has been a household name in the world of access and inclusion for decades. Mike joins the 13 Letters Podcast - Getting Unlost Episode this week to talk about what it was like to have his eyesight restored after decades as a blind person, the evolution of accessible navigation, and what he's up to now as Chief Evangelist at GoodMaps. About the 13 Letters Podcast The accessibility podcast, brought to you by Be My Eyes. Learn about universal design, ADA, inclusivity and digital a11y best practices from the world's most respected industry professionals.
Learn how to get the most out of GoodMaps Explore and all of its features. Full Audio Tutorial GoodMaps Explore Audio Tutorial - 22:48 GoodMaps Explore Audio Tutorial Transcript Specific Topics Introduction – 1:32 Location Screen – 2:41 LookAround – 1:00 Favorties – 2:19 Getting Warmer – 2:44 Directions – 1:40 Virtually Explore – 1:54 Search – 1:57 Settings – 7:17 Tips and Tricks – 3:10
GoodMaps, Inc. Louisville, KY Support email: email@example.com Web: www.goodmaps.com Welcome GoodMaps Explore is a mobile navigation app that gives an accessible picture of the surroundings, indoors and outdoors, using speech and Braille output. Built from the ground up for people who are blind or visually impaired, Explore is optimized for on-screen gestures with mobile screen readers (Apple’s Voiceover and Android’s Talkback). Explore provides location information while you move through Indoor Venues or outdoor spaces. Explore will notify you outdoors of your direction, nearest address, cross street, and nearby points of interest (POIs). The following tutorials are available individually on the “More” page of the app or when you launch the app for the first time. Explore’s primary pages are located on four tabs on the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. Happy navigating! First-time downloaders, go through the Welcome tutorial. At the conclusion of the tutorial, you will see a Location and Bluetooth services permission requests and a safety disclaimer, select okay to proceed to the standard location permissions prompt. You can select “Only While Using the App” or “Don’t allow.” If you select Don’t allow, the app will not load and you will be redirected to the iPhone Settings, Explore app to “allow location while using the app” or “always allow.” Next, you will need to read through the safety disclaimer (User Acknowledgements) and select the checkbox that states that you have read and agree with the statement. If you do not accept the safety disclaimer, you will need to use the task switcher to close the app. The app will not load without giving permission to use locations and accepting the safety disclaimer. Camera permission will be requested the first time you enter a mapped building. You will hear, GoodMaps Explore would like to access the camera. GoodMaps Explore uses the camera’s augmented reality tools to obtain accurate location information indoors. GoodMaps never records videos, takes photos or stores camera data. Search Quickly search from the Location page. Search for points of interest (POIs), specific addresses, or general POI categories like “lunch”. Once you select a search result, you can get directions, add as a Getting Warmer POI, explore virtually, or add it to favorites. Favorites The Favorites Page is the second tab on the navigation bar. You can favorite points of interest (POIs) to make them easier to come back to. Favorited POIs will appear visually with a star and will be announced verbally as “favorite” on the LookAround and Location screens. Access your Favorites by going to the Favorites page. Directions Routing is available outdoors through the external Apple or Google link selections. From within a supported indoor venue, navigate to points of interest (POIs) using step-by-step routing. To do this, select a POI from search results, nearby POI, or Lookaround and choose “Directions” from the options list. Before starting a trip, you’ll see a preview of each instruction, total walking time, and distance. As you move along a route, GoodMaps Explore will notify you of upcoming turns and confirm that you’re on the right path. If you have trouble finding the exact destination, you could launch a visual assistance app like Be My Eyes from the More tab within Explore to receive sighted assistance. Location The Location Page is the first tab on the navigation bar. The Location information is announced when you open Explore. If you are outside, this location information periodically notifies you of your direction, nearest address, nearby POIs and the nearby cross street. If you’re inside, Location will include the room name, direction, and nearby POI information. Select the POI name to hear POIs nearby. To get Location information, shake your phone. Shake must be enabled under the Configuration page. Lookaround Select the Lookaround Page, which is the third tab on the navigation bar. Face the top edge of the phone in the direction of choice to hear points of interest and intersections in that direction. You will notice a slight vibration every 45 degrees as you rotate the phone around the compass, at which point the compass direction will be announced, Northwest, etc. The information will be presented in order of proximity. Hold the phone steady in a given direction to keep announcing information further and further away in that direction. If there are no intersections or POIs in the direction you are pointing, you will hear the phrase “nothing in range” and there will be no vibration. Select a POI to get more details about it and to hear options like setting as a Favorite, destination or virtual position. Virtual Mode Use Virtual Mode to explore outdoors and indoors from the comfort of home. When you hear a POI announced, choose it and flick down to the Virtual option. You must first load an indoor venue before you can choose from its POIs. To virtually move around, select a nearby POI and the, “Make this my virtual location” option. You can get directions to a POI, explore nearby POIs, and add favorites, just like you would if you were physically at that location. When you’re finished, select “Exit Virtual Mode” to return to your current active location. To see a list of indoor venues, select from the list on the More tab. Getting Warmer Once you select a POI and are on the details screen for that POI, you can get indications of the distance and direction by tapping the Make Getting Warmer POI option. You can then hear periodic announcements based on the frequency setting under Configuration as to that Getting Warmer destination. Getting Warmer is available in both outdoor and indoor Venues and can be useful in orienting generally to your destination as an option to using turn-by-turn route directions from Google or Apple Maps. User Tips Shake It: You can shake the phone to trigger the Location information. Shake is turned off by default and can be enabled from the More tab under Configuration. The iPhone shake intensity is variable. The easiest shake is when the phone is on edge using a rocking motion. If you put your phone in a pocket or holster on your belt, it may trigger frequently as you walk. The shake triggers on the Location and Nearby screens. Heading: When you are moving, your direction of travel will be announced as Heading. It doesn’t matter which way the phone is facing when you are moving. Facing: When you are stationary, you will hear directions using the word Facing. It may take five seconds after stopping to switch from heading to facing, which means the way the phone is pointed as opposed to your direction of travel. Cross streets and intersections: In Lookaround, you will hear the heading and distance to nearby intersections. Both intersecting street names will be announced. The longer you point in a given direction, the further away you will hear information. Cross streets are announced on the Location screen. You may first hear an announcement of the upcoming cross street around 150 feet from it. As you approach that same cross street, you may hear, “near Main Street.” You can always shake the phone if shake is enabled or you can touch the screen to hear the location information including the cross street if one was announced. Note that some intersections appear as POIs because they were created by a Foursquare user. While walking: Typically, you would have the Location tab selected and would use Lookaround when stationary. You may hear nearby POIs either behind you or in front of you depending on how far away they are. You will hear the compass direction you are heading and the nearest street address. When you are at an intersection, the nearest cross street address may actually be on the intersecting street so don’t be confused. The actual cross street will also be announced by name without a number based on your proximity to the intersection. You can tell the difference because the cross street announcement won’t have an address number, just the street name. Battery conservation: You can save battery drain by clearing Explore or any GPS app from the background with the app switcher when you are not using the app. Outdoor and Indoor routing: Currently, when you wish to set an indoor point as your destination, you must first create a route to the building entrance. When you arrive, you will be asked if you want to switch to indoor navigation in that building. Once you say Yes, you can set a specific point in that building as your destination and will hear the route prompts to it. The same will happen in reverse. You will be prompted when you leave the building if you wish to switch to Outdoor mode. Running multiple apps and Explore in the Background: Once you pick a destination, you can set it as Getting Warmer, as a route or as both. The external route choices in Explore are either Apple or Google. Note that once those external apps are launched with your destination, you need to press Start or Go on Apple or Google for the route directions to begin. Once you do that, you will hear turning directions whether that app is in the foreground or background. You may also wish to have the Getting Warmer Explore position repeating every minute to help you feel confident you are headed in the general direction. Both app voices can operate in the background while you are in a 3rd application. If you make or take a call or if you use Siri, the Explore background voice may stop. If so, go back into Explore and the announcements will resume. If you have Google or Apple open, you will hear both their voice and Voiceover. It is less confusing to let those external apps run in the background so you don’t have too many Voiceover announcements at the same time. The Explore benefits are announcement of details about current address, POIs and intersections. The benefit of the external route directions is that you are told where to turn. Those external apps do not announce the details between turns, which Explore announces. It is ideal to use the two apps in combination. Again, set a destination, pick it as Getting Warmer, choose external directions and then go back to Explore or another app. Go into More, Configuration, Location Information to set notification frequency. Best to return to the Explore Location screen to resume announcements. Known Quirks Clipped speech: If you are using Bluetooth headphones, the first syllable of a Voiceover announcement may be cut off after the phone has been silent for a few seconds. This is an artifact of the phone and nothing to do with the app. Questionable English: If you are using the Alex Voiceover voice, you will hear some distances given as foot instead of feet. Other voices may not make this English mistake. POI Editing: There is currently no option to edit the name of a Favorite User POI so double check the name before you select Save.
Version 1.3.1 March 2, 2021 Search radius expanded to 50 miles and search results show 25 results at a time. Improvements to CPS, including the ability to turn CPS on and off. Improvements to indoor Directions. Improvements to how Location Notifications work indoors, especially how users are notified of Nearby POIs. Improvements to the outdoor to indoor transition. Getting Warmer is now available indoors. Several new Indoor Venues are available in Explore. Minor bug fixes, and improvements to non-English versions of Explore. Version 1.3.0 November 18, 2020 Create new POIs so you can easily remember where that crack in the sidewalk is or your favorite store that doesn't appear in with Foursquare or Apple Maps POIs. POIs that you create appear on the Favorites Tab and work like other POIs; you can navigate to them, hear them announced if they are nearby, set them as a Getting Warmer POI, and find them when using Lookaround. Want to open another app and still get Location notifications? Now you can! While Explore is in the background or while you phone is locked, you can hear updates about your direction, nearest address, upcoming intersections, nearby POIs, and Getting Warmer POI. Customize how often you hear Location information on the Configuration page. Set the frequency of notifications for direction, nearest address, nearby POIs, and Getting Warmer POI. Options include 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 120 seconds, and never. Points of Interest from Apple Maps are here! You can choose between Foursquare and Apple Maps as the source of POI information. Switch from Foursquare to Apple Maps on the Configurations page. Available for iOS 14 and newer. Add a Getting Warmer POI to your Location information to get updates on how far away you are from that POI. Worried about losing favorites or configuration options? When you delete Explore or switch devices, your data is automatically saved. No need to re-add favorite POIs or customize your configuration options. The formula for announcing nearby POIs has been adjusted to improve how POIs are announced when stationary and when moving. Shake to get Location information is now audio-only. The information that used to appear on screen will still be announced. The design of the tutorials has been enhanced for better usability with screen readers. Enhancements to CPS that improve indoor Directions and Lookaround. Improvements to non-English versions of Explore. Minor bug fixes.
The following is a list of various devices that we have tested and can confirm work with Explore running on iOS devices. We have provided tips for operation for some of the devices. External Braille Displays Great for getting extra details, like the spelling of a street name, in Braille. QBraille Focus 14. The Focus 14 is very portable and easy to carry. You are able to run the app using only the Braille display while leaving the phone in a pouch on my belt. Command hints: Right Nav Rocker moves through buttons and tabs. Right Nav Rocker button clicks any button or tab. Spacebar with Dots 2,3,8 switches to computer Braille input Spacebar with G switches output to Literary Braille. I could then input search addresses and points using computer braille, and read the display using literary Braille. Note that, when not using a Braille display, you can do a two-finger double-tap in the Search box, and then dictate your search address or point. When done dictating, do a two-finger double tap to end dictation.
Wayfinding: Finding the mark Speakers: Mike May, Nick Giudice, and Tim Murdoch Map apps on mobile phones are miraculous tools accessible via voice output, but mainstream apps don’t announce the detailed location information (which people who are blind or visually impaired really want), especially inside buildings and in public transportation settings. Efforts in the US and UK are improving accessible navigation. Watch Presentation
GoodMaps Chief Evangelist, Mike May, presents at the Tennessee Assocation for Assistive Technology on Teaching the New Era of Accessible Wayfinding. Over the past ten years, there have been various accessible navigation systems on the market. These systems are great in providing real-time travel information for the users but suffer from inaccuracy, installation, and maintenance needs. GoodMaps Explore, a seamless indoor-outdoor navigation app offers hands free navigation capabilities for blind or visually impaired users to travel free and independently. Our indoor positioning technology utilizes LiDAR and camera images to achieve meter level accuracy without the need for any installation or infrastructure in a building. With the COVID era causing classrooms to become virtual, it is now more important than ever to instill independence and confidence in students to navigate through their daily lives. Goals: At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to: Describe how to teach students to gather information about the travel environment, including street names, intersections, points of interest, and city information using GoodMaps Explore. Learn from a 20+ year accessible wayfinding blind professional how indoor navigation has evolved from GPS and beacon based systems to a new camera based positioning technology. Describe how students can navigate independently using GoodMaps Explore during a time when social distancing is required. Watch the recorded session
GoodMaps presents their new technology from multiple perspectives Watch the video from the American Printing House for the Blind Annual Meeting displaying GoodMaps new technology. During the session GoodMaps also discusses the new collaboration between Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Fantasmo. Read GoodMaps Explore feedback from a student, orientation and mobility teacher, and a professional blind user. Taylor Cox “Using GoodMaps Explore for the first time was so crazy. I walked around my neighborhood and I notice things that my mom and dad didn't notice. I saw the street names that I was walking on and I knew which Cardinal direction I was facing. It was really an awesome eye opener for me.” I use GoodMaps Explore a lot when I am riding in the car. I was driving to Hobby Lobby with my mom and sister and we pull up to Hobby Lobby and there was a Chick-fil-A right next to it. I wasn't super familiar with the area, but I was like wait there's my favorite restaurant and I didn't know. My mom mentioned, “How did you not know?” and I was like you never you never told me. Usually when people are driving, they don’t notice the restaurants around them. They just paying attention to the road and they assumed you knew what is in the area. Another thing that I love about this app is the Cardinal directions. I have been working with my mobility specialist on trying to figure out where I am facing. We've used everything from the sun to the compass on my iPhone but Explore just happened to have the pretty package of street names, POIs, and cardinal directions. I've used Explore to enhance my mobility skills which doesn't take away from the mobility specialist but opens your eyes in a new way, so have fun with it! Jamie Murdy Overall I have found it to be intuitive and easy to use. As Taylor mentioned, she could pick it up and get immediate information from her environment without a lot of training. Most of my students, and any kid in general, is good at their phone. So, it's nice that it's on a platform that they are used and able to use. A few days ago, I had one of my middle school students, and I said, “OK your homework is to download this app and explore it and tomorrow I am going to ask you what you learned about your neighborhood.” I didn't tell her how to use the app at all. The next day, I said “OK tell me tell me what you learned.” Her first response was, “It was very easy to use, there's tutorials for each time you go to a new section of the app it tells you how to use it.” Then she started telling me all about her neighborhood. She told me street names that she didn't know and that there is a bus stop a half a mile from her house. She said “When I'm old enough to travel independently, I want to learn where the bus stop is and take the bus.” She went on to tell me that her dad had called and told her, “I'm passing this location I'll be home soon.” So, she plugged that point of interest into her app and the app told her he was four miles away. She was able to generalize from the app that, “Oh my dad will be home in about 5 minutes.” She was able to collect all this information from the comfort of her house literally with no instruction. As a TBI I talk about building mental maps and I feel like she was able to do that and learn about her environment quickly with Explore. Working with GPS for so long, users have told me that their favorite feature is Look around mode. This mode gives the ability to get information automatically, on your own, without relying on a sighted person to assume that you already know about it or are interested in it. For example, an excited child at a young age is looking out the window and saying, “Oh look we're passing McDonald's or let's go to chuckie cheese, I see the mouse.” They are able to learn about their environment by doing this and that is what Lookaround provides for someone who is visually impaired. What is the role as a teacher, parent or even an OEM when teaching GPS? As you’ve seen from my example and with Taylor, it doesn't always take a ton of teaching. We don't need to be experts with the technology, for us it's helping our students learn how to interpret the information the GPS is giving them and apply it to their environment. and being able to generalize skills to travel independently. Explore is another tool that we can add to our toolbox. The more we provide our students, the better off they are going to be as far as their independence in building mental maps. Bob Sweetman I've been using GoodMaps for on my iPhone for about two months now and one nice thing about it being on the iPhone is you always have it with you. I like to take walks in the morning with my guide dog and we usually walk a mile or two and GoodMaps gives me the information I need on my walk. For example, it gives the street I'm on, my direction of travel, upcoming intersections, and nearby points of interest. It reads the POIs off in a way that's not distracting, and it doesn't say too many of them. You can click and get more, for example, I should be at a strip mall, but it gives you an idea of where you and what's around which is incredible. It also helps in learning routes. It gives confirmation that you're on the correct route so that you can focus on what's happening in terms of traffic or what your Guide Dog is doing. Whether you're in a vehicle or traveling it gives you location literacy without having to work hard to find it. Virtual exploration is awesome! For example, I was able to look around the American Printing House for the Blind building and understand how it is laid out and get directions to different points inside the building. I think the aspect of having indoor and outdoor navigation is going to be fantastic. I have used the focus Braille display and the aftershocks headset while walking with GPS. When you're using a device like that you don't even have to have your phone out. It can just be on your belt. You can run the entire app from the Braille display which is really quite nice. The ability to see the street names and the business names is helpful to know how things are spelled. I found GoodMaps very easy to learn and the tutorials in the more app are excellent. It becomes a matter of practice and I would tell anyone trying to get comfortable with GPS, just practice with it every day and pretty soon it will be natural. Read about the CNIB & GoodMaps partnership here!
A revolutionary accessible indoor navigation initiative is taking place in the Huntington, West Virginia right now. The American Printing House for the Blind and GoodMaps are partnering to create accessible maps for people who are blind or visually impaired in Huntington, West Virginia. The initiative began July 13 and seeks to bring visual aids to the visually impaired within a series of buildings in Huntington, allowing these people to be more independent and confident within the space. The buildings being mapped by the initiative are the Cabell-Wayne Association of the Blind, the Phil Cline YMCA Center and the downtown Cabell County Public Library. These buildings were decided upon by a grant given to the American Printing House by the Teubert Charitable Trust, which lasts one year in order to get the project started. The resulting app, developed by GoodMaps, will allow users to get step-by-step directions and access to points of interest in an indoor space.