Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

 

Mike in London

I am in London for various meetings including a conference today called PhoneAbility. The presenters were mostly university researchers from Europe talking about their projects for wayfinding. One project for example is funded at a level of 16 million dollars. What struck me was how stuck they are in the theoretical ideal as opposed to practical reality. Is it better to wait forever to have perfect accuracy, perfect maps, including sidewalks, or should we be taking advantage of what is possible today to get 50% of wayfinding right? Obviously, Sendero opts for the latter.


As the researchers were talking about their ideal scenarios and how bad current systems were, I was thinking to myself, I just spent 4 days in Barcelona and Madrid, finding my way around independently. I directed my driver to the meeting in London today through circuitous streets. What the heck are they talking about?


Yes, the POI data is not great and yes, the GPS accuracy throws off the streets sometimes. However, what we have today is light years beyond what we had in 2000 when we launched our laptop version and the accuracy and content will continue to improve. Many blind people are getting around independently using the current technologies.


Mike
Mike in front of Big Ben
the view of the Marble Arch from Mike's hotel in London

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