Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Monday, August 25, 2014

 

the power of a full keyboard for accessible navigation



Since most posts on the list these days have to do with iPhone apps, I thought I’d wax eloquent for a minute about the full Sendero GPS systems that really give one powerful access using a Braille or QWERTY keyboard, especially when on a long trip.

I went to Reno for a conference last week, taking the Megabus from Sacramento. It was great having very specific user points to get me from the actual stop in Sparks Nevada to the casino doorway and back. You had to pass under a freeway and a few streets so simply following a pedestrian route might get you close but not right to the door.

When I asked the bellman about restaurants that were walkable, he told me there weren’t any. When I got to my room and fired up Sendero Maps, I found 6 restaurants from 650 to 900 feet away. The Great Basin Brewing Company was my favorite.

It was also nice on the ride home to be able to monitor our progress and then to call ahead to have my ride meet me early as I saw we would be there ahead of schedule.

This past weekend, we went to my old stomping grounds, Ashland Oregon. Since I was working on my laptop on the ride up and back, I had Sendero GPS and Maps running in the background. Various POIs and cities announced along Highway 5. I also picked a restaurant in Mount Shasta for our lunch break and somewhat reluctantly found several crystal shops for a little shopping expedition.

I had lots of user points in Ashland from the old days with the GPSTalk laptop unit. I had to re-categorize lots of those points from the Bonus category.

It was great walking around town with my PK playing tour guide for friends and family. I occasionally switched to my iPhone but it was so much more efficient to have the Braille keyboard and display when narrating what was around and when trying to find a destination. It is so nice when having a conversation when in a car on a long trip to be able to monitor the environment on a Braille display. Audio announcements, even in an earphone, interrupt the train of thought.


I love the Seeing Eye GPS as well, especially for the latest POIs, some of which are not yet in the BrailleNote onboard database.

In all cases, it is amazing to have these tools to accentuate independent travel.

Mike

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