Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Friday, October 18, 2013


East Brother Island Light Station, replay and audio files

Mike and Gena at East Brother Light Station Victorian Bed and BreakfastEast Brother Light Station is a place that has long been on my bucket list to visit. It is a bed and breakfast at a Lighthouse in the San Pablo Bay. It is unique because you are somewhat remote and yet surrounded beyond the water by the San Francisco Bay Area. You access it by boat from Point Richmond, an unlikely place for a high end B&B. East Brother Island description Audio file.

The GPS replay file takes you from the island to shore and then along the dirt road that connects with the paved portion of Western Drive in Richmond.  To get the most out of the replay and to hear an audio clip including the 125 DB fog horn associated with the East Brother POI I created, download the latest USA User POI file.

I was monitoring the speed of the boat and saw that it peaked around 17 MPH.

I asked Captain Richard how fast we were going and he thought around 12 MPH. Captain Richard audio file.
When I told him I was tracking with my
GPS, he said the difference would be because of the strong current.

There isn't much else in that area other than a yacht club, a military radar station and some old ship relics.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Accessible Taxi Screen in Chicago

Once again, I came across a taxi with an accessible interface for the monitor in the back seat. This was with Yellow Taxi in Chicago and here's the audio of the taxi ride.

What you don't hear in the recording is my use of the credit card machine.
It completely worked. I needed no sighted help. I was even able to add the tip.

I have never liked using a credit card in a taxi as this seemed the most likely place someone could steal my card number. Running the card myself on this automated system seems much safer.

This advancement reminds me a bit of when ATMs were first accessible. I can't wait until this is commonplace.

Of course, the other way to deal with this is through apps like Taxi Magic, Flywheel and Uber. Those have many other benefits too like informing you precisely how far away they are and when they have arrived. You can pay via the card you have stored on your app's account.


Sunday, October 06, 2013


Using a Combination of Tools to Navigate a Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco

I used a combination of the BrailleNote PK with GPS and the Seeing Eye GPS as I navigated my way to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco this weekend. This was not trivial task as 250,000 other music lovers descended on Golden Gate Park.

First, I had to figure out the proximity of two places we could park and then walk. One was a mile North of the park and the other 0.6 miles South of the park.

view of the stage at the festivalOnce there, I wanted to know where in the park we should head. We could hear the music before we even started walking but there were 6 stages over about a mile of the park.

This is where the Foursquare points in the Seeing Eye GPS app came in handy. The actual stage names were marked like the Banjo Stage, the Porch Stage, etc. I could easily find out which one was closest and head for it.

I did update the PK database with the stages I visited so I’ll have that next year.

sea of bikes, Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate park, San FranciscoWhen it was time to leave, I used the transit databases on the PK to find out where the nearest bus stop was located. I chose Fulton Street and caught the bus into town to link up with the Civic Center BART. The bus didn’t drop me very close to BART so I used the PK to navigate the final walk to BART. The fun thing was that there was a gaggle of young women on my bus also headed for Bart and they were all scrambling to use their phones to find it. In the end, they just followed me, which made me a little nervous in case I made a wrong turn.

I then took BART to Amtrak and then walked home from there, a lot of navigating for one day.

Friday, October 04, 2013


Testing GPS in New York and Ellen's Stardust diner audio

We were testing the soon-to-be-released version of the Seeing Eye GPS among the tall buildings of New York's Time Square. We navigated to the Jacob's theater to see the musical called, Once. We hit the famous Carnegie Deli, Bottega Del Vino near Central Park, the Apple Store on 59th and 5th Avenue, several hotels, a great breakfast spot on 6th Avenue and 55th and Ellen's Stardust diner with singing waiters. Listen to the Stardust Audio.  

The multi-path signals make any GPS system a bit crazy but with patience and double checking, the app helped us find our way and to know what was along our route. All the while, Tank the Seeing Eye dog deftly navigated the throngs of people on the streets, many not looking where they were going.


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