Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Monday, March 31, 2014


combining GPS and the Uber service by Mike May

I have been using the Uber taxi service in several cities recently including here in Paris. It is cheaper and more convenient than your average taxi.
Once you set up an account, it is easy to book a ride and the charges automatically take place once you get where you are going. You don't have to worry about being ripped off or having your credit card number stolen. You also don't have to worry about the driver not picking you up because you have a dog.

One of the things you have to get used to is choosing your pick up location.
It is typically chosen based on where the app thinks you are. It is nice to double check this on your iPhone or other GPS app. If you have to put in a specific address, you can find that out on your GPS and then enter it in the Uber app. It is nice to create a route to your destination to make sure the driver is going the shortest route. Every Uber I have used has a GPS.

When they don't speak English, it is handy to show them the address written on the screen on your iPhone.

Out of the 10 times I have used Uber, I have rated them 5 stars 9 times.
I'll be taking them to the airport on Tuesday and the fare quote is 45 Euro compared with the 85 Euro in a taxi it took when we arrived. I'd say that 95% of the items in the Uber screens talk properly.


Saturday, March 29, 2014


testing two GPS systems in Paris by Mike May

Just walked about 4 miles back to our apartment in Paris alone using the PK GPS and a test version of the Seeing Eye GPS. Interesting to see the strengths of each.

I used a combination of a pedestrian route and getting warmer to my destination. Because in both cases we have an English synthesizer pronouncing French street names, it was hard to confirm that I was in fact on the street I was supposed to be on. As long as my destination was roughly at 12 o'clock, I knew I would get there one way or another.

I was pleasantly surprised when the iPhone told me to take the stairs to a bridge over the Seine. That was not in the PK instructions although it did tell me to cross the bridge.

Once I got within 200 metres of my destination, I got tangled in some small streets. The GPS kept flicking in and out and I was being told to turn around a lot. I just relied on the Getting Warmer mode on the PK and eventually found my way to my destination.

It was really helpful to have a Braille display to deal with understanding the French street names.

Bottom line, it was pretty darn cool to get myself in one piece 4 miles through busy Paris 100% on my own to my destination. I think I now deserve a glass of wine.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


GPS on a tandem bicycle ride by Mike May

I regret to say I have not been on a long tandem ride in quite some time. 12 of us on 6 tandems plus two singles bike made the ride from Davis to Winters, just 30 miles round trip on very flat roads. I had a first time captain so that kept things interesting.

I took both my PK and the Seeing Eye GPS. I tried various ways to secure the PK but in the end, I took it out of its case in put it in the close fitting sling called a Kanga Pack. It is a neoprene material about 4 or 5 inches wide. I put the PK on Lookaround, locked the keyboard and off we went with two GPS units talking to me.

The two major benefits to the PK were that I had recorded user points along this route, which were helpful and not on the Seeing Eye. Also, when we were considering an alternative route home, I could explore the possibilities on the PK.

The best thing is that the GPS information is distracting and makes the ride go faster.



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