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Magic GPS for the blind and visually impaired

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Trekker Braille GPS

Trekker Braille GPS

So every now and then I watch an episode of one of the CSI television series, There are a few series now and they are all full of magic things. Methods of research that are so new that nobody ever heard about, and research that takes only 10% of the time that it takes in real life. ;-)

In this (old?) episode of CSI Miami I saw this magic GPS device: a speaking GPS for the blind. And like more often I was sceptical, but decided to do a search for that device. It did exist! I did find that Trekker Braille GPS! I could not believe my eyes. Great!

I think I know something, but not everything. The device was already introduced in 2005 when I read Engadget. I am confused by the brand name, type and maker, because the device has so many names.

Nice specs:

  • Real-time information: Announces streets, intersections, addresses and stores as you come to them.
  • On/offline Map Browsing: Virtually tour an area before visiting it.
  • Route planning and recording: Create your own itinerary.
  • Flexible level of vocal information.
  • Vocal Point of Interest creation: Allows you to create your own point of interest.
  • Access to GPS status information
  • Motorized mode: Use Trekker in a moving vehicle.
  • Route mode: Trekker creates an itinerary based on an entered address.
  • Free mode: Receive and enter information away from street networks
  • Tactile keyboard: For easy data entry and instant function access.

I will do my best to get my hands on one to tell you something more about it.


March 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in hardware, navigation, smartphones, software
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New TomTom maps for the world

TomTom maps 2008.10

TomTom maps 2008.10

TomTom started selling its v8.25 maps, based on the 2008.10 release of TeleAtlas. These new maps are available for all devices from now on.
The maps are only for download through the TomTom Home application, just like the last versions before.

America’s: USA, Canada, Alaska, Mexico and Brasil
Europe, Middle East, Africa: Western, Central & Eastern Europe, Turkey and Southern Africa
Australia, New Zealand and Asia: Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore

The maps for the first time include the feedback on changes from MapShare users.

February 27th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in gps passion, mapping, software
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New iMovie’09 in Apple’s iLife’09

I know: Mac again… Don’t be afraid. This post will be about navigation!

After editing my first video with the new iLife’09 (sorry: yes, Mac only!) I did find out that Apple did a nice job with the new maps and backgrounds thing in the video editing software iMovie. It has the great feature to have an animated view of a trip on a world map now.

To my sadness I saw that they did only half the job. I tried to make an animation of my trip to the other side of the country to the 4th city of the country, Arnhem, as a test.
To my surprise this city could not be found in the system, other than the weather application in my iPhone 3G, that finds the smallest cities worldwide.

It would be nice if Apple puts (much) more places in the database OR make it possible to give your own coordinates on the globe. It is already possible to give the place of your choice another name, so that would work great.

Can I wait for the update?

February 11th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in navigation, software
Tags: animation, , coordinates, iLife, iMovie, ,

Fresh Google Earth available now

Google Earth 5

Since its first version I have been playing with Google Earth and have spend hours and hours with lots of interest and fun. With third party layers this is even more fun.

A few days ago Google brought us Google Earth 5, with looks brighter but of course has some new great (beta) features:

  • Historical imagery from around the globe
  • Ocean floor and surface data from marine experts
  • Simplified touring with audio and voice recording

The historical imagery depends on whether there are old(er) (air) photo’s available for the area, but also takes you back to the first Google Earth views. You probably can see a Olympic city being build. I have to try that one out myself. I will do the Olympic Winter Games in Italy. What are you going to try? Tell me and send me coordinates!  Let’s make a great post with all our finds!

The ocean floor feature looks great, but I can’t see mr. Cousteau (and his ship the Calypso) anymore. I have been haunted by him since I was very little. ;-) But there is much more ocean stuff to see!

Google Earth is great to do interesting things with, but also a lot of fun to play with. Get it here: Google Earth , it’s free!

February 3rd, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted in gps passion, software
Tags: calypso, cousteau, , , marine, ocean,