WalkersGuide

WalkersGuide is a navigation aid based on OpenStreetMap data. It's designed especially but not exclusively for visual impaired people. It's main purpose is to calculate routes for walkers including public transportation. Currently the project contains an Android client and a server component, which performs the route calculation. The map data comes from OpenStreetMap, a project to create a free map of the world.

The project primarily addresses blind and visual impaired users. There are two main reasons for that:

  1. The currently available navigation systems which include a routing functionality don't consider the needs of that user group. For example information about the condition of ways and streets, a description of intersections and details about distance and bearing of the next routing point often are missing. Of course the client application must be accessible to assistive technology like screen reading software too. In case of the Android operating system that's Talkback.
  2. Meanwhile there exist solutions especially for blind and visual impaired users too. These are often apps for the iPhone operating system. But in summer 2013, when the project planning started, none of them offered a routing functionality. Instead they helped to get an overview about points of interest in the user's surrounding. Other aids were outdated or very expensive.

Based on this findings, a concept for a routing based navigation aid for blind and visual impaired users was created as part of a diploma thesis at the TU Dresden. You can find further information about the thesis here. After the research was completed, the concept was implemented and is ready for download now.

Next follows a list of the project's key features:

The WalkersGuide project is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Therefore it can be used for free. You only have to install the client application, which can be found under Downloads.