Exploring maps on my PC?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon Jun 19 22:30:04 UTC 2017

Amanda Lacy <lacy925 at gmail.com> writes:

> I just found an app which will supposedly allow me to do this for the
> reasonable price of just $498/year! Is there a way to do this for free
> the way sighted people are able to? (Not GPS, just using commands to
> virtually explore a map like in a computer game.) Is emapspeak still a
> thing?

Yeah emapspeak is still a thing.  Start it with M-x gmaps.  You'll need
to look at the mode help with C-h m to get a list of the keyboard
commands.  But this is just for getting directions and finding nearby
places, not textually exploring a map.  The nearby places feature
requires one of those annoying API keys.  I'm going to try to get mine
after I send this.  The directions don't require the key.

A good friend of mine has been saying for years that it would be great
if we could explore the map for an unknown physical area using MUD-style
interaction.  It would especially help those of us who really struggle
with orientation.  I know people who can navigate in a MUD just fine, but
they have difficulty with orientation to real streets.  As far as I know,
there's no free software on Linux which does this.

If you have an Android device, there's a free app called Intersection
Explorer that does let you explore a map.  The paid navigation app
Nearby Explorer also has that feature.  It only costs a $79 one-time
fee rather than a yearly $498.
The free Intersection Explorer came out of the eyes-free project at
Google.  At one time, it was part of Google Maps, but it seems to have
been split off into a separate application once more.

-- Chris

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