I implemented nearby places.
If you wish to test it for a while, here is a link: https://justbest.eu
You need to register here and there you will be able to try it out. I need a concrete feedback.
I found the way to integrate Google maps as well and it's not difficult when I read documentation carefully. The problem is, that Google maps gives only 200$ subscribtion for a month and if users exceed that limitation, and the owner of the app should cover the expenses. My decision is simple for now, I've registered for a demo trial and will see what will follow, however maybe someone has some ideas how we can colaborate and integrate maps by solving this problem of lack money?
By the way, I'm still working on the MapQuest API and I see there are some people that would love to test it. Fine, I am implementing the search by category for now.
For a quick start, there is a quick podcast to see what's coming if you need it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oh05y6a4un8b2 … k.mp3?dl=1
I know this is not the highest quality navigation app for the blind around, but anyway, I think I'll share my idea with all of you.
Some time ago I created an app called Walk helper for blind. It was a simple application where you were able to save your own points and then get direction by clock and compass towards them. I lost my source code and decided to let it go... But I really need an application that would be able to tel directions by clock, cardinal directions (east, northwest etc.) and of course, go forward slight left 122 meeters... I mean - just a simple human language where the next point is and when to turn afterwards.
Another problem, which I wasn't able to solve last time when I created Walk helper for blind was the turn-by-turn navigation / guidance function. Now I did a bit of research and found out about MapQuest API, which is based on Open Street Maps and it gives turn-by-turn instructions from the server through HTTP request, so few AJAX requests and wow, we got what we needed...
Then I turned on my server and as an additional security, in order to be able to get user's location (even by his or her own permition), it still requires to have an SSL (HTTPS) layer to request for a permition. Installed the SSL and it works
By going forward I managed to create working algorithm to walk across the points and get instructions on the screen and read by TTS. Some as well may say it's impossible on the web, however we can use ARIA (accessible rich internet applications) standard and screen readr speaks what do we tell it to say
By walking outside I thaught the compass is what I need to be happy now... Yes, there was the biggest problem in this simple and dirty project... Compass was like mission impossible to me... I got alpha, beta and gamma values by listenning to orientationChange event and then calculated the compass heading, however after some Googling and physical testing on a real device, I realized that the data which is coming from a hardware implementation is inaccurate, because these days web is coming the way as all the ogmentid reality goes, so the initial point that is considered to be 0 is the point, which was fixed at the moment when the JS code requested deviceOrientation for the first time when page was loaded... Oh, it's the nightmare... Some time ago, browsers had another value - an absolute alpha, which pointed to the true north / bearing, but not now... Deep in the shadows of the web I found that Google Chrome V50+ lets to access this absolute alpha value by requesting it other way, which is not the standart, but supported on android. So I solved the compass problem by doing some math and we came to a phase where there are results like these:
1. Turn-by-turn navigation by entering an address or well known location;
2. Direction towards the next turn by clock, geographical and easy humanized form - on your left, on your right, slightly on your right behind...;
3. Distance in meters and kilometers;
4. Moovement speed;
5. GPS accuracy;
6. Route preview - to get an instructions just to help you to imagine where you would need to go if you would. Some of the instructions report the maneuvers more explanatory than just turn left or right;
7. Compass (cardinal directions - east, west and degrees). Additionally it does another important function as well - you can spin your device around and when it points straight towards the direction you need to go, it vibrates in some pattern. Then if you point your device to the wrong direction afther that, it vibrates in another pattern to let you know. You can turn on or off your compass on the main routing menu all the time.
8. TTS says what to do in each 30 meters.
It's still an experimental version / prototype, because actually I'm working only less than a week around this project yet. Yes, there are main conciderations so far:
1. An application would work on the web, so you don't need to install any software, any updates, just to remember website address.
2. Since there are inconsistancies among browsers, we are experimenting with the sounds and other stuff, but I officially refused to do more effort to make compass available on IOS, because it is nightmare. Also sounds aren't playing on IOS the way I implemented them... One good friend of mine gave a few sounds to make APP look more professional.
4. OH, it seems that I can't put my phone in the pocket and ho? Really, is it so sad? Almost yes, because system should be in browser window to work, but does it really still important? In the crowded city you couldn't even hear what screen reader says in your pocket. Yes, you could wear headphones and avoid such problem, but as I noticed, it's more confortable to move across the screen to check where you are.
5. What to do if device sleeps after 2 minutes when not touching the screen? Change your settings you can set to hold it much much longer...
6. Since it is a website, we can confortably create an accounts, to let users share locations among each other and do other stuff. If you need the way to create your own points, we can save them into the database and so on - all your ideas are welcome, we consider them.
What do I want to hear from you:
1. Would you try such app?
2. Would it be really inconfortable because that's not the app on your system?
3. Would you want to join us and help?