GoodMaps develops Digital maps for both indoor and outdoor use. Founded in 2019 and based out of Louisville, Ky., American Printing House for the Blind created GoodMaps (previously named Access Explorer) with a simple mission: to further the cause of accessible navigation, particularly indoor navigation.
This article will compare some of the most important features of their Popular GPS apps – GoodMaps Explore and GoodMaps Outdoors. Both apps are free to download and use for Android and iPhone users.
Explore was developed first primarily for indoor usage through their specialized mapping system. Some of the key features of Explore include:
The ability to navigate both indoors as well as outdoors.
The ability to save all your favorite destinations in one place.
The ability to search for a location or point of interest and then send it to Google Maps, or Apple Maps for Turn-by-Turn directions.
This app helps you navigate indoor locations. While this form of navigation is still in development, indoor navigation uses geo-referenced images through a camera-based Positioning System to determine a user’s position. GoodMaps Explore can locate where you are in a room within 2-inches to one meter of accuracy. This is a substantial improvement over the accuracy provided by GPS (which is 8-10M outdoors), Bluetooth trilateration (4-5M), and other approaches.
Another advantage to this approach is that venue owners are able to update and customize their indoor maps, ensuring that point of interest data is always up to date. You can even virtually go to any location, allowing you to explore the surrounding area without physically being there. This is similar to how a sighted person might use the street view aspects of a mapping program.
Another cool feature of this app is that you can launch Be My Eyes within the app. Be My Eyes is an app that connects a Blind user with a sighted volunteer. Through your phone’s camera and microphone, the volunteer provides access to visual information and additional information in situations where sighted assistance is needed.
GoodMaps Outdoors was originally acquired from Aira, previously called Seeing Eye GPS. This outdoor navigation app provides detailed intersection information and turn-by-turn Navigation. Some of the features of Outdoors include:
The ability to record a route using breadcrumbs, called Waypoints. No other accessible app has this. The user can manually add these waypoints with the add button or shake the phone to create a Waypoint location.
The Lookaround Wand in the top right tells you what’s around.
The More Info button gives the altitude and speed.
Create your own POIs and share your POIs with others or keep them private with a shortcut on the location page or from the POIs page.
POI categories are announced with search results and make finding a destination easier.
Audio tones and vibrations give feedback throughout the app, letting the user know about upcoming turns, critical intersection information, and when a search is loading.
A robust route menu includes multiple methods for choosing a destination, from starting with a POI, an address from your contact list, the route history, and many more!
Outdoors also contains a variety of settings that allow you to customize what items are spoken and even how they are displayed. The user can set specific items such as arrival distance. This will provide notifications upon arrival at a destination. For example, options from fifty feet to one hundred feet can be selected. This may be useful when needing to locate venues that may not be listed on the map such as kiosks, ATMs, walking paths etc.
Good Maps Outdoors also provides a variety of Low vision display settings such as Black/white, white/black and yellow/black.
Both Explore and outdoors contain similar items. However, Outdoors focuses on outdoor navigation such as planning a pedestrian or vehicular route based on a point of Interest, street address or even a wave point, GPS coordinates that the user can create and name. You must create an account to use Outdoors. GoodMaps automatically saves all the user route information, wave points, and other data to the cloud for ready access.
Contact Enrichment’s adaptive technology trainers for more information or a demonstration of these apps at 531-365-5051.