Project OsmAnd access
The adaptive technologies department of "Culture and Sport Rehabilitation Centre" of "All-Russia Association of the Blind" presents the project "OsmAnd Access" to you.
Here you can find the information about this project: documentation, podcasts, updates of the navigation application "OsmAnd" and so on.
Please notice that Android 4.2 and lower does not support the full functionality of the "OsmAnd Access". Moreover, we suppose that Android 4.0 cannot be adequately used for navigation by blind users. Nevertheless, we have tried to adopt the application's accessibility for all possible environments. During developing we have tested the application on Android 4.2.2 and higher but we cannot certainly guarantee its correct stable work.
Version of navigation application OsmAnd for blind users
OsmAnd is a navigation application, which works on mobile devices running the Android operating system. More info about this application can be found directly on the project home page or on the Wikipedia page dedicated to it.
In order to avoid possible ambiguities in further reading, we'd like to note at the first place, that despite the fact that some resources referenced from this page are represented only in Russian for the moment, it does not mean that the application itself lacks English localization. Moreover, English resource in the application, in fact, is the primary one. Thus, there may be more or less shortage for various languages, but not for English.
Although the official version of OsmAnd in terms of non-visual accessibility, perhaps, in general differs favourably from other similar applications, and even includes a so-called accessibility plugin that provides users with some additional non-visual access facilities, in practice it is far from the stage of fully accessible application for the users with rigid visual limitations. OsmAnd access project aims to adapt OsmAnd application to the needs of blind users. On the pages of this project can be found the application itself, as well as some additional resources that could help you cope with it. Unfortunately, all this stuff is available only in Russian for the moment.
The application presented here is essentially an alternative version of OsmAnd with advanced non-visual accessibility and bears the same name. However, installing it above the official version and vice versa is not treated by system as an update and can lead to undesirable consequences.
To distinguish our releases from the official ones we introduce the application
version designation "a11y+". Thus, for example, OsmAnd version
a11y+1 corresponds to the official release of OsmAnd version
terms of basic functionality and is practically identical to it when
accessibility feedback is turned off.
The main differences
General interface accessibility
- Provided content description for almost all graphical interface elements (such as icons, buttons, etc.) that are essential for user interactions.
- Unwanted events for accessibility service, leading to it's inadequate behavior, are blocked.
- Map response to the gestures is modified so that when map is bound to location the long tap on it brings up a context menu that corresponds to the anchor point of the map, i.e. the user location. It doesn't depend on the touch point, which in the absence of visual control is poorly predictable. This special behaviour should be explicitly enabled in the program accessibility preferences if necessary.
- Introduced some accessibility improvements for the route
description screen. They are as follows:
- distance information is not duplicated by the accessibility feedback;
- added particular items for arrival points;
- fully qualified time format is used in accessibility mode since it is treated by speech synthesizers more correctly.
Compass accessibility feedback
Introduced audio and haptic feedback for the compass functions. So you can determine the direction to a particular object turning the device horizontally. It can be an object that has the focus in the search results list, next route point - during navigation, in other cases - the destination point, if it is set.
Sound (or vibration) signal occurs when the axis of the device slightly deviates from the correct direction. Thus, we need to " get in the fork” between the two signals.
Implemented reverse geocoding facility. It allows to receive a verbose description (usually it is a postal address) of the current location. This information could be retrieved from various online sources as well as from the maps stored in the device memory in offline mode. Source selection is available in the program accessibility preferences.
This function is available via the context menu (choose item "Look around"). It displays a list of nearby objects located in the surroundings of the virtual location. The list may include not only the POI, but also favorites. You can configure the filter so that only the objects of your interest will be shown.
A number of the program functions are available through voice control. This mode is called by shaking the device in the direction of its longitudinal axis, through the context menu or by pressing the button on the headset. When a headset is used it's button can be used to interrupt speech input as well. The editor of the voice commands available in the configuration of accessibility features of the program.
Special information screen
As in the official version of the program, in accessibility mode this screen can be opened through the main menu: the item “Where am I / Details”. Now, among other things, there are the results of reverse geocoding, description of the destination point (if any) and information about the map scale (size of the displayed area).
In the official version of OsmAnd application autoannounce (automatic announcement of the direction and distance to the destination) is issued only when the direction to the destination is changed. Here you can optionally specify a period of unconditional issuing of autoannounce. You can set minimal time interval between auto announcements in a range from 5 seconds to 5 minutes.
Additional navigation settings
Accessibility preferences of the program related to the navigation process are set individually for each profile (car, bicycle, pedestrian). These include:
- the prohibition of automatic re-route if you deviate from it, that is, if you are at a considerable distance from the specified route, or if the wrong direction of motion was detected;
- setting approaching radius to the final and intermediate route points;
- setting refresh rate of position.
- All voice control and navigation functions remain available in background, when screen is off or locked.
- Some minor bug fixes.
What's new in the version OsmAnd-1.9.5-a11y+2
- Configurable route info accessibility. There is a plethora of information attached to each item in the route description screen, so it might be boring to have TalkBack reading just everything. Now it is possible to select explicitly what chunks of information should be read. It can be done either from the accessibility plugin settings or directly from the route description screen.
- Enhanced reverse geocoding function. Now information about distance and direction to the closest found object or address, if available, is attached to it's description.
- Some general fixes.
Size: 22.2 Мб
- "Satellite navigation for the Blind" project manager, the head of the adaptive technologies department Alexander Piven;
- Programming supervisor Igor Poretskiy;
- The member of the department's staff, web-programmer Maria Rasstanaeva;
- The member of the department's staff, trainer and teaching methods specialist Svetlana Tsvetkova;
- Trainer Svetlana Botkina;
- Trainer Mikhail Oleynikov.
- The site of Igor Poretskiy, the «OsmAnd access» developer
- The «Vkontakte» web page. - Discussions of topics connected with "OsmAnd" functionality.