[Loadstone] Perhaps a little OT, but My preliminary impression of WayfinderAccess.

Ari Moisio arimo at netsonic.fi
Wed Jun 6 12:56:51 BST 2007


  Could you check your WF  Access version number. Version 1.0, downloaded 
yesterday,  displays absolute directions.

  Make also sure you select a reference point far enoug to test this. If 
you walk over your favourite when testing you can get of courrse just any 
possible direction.

    And because this is a Loadstone mailing list: i suggested 
vicinity view -like interface to Loadstone  some time ago. Now after 
playing with WFA i finally noticed how much easier it is to find POIs and 
favourites when they are listed by distance.

You can still escape from the Gates of hell: Use Linux!

On Wed, 6 Jun 2007, r.jansen wrote:

> Hi Geoff,
> The heading info given on the Info tab is the compass direction your are
> moving to.
> The heading info given on the vicinity views are related to your own
> direction.
> So if the info tab says that you are moving 270 degrees (West), and lets say
> that a entry on the vicinity view says: 20 feet, 90 degree, its to your
> right after 20 feet, and because you are walking West (270 degree), the
> vicinity info is North on the compass (270 + 90). But you don't have to
> switch between the info tab and the vicinity views because the compass
> direction of the Info tab is not that important.
> But, this is a Loadstone list, so ... There will be a WFA list shortly.
> Regards,
> Raymond
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
> [mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] Namens Geoff Waaler
> Verzonden: woensdag 6 juni 2007 11:27
> Aan: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
> Onderwerp: Re: [Loadstone] Perhaps a little OT,but My preliminary impression
> of WayfinderAccess.
> Hello Raymond,
> Please bare in mind that I was discussing WFA.  More over it was clarified
> later in the paragraph you quoted that heading info provided by WFA is *NOT*
> relative to one's direction of travel.
> Best regards.
> Geoff
> On Wed, 6 Jun 2007 11:17:00 +0200, r.jansen wrote:
>> Hi Geoff,
>> You said:
>>> The other negative is that all values are given in degrees relative
>>> to the
>> compass, rather than one's own direction of travel.
>> I think this is incorrect. If it says 0 or 360 degrees its in front of
>> you and 180 degrees is behind.
>> I will check this to be cirtain.
>> Regards, Raymond
>> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
>> Van: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
>> [mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] Namens Geoff Waaler
>> Verzonden: woensdag 6 juni 2007 10:41
>> Aan: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
>> Onderwerp: [Loadstone] Perhaps a little OT,but My preliminary
>> impression of WayfinderAccess.
>> Greetings,
>> I posted the following to another list, but decided to cross post it here.
>> On Monday WayFinder corporation released WayFinder Access nearly three
>> months after the date initially promised in their February product
>> announcement.  The "official" description of WFA is available at
>> http://www.wayfinder.com/products/wayfinder_access.en.php?link_id=subme
>> nu_st
>> atic
>> Bare in mind that running Wayfinder requires a subscription to a cell
>> phone carriers data plan.  There's no room on most phones to store
>> maps, hence the need for access to the net while in use.  I confirmed
>> Neil B of Talknav's pricing info and since WFA is available through his
>> company for $125 less than the regular price until Friday I wanted to
>> share my preliminary observations.
>> I can't restrain myself from starting out by commenting on the regular
>> price which is $539.00.  I purchased Wayfinder's over the counter
>> product called WayFinderNavigator for $99 and for my money do not see
>> anything in their access product to account for five and a half times
>> the cost.  Did I mention that Wayfinder offers upgrade pricing to all
>> its other customers, with the exception of Access?  What a great way to
>> reward their loyal customers who have limped along with so many
> inaccessible features for years.
>> Using the main stream product I can search for businesses either near
>> by or in distant cities.  I can add them to my favorites and compute
>> routes based on current GPS coordinates and receive voice guidance.
>> The routing often does not make sense but is over all helpful.
>> I won't mention how as of Monday WayFinderAccess's installation process
>> was inaccessible, but then again I just did, didn't I?  Hmmm, suppose
>> I'm expecting a lot for $539 after a three month wait.  Actually to be
>> fair, that was a gratuitous slam on my part;  I am given to understand
>> that CodeFactory will release an update to their product by the end of
>> the week which renders WayFinder's web pages accessible, and Nuance is
>> expected to do likewise for Talks in the short term.  Fortunately I had
>> a neighbor near by who was willing to disclose which options were
>> highlighted on the phone, but this is often not the case.
>> WFA's look feel and interface is  very similar to Navigator, however
>> five text based list views have been added as follows:
>> Info: contains current position, heading and GPS status.
>> and the next four are vicinity views presenting a list ordered by
>> current proximity which includes:
>> all: a blend of the following three.
>> crossing: lists intersections.
>> favorite: orders distance to items previously added to favorites.
>> POI: database of known points of interest.  Categories such as "Rent a
>> car Facility", " restaurant" "ATM", etc may be configured so as not to
> appear.
>> This is absolutely a great feature.  More over I like the fact that one
>> can now use other features which were inaccessible in the main stream
>> product such as obtaining the phone number for located businesses, and
>> perhaps its a bell and whistle thing, but getting weather conditions is
>> kind of neat.  I wonder whether the free screen reader updates
>> referenced above which are specifically for compatibility with WFA will
>> improve accessibility  to features in WayFinder Navigator?
>> From the info tab I can add my own personal points.  I am unable to do
>> that using the main stream product, and of course this capability is a
>> valuable addition.
>> Granted this is the initial release and many features will be tweaked
>> or added.  Not sure since WayFinder chose not to offer upgrade pricing
>> initially how much potential improvements will cost WFA customers, but
>> IMHO The present form of its implementation largely renders these list
>> views to a state where they are of marginal utility.
>> When you go to one of these list views the proximity and distance are
>> spoken (usually twice) before you hear the name of the point.  The
>> double speaking is attributable to the fact that the list refreshes
>> every couple seconds there by causing Talks or presumably MobileSpeak
>> to reread the line, so I might hear something like the following while in
> the crossing view:
>> "255 feet, 278 degree Ea ... 235 feet, 264 degree East Franklin Street
>> South Boundary and North Boundary".  By the time it has read two
>> different heading and distance values I've had to wait several seconds
>> before hearing the information I always consider more important; after
>> all what's the value of distance and direction when you don't yet know what
> is being referenced?
>> Perhaps the updated versions of the phone based screen readers will
>> abate the double reading in lists that are being updated.  I am using a
>> Nokia 6682 which does not have as fast a processor as some of the newer
>> phones, and this too could be a factor.  Hopefully most won't have this
>> duplication because its very annoying.
>> The other negative is that all values are given in degrees relative to
>> the compass, rather than one's own direction of travel.  I've looked
>> all through settings and believe I have not missed anything.  So I can
>> walk toward an intersection and WFA reports its direction in degrees.
>> When I turn around and walk away I receive identical directional
>> information, though of course the distance will begin to increase.
>> This won't be a problem for those who have an instant protractor in
>> their heads, but even then this implementation is kind of dubious
>> compared to directional feedback from other accessible GPS solutions.
>> Lets say I want to ascertain my distance from a POI that's in WFA's
>> database.  After hearing the line twice and listening through all the
>> degree and distance info I finally hear the name of the place.  I then
>> have to recall its direction which is some number between zero and 360.
>> Lets pull a number out of the air like 227 degrees.  Okay, now I must
>> keep that number in my brain and press left arrow four times to the
>> info tab.  After saying "loading ..." I can then down arrow twice to
>> obtain my heading.  lets pull another number out of our hats and say
>> 310 degrees (on some streets this varies up to 90 degrees and is
>> literally all over the map -- curious how you can feel it while
>> driving, but the curves are gradual hence I don't notice most of them
>> while walking).  Anyway, did you recall where that desired POI was?
>> After all those key presses I kinda forgot myself, but okay, so we have
>> 227 degrees as our target, and a baring of 310, which I believe puts it
>> on our left, unless the street curved again.  Am I getting closer or
>> further?  Hmm, suppose I'd better press right arrow four times and
>> locate that place again and hopefully I remembered its distance from
>> before.  To be sure there are constraints involved with phone software, but
> to me this interface/output is not very efficient compared to other
> solutions.
>> Unless I learn within the next day or two that I missed a few things,
>> my intention is to stick with what I have for now.  A free Symbian
>> based GPS phone application called loadstone is available from
>> http://www.loadstone-gps.com which does an excellent job with all the
>> basics.  Loadstone's downside is that the POIS are exclusively of the
>> "do it yourself" variety.  You can mark your own or download free data
>> from the net (which is very limited).  To fill in when I want to locate
>> near by businesses I'll continue using WayfinderNavigator.  I would
>> have been more than willing to reward WayFinder for developing an
>> accessible version however from what I've seen the initial pricing of
>> four times that of their main stream product was outrageous enough
>> IMHO, and now its been increased to almost 5.5 times that of Navigator?  I
> don't think so!!
>> Best regards.
>> Geoff
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