[Loadstone] Blind astronauts tool.
rob at loadstone-gps.com
Wed Jun 13 19:45:56 BST 2007
If you create a number of tools for a navigational application the first
goal is to facilitate the users of the program with means to use that
program to the best of it's abilities. But while at it, it becomes clear
that there is more that can be done with databases of locations and a way
to explore them. For the blind and visually impaired geographical maps have
never been the most accessible educational materials. Thanks to the
Loadstone-GPS tools an accessible way to look at the world has become
available without us even noticing it in the beginning.
To demonstrate the features of the Loadstone tools we used the GeoCoder,
the POI converter and the Database Explorer to create a simple world atlas.
The internet provided us with a list of countries and their capitals. We
ran this list against the Google Earth database using the Loadstone
GeoCoder and discovered, that 180 of 190 countries could be matched with
their geographical location data (latitude and longitude). The missing
data, such as Rangoon in Myanmar, Beijing in China and funny enough London
in the United Kingdom, were retrieved from www.heavens-above.com. Next we
fed this list of names and numbers to the POI converter and ended up with a
Loadstone database that contains all the countries in the world and their
capitals. Finally we provided this database to the on-line Database
Explorer and now we know where to look for Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, and
how long it will take us to walk there.
Obviously, blind astronauts will find this database useful, so it can be
But also for common earthlings this small database will serve its purpose
as a quick tool to find out about countries you didn't know existed until now.
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