[Loadstone] Blind astronauts tool.

Rob Melchers rob at loadstone-gps.com
Wed Jun 13 19:45:56 BST 2007


Hi all,

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 
downloaded from:
http://www.loadstone-gps.com/tools/geocoder/world.zip

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.

Rob



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