any apps to navigate a college campus?

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Hi all, I need an app that helps me navigate a college campus. One of my classes requires me to walk to a buidling that is verry difficult to find. There are no landmarks, and no way to tell if i'm getting close to this building or not. I have gotten lost twice, resulting in me being late for class both times. While my professor is understanding about this right now, i don't want to get lost every single time.

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Submitted by Lynne on Saturday, January 25, 2014

Try contacting the developer of Click and Go Maps at http://www.clickandgomaps.com/

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, January 25, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Unfortunately, I'm not really aware of any currently-available apps that help with navigation of large open spaces like college campuses. Hopefully, Sendero will encorperate the creation of custom POIs into a future version of Seeing Eye GPS.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Sunday, January 26, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hello treky fan, Have you consider trying something like this app? iMove http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/utilities/imove Was wondering if you couldn't use this app and leave a route of breadcrumbs? So another word. Leave POI every so often. It will alert you that you are getting close to the POI vanity. In theory it could help you out to get to the building that you need to find. Just a thought. Good luck! HTH

Submitted by Chelsea on Sunday, January 26, 2014

I have no personal experience with this app, but if the building you are attempting to reach is tagged in FourSquare, you should be able to find it using BlindSquare. Alternatively, you could meet a friend or someone before class and conveniently walk to class with them, at least until you are more sure of the way.

Submitted by Vash Rein on Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hey, An app for what you are looking for would be great and I truly believe things like that are on their way. However, it's currently pretty limited depending on where you are. Some things I do when I am trying to learn a campus or new area: -Try walking there when you don't have to worry about making it to class. The reason for this is because sometimes, there can be added pressure to get to a place when there is a set time. When we are stressed, we can easily lose our barings and things become less familiar or secure. taking the time to walk there when you don't have to could be a way to get used to the path as it allows you to take your time and feel more ok with making occasional mistakes. -Its totally ok to ask people for directions. Honestly, sighted people ask for directions all the time so why shouldn't we? Now, a person might not be available when you need them, but if you do come across anyone and you are not sure where you are going, there is nothing wrong with taking the time to ask. Believe me, most people will usually try to be helpful. -Use a friend or classmate. Sometimes, we might feel better when someone walks with us. Don't necessarily take that time to have a conversation, but to become used to where you're going, the possible cracks on the ground, the way the ground curves, rises, falls, or even flattens. Sometimes. We can be distracted by the people who are helping us. Its ok to not talk to them for a while and utilize them to become comfortable with just walking from place to place until you are secure. -Anything can be a landmark. As I said before, you don't necessarily need a sound or smell to be a landmark. The very ground you walk on can be just as useful as anything else. Usually, there are subtle differences in the types of ground, there may be cracks or rips, the way the land is set, etc. Each can signify what you might be close to. As I said, apps for campuses, malls, airports, and other closed in areas will be coming soon. It is somewhat difficult at this point because the gps 2 standard is only accurate up to 15 feet. Once the new GPS standard (GPS 3) is out, the accuracy will jump to 3 feet or better and we will benefit from a completely different type of navigation. The GPS 3 standard will begin to launch this year as a satellite will be put up into orbit. In 2 or three years, there will be enough satellites where mobile devices and other gps devices will have to be updated to use them. At that point, we will have apps capable of telling us the exact store we are passing, how to get to a place inside a mall, navigation in an under ground subway system, where the car was parked specifically, etc. Yes, we do already have some apps that do those things, but they are not the most accurate all the time. I know that is little comfort for what you are trying to do today, but I simply mean that there is a limit to how accurate gps systems can be in enclosed locations such as campuses. For that reason, there might currently not be too much in the way of gps systems for the aforementioned spaces yet. Trust me though, if you can hold on a little while longer, there will be.

When orienting to a large set of buildings at my community college a couple weeks ago, I found it extremely helpful to walk the routes, then write detailed instructions on how to follow the routes later. You can then email these instructions to yourself and read them from your iOS device as you walk. It really helps with the anxiety associated with finding your way in a new environment. Also, practice deviations from the route--this way you will know what will happen if you make a wrong turn, go too far, etc. This will help to take away the surprise factor if it happens when time is short and you're trying to get to class.

Submitted by treky fan on Sunday, January 26, 2014

I have tried walking the rote to class, but that didn't seem to help much. I will give that imove app a try.

i completely agree with most of what has been said. especially Vash Rein. also. i would caution you and remind you that technology doesn't replace orientation and mobility training. nor should it. gps and other smart technology are aids on top of any training that you have. you seem pretty compitent with your skills so far. you seem to be getting to your other classes all right so i don't feel your trying to do a substitution here. but i do want to remind not only you, but all blind people out there to remember what i've said. gps isn't a substitution for training. its a tool to use in combination with good mobility training. i'd go on further and provide examples but i think you all are picking up what i'm laying down.

Submitted by Sheri w-j on Monday, January 27, 2014

When I have to get myself to a tricky building, I find the iPhone compass super useful: it's also helped me retrace my way out of the massive, echoing, wasteland of the student union. That, maybe and establishing a POI on the GPS app of your choice? Campuses really can be tough, and I understand about not wanting to be late! Sheri

Submitted by Tree on Monday, January 27, 2014

I just want to agree with what several people have already said. There is no substitution for proper orientation and mobility skills. There never will be. This is not a matter of technology improving its just a fact. I am a junior in college and in the past three years I have attended four different universities plus I also taught middle schoolers orientation and mobility around a fifth university. I'm not saying finding new places is always easy. In fact in my experience universities can be the most difficult places to learn your way around. But it is also my experience that every single university and every single place in universities can be learned to travel to independently. This goes for any place outside of universities as well of course. This is not to say, however, that technology can not come in handy in specific circumstances, especially when first finding a new place. I would highly recommend blind square for this. I do not use any GPS apps on an extremely regular basses, but blind square has definitely been the best app for finding new places in my opinion. It is my experience that most buildings on a university have multiple four square points that blind square can find. The most important thing in travel, especially in places like universities, is understanding the bigger picture. Learning one specific path to a place might be a start, but as you would doubtlessly agree that does not work so good if you wonder off course at all. It seems like every time I have a particularly difficult building to find on a regular basis its because I am missing some key concept. For example maybe there is a Central court yard and around the outer circumference there are buildings at each compass point. Just understanding that general lay out makes all of the difference. Another app I would hesitantly suggest is called my way. There is a free version and if you want to lay out an exact root it works pretty well. I would strongly caution anyone from using this app regularly because I do not think that it will help your over all understanding of an area and I think it utilizes a method of traveling blind people become to dependent on far to often. Sorry if this has been a little long and preachy, its just that I am passionate about orientation and mobility and I fully believe you can conquer your university. Good luck.

Submitted by Santiago on Monday, January 27, 2014

I agree. Nothing beats orientation and mobility skills. Its nice to have an app like the Sendero GPS app on iOS to get to new places, at least until you get used to them.

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Friday, January 31, 2014

I am working on an app that should do just this, but it's not going to be out for a while. What college campus are we talking about? It is possible that they have an app that could help.

Hi Oviesly there not substitution of orientation and mobility skills. but if some app could help more to other one is BlindSquare. I use most of the time and works so well one time help to me find apple Stor inside of mall Try to use Event BS this app is a free demo with limitations that you could find on BlindSquare also there are other good tool but... but since Tropical dreams I heard about this over a year ago Check the audio from BlindBargans #CSUN13 Audio: Free Sight Compass App Helps you Navigate Hotels, Bathrooms, and More Sight Compass is a new technology which gives travelers information about their environment at a short range using wireless technology, without the need for a phone signal or a data connection. The free app is currently available for the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 and will soon come to Android, Windows and other platforms. Briggs Cunningham, one of the inventors of Sight Compass, gives us a live demo of how the technology works in this podcast. Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2013 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind. Posted Wednesday, 06-Mar-2013 9:34 PM ET

Submitted by Rob vG on Saturday, February 1, 2014

You could try the Heare app. It needs someone sighted to prepare the track you need to walk for you, but then you are good to go. You will find more info at www.heareapp.com

Submitted by Brother J. on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I absolutely concur with Tree. Nothing compares or comes close to proper orientation and mobility training. I know my words resound with those who have been taught properly by world-renouned instructors such as Roland Allen, Arlene Hill and other graduates of first-rate vocational training facilities such as Louisiana Centre For The Blind. For those who are not as fortunate, confidence is paramount; this is the core. I care not how much technology or experience you have; if you lack confidence you will never achieve complete and uninhibited independence. For sake of this conversation, orientation and mobility is to what this pertains. Part of being independent is knowing [1] when to enquire for assistance and [2] knowing exactly what to ask and how to word your enquiries. This too requires a certain degree of confidence. This coupled with proper training [which takes six months at the very least for those who lack it] is the key to a successful independent traveller.

Submitted by Tree on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Just wanted to agree with the previous poster. LCB changed my life, Rolin is awesome and so is Derick who was my travel teacher. I would highly recommend LCB or one of the other structured discovery training centers. I do understand, unfortunately, that many people do not get the privilege of receiving training. Confidence really is key in travel. Of course it does you little good if you don't have the skills to back up said confidence. Whatever apps you may decide to use don't let them become a crutch and take away your confidence. . .

Submitted by Brother J. on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Derick is the best sighted instructor I have ever met. He is just as qualified as a non-sighted instructor and that in itself is a very rare find. Roland would have kicked my ass up and down Ruston if I used any kind of app. The only time I did [and I told Roland this] was when I almost walked out of Ruston. He laughed and made me re-do that travel route. I got it right the second time and I felt more confident afterwards. My point is as helpful as an app or a collection of apps [and I have around six different GPS apps AroundMe and NearMe notwithstanding] may be at times, nothing on a technological level can replace confidence and skills obtained via channels of propper training. I personally recommend using Ariadne GPS to set a favourite at the exact location considered to be the destination. There is an option to track the favourite and although I have not yet tested it I am confident the function will prove to be useful. BlindSquare is very feature-rich but something about the combination of Ariadne GPS and MotionX GPS Drive seems to dominate my usage habits. Try to follow my suggestion if possible.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I have a few thoughts.

First, the app that's really needed here is the same thing that hunters, fishermen and hikers need; an app that will let you drop pins -- that is create waypoints without a map.

Old GPs devices used to work like that; you simply created waypoints and the screen showed them in relation to each other in terms of distance and cardinal direction.

But now the map is so integrated in to a GPS that one doesn't realize they can be separate.

There are many apps for the sighted that do this, for example apps that let you mark where you park your car, then return to it using breadcrumbs. But the blindness apps haven't included the true ability to navigate in open spaces.

It's not just a college campus where you have these issues. It's business parks and city parks where your picnic is held, not to mention beaches, hiking trails and other outdoor arenas.

I work on a large community college campus; 112 acres. The software I found the most useful for navigation was the free Lodestone-gps for the Symbian phones. Wish it could be ported to iDevices, because it kept the GPS and the map separate. You could use the OpenStreet maps with it of course -- it was open source -- but you could also just create your own landmarks and then move between them without necessarily having a fixed or programmed "route".

One tip about improving O&M skills and getting directions. Each day that you arrive at a known building, ask the random sighted people around you to read the various signage. Our library is called the Learning Center. There's another building called "Mediated Learning Center". Yet a third building on our campus is called "Learning Center West". The building where I work says "Admissions" on the front, "Bookstore" on the back, "Student And Community Services" on one side, and "Parking Lot A" on its other side. Depending on what sign any particular sightling chooses to notice when you're lost, you might still be confused about your location. But if you know all the possible signage a particular building might display, then you're armed with better information.

One thing I often do is explain to someone "I always get lost when trying to find this building. What do you see here that's unique that I can describe to someone else so they'll know where I'm going?" That's how I learned where a building I'd been visiting for over ten years had a huge sculpture of a turtle in front of it. Now I can ask people if I'm facing the turtle and that really helps me stay oriented.

Like others said, I've had partial luck with iMove and Ariadne for marking buildings as landmarks. iMove makes it easy to record a voice label for a location. Maybe we should start writing developers of these mapless orienteering programs to see if they will add audio cues. It would also be useful for a sighted hiker when every hill and little lake looks like every other hill and little lake! And with audio, the sighted backpacker would not be getting his phone dirty.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

After posting this I went out and walked with Seeing Assistant Move.

I tried areas where I had no internet connection. I tried the local park, and the college campus where I work.

Wow, this software has really improved.

I posted a full review here:
http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/navigation/seeingassistant-move#commen…

I tested with my iPHONE and my iPOD Touch using an XGPS-150 (an external GPS for the iPAD and iPOD.

I'm impressed. I think this program is the solution. It does tell you where your points are in relation to each other even with no internet connection.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I continue to be so impressed with Nearby Explorer, which does not need an internet connection with the paid version to work. And even the free version is fine if you have a good connection. Either way, you can navigate open spaces fine without the map. You simply turn all the announcements off you don't want to hear on its home screen and keep the announcements you do want to hear on. You mark your waypoints and you can use the geobeam and/or compass to stay oriented.
I continue to work on the large college campus. I have also visited other campuses, and notice that BlindSquare has most buildings marked in FourSquare for the campuses I visited.
One last tip: put up a sign on campus bulletin boards requesting a volunteer for a couple of hours. Many students need to do volunteer work to prove community involvement when applying for scholarships, higher degrees and even jobs.
Ask your volunteer to walk all routes with you that you find confusing and use a digital recorder to have him note all signage and building descriptions while your iPHONE marks relevant waypoints. Stop at each waypoint to enter a good description. Remember to ask how many entrances and exits each building has. Many college buildings will have only a few ways to get in, but multiple exits that are locked from the outside.
Remember too, that sighted helpers will show you the shortest route which is direct and as the crow flies. This might not be the best route for a blind person who needs to follow a path with a cane or dog. Ask if there is another route, possibly longer that has fewer turns in open space.
The comments that good O&M skills are essential I believe are a bit degrading. I have what I believe to be great O&M skills but I am in my sixties and my hearing is not as sharp, my balance not as good and my reaction time not as quick as someone in their twenties. I believe if one compared me with my younger self they would conclude that I had way better O&M skills then!
We need to realize that not all blind people have perfect health and good O&M skills can be affected by many things including a bad knee, sensitivity to glare, reduced hearing and even less experience as one's sight loss might be new. Do what you can to improve your O&M skills, but remember that the more tools you have at your disposal, the better!