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LoroDux Screenshot.jpg
Author: Lulu-Ann
License: GNU General Public License
Platform: Java ME
Version: alpha (2010-10-14)
Language: German
Website: http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/lorodux
Source code: https://lorodux.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/lorodux
Programming language: Java

Routing for visually impaired/blind users

LoroDux · Requirements · Compatibility list · Pilot regions · Translations

The former Via-Dux is now called LoroDux, to make sure the project name is not too similar to any existing trademark.

About LoroDux

The LoroDux project was started in May 09 by Lulu-Ann.

"Loro" is the spanish word for parrot. "Dux" is the latin word for guide. LoroDux shall be the speaking guide on your shoulder ;-)

LoroDux is planned to be a OSM and Java based multi platform navigation software for mobile devices for blind and visually impaired persons. The first phase of the project was to collect requirements. The result is a document that can be given to a programmer.

In March 2010 the coding was started

In September 2010 was the release of the first version on Sourceforge. The documentation is not complete yet.

The working on LoroDux was stopped because JavaME is no more a platform it makes sense to invest in.

What is different?

Many other projects have failed, why will LoroDux not fail?

  • Maps are free
  • Users will be enabled to add and correct their own locations
  • Requirements for special objects in the map can easily be fulfilled by adding them to the OSM data model (e.g. traffic_signals:sound=yes/no)
  • No special hardware needed
  • The project will not end with the budget - there is no budget.
  • The project will not end with the students leaving the college - The active users are not students and push the project in their spare time.
  • The project will not end with the availability of special hardware - Java ME is used on many platforms
  • The project will not end when the initial programmer has not time any more - The software will be open source and can be maintained by all interested developers.
  • The requirements are collected on a mailinglist with blind users and sighted OSM mappers.
  • The development tools are accessible, blind programmers can join the project.
  • The requirements include multi language support (in later versions) for at least latin alphabets.
  • The language used in the team is English.
OK, we have to admit that JavaME is now outdated and Android would be the choice now.

Want to contribute?

If you want to contribute to the project please subscribe to the mailing list. Please inform your visually impaired friends and invite them to join!


  • Bahnpirat
  • Lulu-Ann
  • DanielH
  • Prof.-Dr. Elisabeth Dennert-Möller, FH Hannover [1]
  • Torsten Brand († 2010), Product Manager Nuance Talks, donated a developer's license for the screenreader.
  • Greg Fields, Accessibility Product Manager, Research In Motion [2], donated a Blackberry with screenreader

LoroDux Project Status

( one step done: "Hello World" program has reached me, tests were successfull. Thanks to G.B.C and Sven! )

  • It is prooved, that it is possible to use JavaME with the Nuance Talks screenreader, at least on a Nokia N80 with Symbian OS. See compatibility list.
  • The zoom function also works.
  • Ongoing: Request for test.

if you can test on another hardware or another screenreader.

  • Its clear which APIs will be used.
  • A professor is found who will offer the programming task as a final thesis to reach a bachelor degree.
  • The subject was offered to computer science students at Fachhochschule Hannover, Germany! A student for the task is found and has started his work.
  • The domain http://www.accessiblemaps.org is now active and contains a visual map for the blind and a wheelchair map.

Current todo's

  • We need Java compatible Mobile Devices for testing, borrowed or as a donation.
  • We need developer's licenses for screenreaders.
  • We can accept more programmers after the release of version 1.
  • We need pilot regions that pimp their OSM maps with relevant tags for the blind, see Category:Visual Impairment. Best places to start are places where blind people often come

together, like schools. Kickoff: Hannover, Marburg.

  • We need more contributors with visual impairment, so that we don't get trapped in unimportant requirements. We need testers.

( one step done: We have many interested people on the mailing list, but we always need more! )

  • Is there any tool yet that can download a corridor along a railway route? Usecase: Low memory storage on mobile device, blind user wants to travel by train and download start city, destination city and 5 km to both sides of the railway route to know where he is.
  • Can you help to collect requirements?
  • People are needed to spread the information within mappers about the new/relevant tags.

General requirements

  • OSM
  • JavaME
  • Accessibility API
  • Java Location API (JSR 179)
  • GPS APIs (may be device specific - is there a standard across devices?)
  • Eclipse as a software development kit, as the sun tool is not screenreader accessible.
  • Pure text output
  • Screenreader usability
  • Multi-Language support
  • Personal Language file
  • OSM tags not in the language file shall be placed on the output device as they are.
  • Profiles, e.g. for several users and for different areas (home: read less details)
  • Routing could include buses etc. - Routing profiles.
  • Edit modes: OSM Data (Bus stops etc.), Personal Data (a position on a graveyard etc.), Personal Data for sharing (Friend's addresses)
  • GPS-offline-Mode: When not enough satellites are present or no GPS device at all, the navigation needs to go on (subway stations)
  • Optional: Internet connection via mobile phone for OSM data download / upload
  • GPS Bluetooth connection must not block headset or phone functionality.
  • GPS quality shall be told.
  • Battery status and battery warnings shall be told.
  • License cost free (maybe costs caused by screenreader?)
  • Support for mobile phones with 9 key, QWERTY and touch screen input controls

More details: see /Requirements

Translation: see /Translations

Compatible devices

See and add your device to the compatibility list.

See also

External links


Lorodux in the media