GTT Chatham-Kent Summary Notes, GPS Navigation and Smart Speakers, December 13, 2017

Summary Notes

GTT Chatham-Kent Meeting December 13, 2017


The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Chatham-Kent Chapter was held December 13.

Six people attended.

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Meeting Ideas:

Matt proposed discussing the use of Blind Square and Google Maps for navigation. We can practice them outside at the next meeting.

Dave L. asked that we also discuss Google Home and Amazon Echo if there is time. Harvey has several Google minis and Dave plans to buy one on the way home today.


Theme, GPS Maps for Navigation:

Matt opened Google Maps and demonstrated how it can be used to find locations and get directions by foot, transit (including uber and lift) and driving. It only uses about 30 megs of data a month. Although it will tell you bus times, bus stop locations and cost, it doesn’t tell you when to get off. To solve this, Matt makes sure it announces the stop ahead of when he wants to get off, so he can get ready. In the menu, you can change miles to kms., download maps. You can type in a destination or voice search it. To reverse the destination and start point, say stop start of destination. You can choose the time to depart.

Matt used text search for ‘coffee’. He found all the coffee shops near his home. It stated where the shop was open, what its hours are, directions and the time to get there. It gives bus numbers, how soon a bus should come, the cost and where the bus stop is. None of us could find the location of the Chatham Bus Terminal. There isn’t a phone there. We don’t know if Chatham’s four bus routes in Chatham are on Google Maps. Dave H. Uses Chatham’s bus app. It is not very helpful. Chatham buses do announce stops.


Matt told us that, right now, Apple Maps which is similar has a bug right now when giving walking directions.


Matt demonstrated Blind Square, which is an Apple app. It is the only app that tells you where you are. You can simulate a location to explore what is around it and plan routes using Google Maps or Apple Maps. It is only for the iPhone. It will also give the weather in the place you have searched.  If you hold your phone flat and turn around, you can ‘look around’. You can set filters to only hear street names and my places.


Swarm app also helps you to explore what is around you. Move it and Around Me are other apps.


Smart Speakers on Sale for Christmas:

We discussed Google Home, Google Dot and Amazon’s Echo. They are on sale right now for Christmas.


Echo has skills. You need to pay for Spotify. It does more than Google Home right now. You can ask, “What’s the news?” It doesn’t play audible books yet. It does play Kindle books, podcasts and radio stations. You can also ask Alexa, “Where’s my phone.


Next Meeting:

At the next meeting we will bring Google Home and Google Dot and discuss them. We suggested that Dave L. ask Best Buy staff to demonstrate that Google Dot connects with BlueTooth to his hearing aids before he buys it.


Minutes taken by Susan Vollmar


GTT Chatham-Kent Overview

  • GTT Chatham-Kent is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Chatham-Kent promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.


National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:


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