Google Maps Offers Speech-Friendly Alternatives

Over at the Google blog, Googler T.V. Raman shares useful tips as a technologist who is visually impaired.

For blind searchers and others who use spoken outputs, screenreaders or a Braille display, the visual display that is returned from a Google Maps or Google Local search is often translated poorly in such readers.

So Google has added a simple, alternative view into Google Maps for visually impaired users, with the Textual Maps UI. It's also extremely useful for any searcher using a non-graphical display and can quickly look up a location by typing a simple English query of the form of a start address to end address.

About the author

Elisabeth Osmeloski has been in the search engine marketing industry since 1999, with agency experience as an SEO consultant and web copywriter for a variety of clients, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, as well as working in-house for a travel search industry startup. Elisabeth is also a regular speaker and a moderator at the Search Engine Strategies conferences.

Elisabeth recently launched a new blog and consulting agency, Adventures in Search, specializing in editorial services including content strategy, SEO copywriting, community development and management, social media marketing, online PR and customized link building. Elisabeth's areas of expertise include adventure travel services, destination and tourism marketing, outdoor recreation and action sports, as well as luxury- and lifestyle-focused brands.

She holds a B.A. in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also spent several years as the Skiing Editor for About.com, and still enjoys writing as an active travel journalist whenever possible. In addition to freelance travel writing assignments, Elisabeth has also created Downhill Divas, a social network for women interested in skiing, snowboarding, freeride mountain biking and living a healthy, active lifestyle.