Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

10 Feb 2022

2022-02-10: Adventures with OsmAnd

I had a journey to a local town today, so I decided to do it with OsmAnd. I already knew the route, so nothing much could go wrong.

There's a lot to configure in that app. I finally got the navigation working so that the orientation works like Google Maps or Waze, with the direction changing with the movement of the car, rather than according to the compass direction (arrow always pointing towards the top of the screen).

I had the main map source as Microsoft maps, which was probably my main mistake. It should have been OsmAnd. Also, for the alphabet I should have chosen Hebrew, because the Latin transliteration of the Hebrew street names proved to be unintelligible.

The wrong choice of the map source may have resulted in some of the mistakes that the application made. A couple of its inventions were really wild and undo-able. Altogether there were about 5 such mistakes along the route there and back. Since I already knew the route, I ignored the wrong directions.

A second class of mistakes were in the audio directions. When it would want me, for example, to leave Route 3 and get on to Route 1, it says something like "Stay right on Route 3). Then when I got on Route 1, it would say "continue 17 kilometers to Route 1). The map itself knew that i was already on Route 1, of course. There were a couple of odd phrasings like this: if I hadn't been listening to the audio, it would have been fine, because the directions shown where OK (except for the earlier mentioned unaccountable errors). Next time I follow that route I will see if changing the map source has made a difference.

My OsmAnd speaks to me in Indian-accented English. That probably a result of a choice I made somewhere else in the phone. I actually prefer it to the American voice I hear on Google Maps, though it's not that I'm against American accents in general. I read somewhere that it is possible, in Google Maps or Waze to purchase celebrity voices such as the voice of Morgan Freeman. But since OsmAnd is attempting to synthesize street names from transliterated gobbledygook, nothing would improve that.

Tags: maps
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