Friday, May 06, 2022

Voice Controlled Maps

Steve Attewell's Voice Controlled Map is an interesting experiment in providing a more accessible interactive map with navigation controls that support vocal commands. This means that users are able to search and move around the map using a number of different spoken commands.

The map can be panned up & down and left & right, can be zoomed in and out, and can be moved to named locations all by spoken word. To enter a voice command just click on the 'listen for voice commands button' and speak to the map. If you want to know what actual words the map will understand then say 'commands' or 'instructions' to view a list of accepted commands. 

The Voice Controlled Map uses Ordnance Survey map tiles so can only be used in the UK. If you want to talk to an interactive map outside the UK then you can use Alex instead.

Alex is another interactive map which can be controlled by voice. Like Steve's map Alex can understand a number of different spoken commands. You can ask Alex to zoom in and out on the map or to switch between aerial and topographical map layers. You can even tell Alex a location and it will center the map on that area. 

Alex also talks back to you. As well as accepting spoken commands Alex can also speak. For example, for confirming when it has completed one of your commands. Or when Alex tells you a joke. Yes, ask Alex to tell you a joke and this interactive map will tell you a really bad cartographically themed joke.

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