Introduction Quick guide Routes Points Auxiliary functions Tracking Latest Version Conversion from OpenStreet maps Locatization Offline use Voice commands Customization Data description


DotWalker is an Android application addressing special needs of eyes free travel. It is assumed that Talkback screen reader will be used with this application. On its own, DotWalker uses direct speech output, sound alerts, vibration and high contrast text that can be enlarged as needed.
A GPS sensor should be switched on in order to provide location information. Geomagnetic sensor is used for compass features and accelerometer to trigger some user actions.

The application is available in two versions.
Free version comes with limited functionality, for example handling of up to 30 points and disabled access to web related functions like navigation, maps or location tracking. Paid version can be found on Google play as DotWalker Pro
Free version can be found on Google play as DotWalker
Free application that shows tracked friend location on the map and enables text communication DotWalker Tracker

Quick guide

  • Main Screen.
    • GPS info and speed (text field)
    • Selected route and mode (text field)
    • Selected point and distance, on swipe shows other fields (text field)
      • Default message shows current point and distance.
      • Point description, if the point has any.
      • Distance and heading to target point.
      • Route mode details, if route mode is selected. Shows destination point and route lenght to it, evaluation of turn at next point in order to continue to the next point.
      • Audio replay, if there is any.
      • Time and path length.
      • Current heading (cardinal) and speed.
      • GPS details, altitude, accuracy.
    • Select point (button)
    • Selects single point from list to be watched.
    • Nearest (button)
    • Seeks nearest point relative to current position.
      Repeated selection shows extended options:
      • Full circle
      • Covers area all around.
      • Angle view
      • Covers area within selected view angle. Ahead, back, left and right direction is selected by swipe.
      • Points
      • Shows a list of points sorted by distance. Target can be selected.
    • Route (button)

    • Guidance along the route from point to point.
      Repeated selection shows extended options:
      • Next point to destination
      • Shifts current target to next point in route list.
      • Previous point to destination
      • Shifts current target to previous point.
      • Nearest point to destination
      • Selects the nearest point as target.
      • Select destination
      • Select destination point.
      • About
      • Details including turn at target point to the next and distance to destination.
    • Compass (button)
      • Compass
      • Cardinal direction is announced.
      • Approach to point
      • Announces direction and distance to the watched point.
      • Lookaround
      • Announces points around. Covered radius is set by swipe up or down.
    • Info (button)
      • Point details
      • Reads target point details.
      • Map and address
      • Shows current and selected points, address, address annoucement by pointing at the map
      • Route details
      • Reads currently opened route details.
      • GPS
      • Reads GPS status.
      • SMS
      • Send sms message with your location.
  • Gestures on main screen.
    • Swipe up or down
    • Announces details about target point, heading, route details, gps status.
    • Swipe left
    • Announces address, either from web or from offline map data.
    • Swipe right
    • Repeats currently shown information.
    • Angle view mode
    • Brings up the nearest point in respective direction.
  • Menu.
    • Routes.
    • Provides basic route data functions, import (from web site library, from OpenStreet maps, and from Google navigation directions), record route and map.
      • Open, Delete, Rename
      • Route data operations.
      • New route
      • Creates a new route.
      • Import
      • OpenStreet map, defined by location and radius, Google navigation directions to selected destination: Creates a new route by specifying the start and target address. If the start field is left empty, the current position is used as start.
        List of published routes from DotWalker web site.
      • Record
      • Switches route logging. Next select action closes current record which is saved under "Recorded" name appended by unused ordinal number.
      • Map
      • Shows the current route on map. Menu option Points is available to show route points.
      • Close
      • Closes and saves current route.
    • Points.
    • Comprehensive point edit, filter(selection by name and description), map layer(selection by map point classes), navigation directions to selected point, new point at the current location.
      • Edit
      • Opens point edit dialog. There, you can change name, description, sound record, position and point view info.
      • Points Filter
      • Selects a group of active points (points that will be checked against the current position) based on the name and description field match.
      • Map layer
      • Switches visibility of points according to category. Applies to data imported from OpenStreet maps.
      • Navigate
      • Creates a new route as navigation path from the current location to the selected point.
      • New Point
      • Creates a new point at the current location.
    • Tracking.
    • Handles location tracking settings. Requires Internet data access.
      • Registration
      • Shown only if your account is empty. On selecting, enter your name, valid email and password you wish to use in order to access your account. You will be sent an email allowing you to activate your account.
      • Select tracked contact
      • Choose a user who has granted you the pemission to track. If successful, user name is shown and repeated selection returns his/her position status containing address, update time, distance and heading as seen from your position.
      • Announce contact location
      • Enable automatic announcement on change of position of the tracked user.
      • Send my location
      • Enable or disable periodic update of your location on the web server.
      • Send location tracking request
      • Enter email address of the user you would like to track. Request will be sent and, if granted, you will be notified by email.
      • Account
      • Enter your email address and password.
    • Settings.
    • Contains settings modifying text size and announcements of navigation events, shake sensitivity and action on shake, logging counters reset and location sms number.
      • Address announcement
      • Switches automatic announcement on address change.
      • On site
      • Selects the extent and form of on site state alert.
      • Announce redirect
      • Switches on/off point redirect messages.
      • GPS information
      • Modifies GPS status alert.
      • Approach alert
      • Assigns distances at which there will be alert on target point approach.
      • Compass in locked screen
      • Disables compass voice messages while in locked screen state.
      • On shake
      • Selects the action on shake. It can be a new point creation, currently watched point and distance annoucement, or current address.
      • Sensitivity
      • Sets sensitivity of shake action.
      • On site distance
      • Sets on site state definition, based on proximity to target point.
      • Location SMS
      • Enter SMS number for SMS function that sends current location formatted for Google maps.
      • Reset Counters
      • Deleted logged values of time and covered distance.
      • Text Size
      • Selects the preferred text size.
      • Gestures
      • Selects the desired command launched by gesture action.
      • Media
      • Selects the desired command launched on media button press. This applies to handsfree set buttons, for example.


DotWalker can open a collection of points placed in Route file. Each point contains position expressed in latitude and longitude value, as well as a title that is used for identification. There are also additional fields that can be used.
Description: additional text.
Audio Record: optional audio comment.
Media: attached link, for example text file containing detailed background information pertaining to the point.
Views: one or more directional information. As you reach the point, you can turn around and hear information for places in given direction.

There are several options how to get route data.

Creating a new route.

Select Route and then New Route item. A dialog is shown, where you will write a name for the new route. After closing the dialog a new route is loaded. Next, you can insert new points as you stop at desired location.
As on option, new point can be created on shake (see settings). The point name is assigned automatically. Audio record for the point can be saved as well.
New point can be opened later for edit, you can add a voice comment or street view. Later, as you reach the point, you will be able (on info button click) to activate this feature, and as you turn round, appropriate message will be announced.

Route recording.

Activate Record item from Route menu. This will automatically add a new point at each 20 metres. While in this mode, if you select settings for shake control to "new point", you can add audio recording after shake. Device will respond with a slight vibration and sound alert to indicate you can speak. The recording can be stopped with another shake or swipe (2 finger with screen reader). As you later open saved points for edit, you can fill in address in description field by selecting menu address (in point edit dialog).

Import, OpenStreet maps.

DotWalker is able to download map data directly from OpenStreet web server. Select Routes, Import, OpenStreet map. In the dialog, select radius, which defines an area size relative to a center point. Next, select center point using one of the buttons. You can use your current position, select one of the points from currently opened route, or, select a point from the map. Resulting data contain points that are classified into several categories, for example houses with addresses, roads, intersections etc. These groups represent map layers and can be selectively switched if you apply Map Layer function in Points dialog.

Import, Find route.

You can download a route by specifying either start and destination address, or just a destination. In this case, the current location is used for start. You can also create a new route by selecting destination as on of the points in currently opened route (Points, Navigate).

Import from Web.

DotWalker can download some of the prepared routes from web server. These are usually points of interest converted from OpenStreet maps. With this kind of route, you can select the Nearest navigation mode. Then, you will be notified as you get near, or reach any point in route. In this scenario, you can use point filter function, where you can select only a group of points, for example only crossings. This is done by specifying filter text. You can prepare your own map if you download and use Windows application that can convert osm data to dotwalker route file. Or feel free to ask for the route of your neighourhood.


Each point is defined by latitude and longitude values and identified by its title. In adddition, DotWalker also supports description text, audio record, link to file and views for each point. File can refer to larger text describing current location. Views are directional remarks. If defined and if you are positioned at given point, you can hear directional remarks as you turn around holding your device.
Usually, all points in the opened route are included to be tracked. However, the collection can be limited by filter (Points, Points Filter), using point name or description, or selecting map layer in case route is generated from OpenStreet map (Points, Map layer).

Auxiliary functions

As you go, you are automatically notified of changes of targeted points, GPS state and when you reach the point (get inside a radius). Complementary information is easily accessible by swipes. At any time, you can also open Compass dialog where you can choose from three modes: plain compass mode, which announces degrees. Or, you can select approach mode, which will indicate direction to targeted point. The direction is annouced as hour dial value as you turn around. As you aim at the target, which is at 12 hours, you will hear distance to the point. Third mode is a look around, which announces the nearest point in given direction. A button will appear, that selects current point as target.

Tracking contacts

This feature can be of great help if people want to share their location. For example, you want your friend or family member to know where you are. In this way they can help you if you need it or make ready your dinner the moment you enter your home which is great, isn't it?
Also, you would like to keep track of your friend so that you can meet at the appointed place. You will be notified of their location address, the distance and heading relative to your position and last update time.
To monitor your location, you can also use DW web pages. After loggin in, the user can choose a contact person and check the progress shown on map together with current address corresponding to the location. Web page was designed with regard to screen reader access and uses live region for the address field. Your screen reader, if you use one, automatically announces every change in the address field.
In order to use location tracking feature, you must be a registered user. Also, Internet data access is required to transmit the location data to web server. And, of course, you have to grant your permission to anybody who would like to see your location.
For more information, see Tracking in Quick guide section.

Conversion from OpenStreet maps

Please note that you can import OpenStreet maps directly in DotWalker. To do so, open menu Routes, Import.
If you prefer to use your Windows PC for route conversion and processing, you can download DotWalker routes editor. This utility can convert from map.osm file, which is obtained from export function. Other option is to import Loadstone format files. Converted data, as well as loaded route.xml files, can easily be inspected and edited. You can modify selected points and check position on GoogleMaps.
In order to use your route.xml file with DotWalker application, locate "dotwalker" folder on your device memory unit. Create new subfolder under this folder, folder name will be
be used as new route name.
Place route.xml file in the folder.


You are welcome to make DotWalker speak in your own language. Just download Strings file and send it back.
Thank you for your effort to make the app speak in your mother tongue!

Offline use

DotWalker is designed to work without the need for online web connection, except for the navigation routes that require Google webserver feeds and OpenStreet download. After saving the route on the device memory store, you can use that route offline. OpenStreet Map images are downloaded while online, stored and reusable for offline use.

Voice commands

The following list contains command description followed by one or more equivalent phrases that are used to launch it. Each voice command allows to define three phrases. Each phrase must be unique, do not use single word that is already used within another phrase.

Show voice commands help

Announce nearest point
nearest point

Announce address of your current location

Announce point positioned ahead of you

Announce point positioned on the left

Announce point positioned on the right

Announce point positioned behind you

Switch on automatic address announcement
address enable

Switch off automatic address announcement
address disable

Announce distance to specified address (add address after the phrase, if missing, previously specified address is considered)
distance to address

Announce distance to specified point (add point name after the phrase, if missing, current point is considered)
distance to point

Announce heading to specified point (add point name after the phrase, if missing, current point is considered)
heading to point, point heading

Announce current speed

Announce current altitude

Announce GPS status

Add new point (add point name, if missing, normalized point name is created)
new point

Open point for edit (add point name)
edit point

Start route recording
route record enable

Stop route recording
route record disable

Set nearest mode (nearest point to your location is selected)
mode nearest

Set route mode (point on route to desired destination is delected)
mode route

Open route (add route name)
open route

Close current route
close route

Show compass
show compass

Close compass, returns to main display
close compass

Show approach (shows approach to target point feature)
show approach

Close approach (returns to main display)
close approach

Skip to next point on route (route mode)
next route point

Skip to next previous on route (route mode)
previous route point

Realign to nearest target point (route mode)
update position on route

Select destionation point (route mode)
select destination

Announce and show route mode details (route mode)
route mode information

Select target point (add point name, if missing, point list is shown)
select target point

Announce current target point (all modes)
target point,current point

Announce current point description
point description

Announce currently opened route
current route

Announce number of points in current route (number can be less than total number of point in data if some map layers are disabled or point filter applied)
number of points

Create new route (add route name)
new route

Announce average speed
average speed

Announce total time from opening of the route or resetting counters
total time

Announce total length from opening of the route or resetting counters
total length

Annouce route details
route information

Open track contact menu
track contact

Announce tracked contact location
contact location

Switch on contact tracking
contact location enable

Switch off contact tracking
contact location disable

Close application (triggers next voice command query, reply yes to confirm)
close application

Play audio record for current point (if exists)
play audio

Announce heading to given address (add address)
heading address

Send location SMS (triggers next voice command query, reply yes to confirm)
send sms,send location message

Navigate to point walking (add point name from the current route)
Creates walking navigation directions to selected point

Navigate to point by car (add point name from the current route)
Creates navigation directions to selected point for travel by car

Navigate to point by transit (add point name from the current route)
Creates navigation directions to selected point using public transport

Navigate to address walking (add address)
Creates walking navigation directions to selected point

Navigate to address by car (add address)
Creates navigation directions to selected point for travel by car

Navigate to address by transit (add address)
Creates navigation directions to selected point using public transport


Using DotWalker is made easy using gestures. There are 2 finger or 3 finger swipes in all four directions supported. Two finger gestures are actually single finger, but Talkback reserves single finger for navigation. All supported gestures can be customized in Settings menu, Gestures option. Each gesture item contains selection of application functions that can be tied up with it. In this way you can, for example, assign voice recognition to 3 finger swipe down, if you like.
Similarly, if you have a handsfree set, you can assign each button to the desired DotWalker function. For example, if you use simple wired earplugs with microphone and single button, you can try voice recognition on that button. Media button assignment is customized in Settings, Media option.

List of commands that can be used with gestures or media buttons:

Scroll up
scroll to previous line of main screen text

Scroll down
scroll to next line of main screen text

Read current item
repeat current line of main screen text

Nearest front
announce nearest point ahead

Nearest behind
announce nearest point behind

Nearest left
announce nearest point on the left

Nearest right
announce nearest point on the right

announce nearest point around

announce address of your current location

Voice Command
start listening to voice command

Point details
announce point details

Route details
announce route details

GPS information
announce GPS details

Compass heading
announce heading to current point based on compass reading

annouce distance to current point

Data description


Route of database is identified by folder name. This folder contains several files. Points are stored in "route.dat", which is a common text file, where each record occupies separate line. Record contains several fields separated by semicolon.

Point record:

  • pt is a keyword. Optionally it can contain class extension separated by comma. Class declaration can be one of the following keywords:
    • transport
    • residence
    • intersection
    • road
    • path
  • name, point title shown and announced on appropriate events
  • lat, latitude value
  • lng, longitude value
  • description, optional additional information for the point
  • media, optional file name, for example text file, web link or image file, referred file is placed in the same folder
  • record, optional audio record, referred file is placed in the same folder

View record:

This record can follow point record and defines additional views for given point. For example, views are used for intersection to identify road branches.
  • view, reserved word
  • name, view title
  • value, degree value in range of 0 to 360, compared against compass reading to identify view direction from referred point
  • record, optional audio record played if device is orientated in that direction (views dialog)

Updated: 26.11.2018