Bats demo 
The Bats demo is a great demo and easy install.  The interface was straightforward to use and effective at conveying information.

When I used it, the left mouse stopped indicating county names after I used the right mouse button.


Download the BATS North Carolina demo.

How hard is it to actually download the software? 

  • The link made it very easy. However, the connection speed on Sunday evening was extremely slow, only 23k/s. 

Do you think you could still download it if you had a visual impairment? 

  • The only difficult part might be to know where to save the file. 

Install the software. Again, do you think you could install it if you were blind? 

  • The software was very easy to install. I already had the MS speech engine and unselected it from the install menu and the program installed properly. 
  • As a blind person, however, I do not know how simple the install menu would be to read/navigate because of the text and menu.

Run BATS and learn the commands. All of the functions of the software can be accessed via the buttons on a mouse, trackball, joystick, etc. Can you figure out what each button does without looking at the included text document? 

  • I would feel more confident about the button functionality if there were a help legend or a quick sheet for commands. Although the commands are self evident, I wonder if I missed anything. An audio version of a legend might also be helpful for the blind. 
  • Only after hour did I discover that double clicking gives more information about the city or county. 
  • It seems that the left mouse button stopped giving county names after I used the right mouse button. Is that a feature?

Explore the map for a few minutes. Get used to the interface. After you are comfortable with the software, try to complete the following tasks: Position the cursor on Raleigh. Now close your eyes and try to get to Winston-Salem using only the sounds and textures. Can you do it? Roughly how long does it take you? 

  • Yes, it took a few seconds. My strategy was to follow the cities between Raleigh and Winston-Salem, which I knew beforehand. I did not use the county names as I am not familiar with them.

Without looking at the map again, can you tell in what general direction you traveled?

  • I know that Winston-Salem is north-west of Raleigh.
Start in Raleigh again and try to find the city of Greenville with your eyes closed. What county is it in? 
  • I could not find the city and discover the county name blindly. It seems that the left mouse button stopped giving county names after I used the right mouse button. restarting the demo and using my eyes, I found that Greenville is in Pit County.

Is it any harder to find this smaller city? 

  • Yes, I think you had to be closer to the city to hear it properly. My strategy was to find the cost and then move east. The coast was easy to find because of the costal sounds.

Position your cursor in Charlotte. With your eyes closed, try to find the Cherokee Reservation. After about 5 minutes, if you cannot find it, try to find it with your eyes open. How difficult was this task? Does the visual map actually help at all in locating this region? 

  • No, there was no visible label. I gave up looking and used Expedia to find it. Once I knew the location I verified it by clicking on the corresponding part of the map. There is also a beautiful melody associated with the reservation.
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dorian miller, 2/4/2003