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#1981
Sadly I have already expected this answer and I can totaly understand it. But since I really like my N9 as my main phone I thought it is worth to ask.
Thanks for your great work, I am also using it on the Jolla.
 

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Posts: 3,231 | Thanked: 5,898 times | Joined on Aug 2010 @ Ruhrgebiet, Germany
#1982
Originally Posted by Shadowdog View Post
Sadly I have already expected this answer and I can totaly understand it. But since I really like my N9 as my main phone I thought it is worth to ask.
Thanks for your great work, I am also using it on the Jolla.
Quoting just to second this!
And thanks to MartinK.
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Posts: 738 | Thanked: 2,249 times | Joined on Jan 2011 @ Germany
#1983
Believe it or not, after managing to ignore it for almost 8 years I finally got around to trying modrana, mainly due to this recent thread: [1]

My first impression after approximately two hour of trying is: I think I like it.

However, there are two things that bother me:

1. I can't find a way to interactively change routing tracks.
I'm using the bicycle setting and I tried routing from my home to my office, and modrana shows me exactly the route I usually take. However, that route contains a path through a forest that even in good weather conditions requires some modest mountain biking skills (S2 single trail [2]). There is an altenative route that doesn't require any skills, but I don't know how to change the suggested route.
I'm using offline routing, in case that info is important. And I'd like to keep it that way.

2. English pronounciation for Geman street names is entirely useless. I wouldn't have recognized my own street name if it hadn't been written on the screen.
Is there a way to tell espeak to use German pronounciation? I have zero knowledge about espeak. Of course, I can just turn voice off in modrana, but I'd find it rather useful iff I can understand what it's saying.


[1] http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1540375
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:mtb:scale
 

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#1984
Originally Posted by sulu View Post
1. I can't find a way to interactively change routing tracks....

2. English pronounciation for Geman street names is entirely useless. ...
Re changing route: I don't think you can do it interactively. The best bet is to start driving and hope for rerouting. As far as I remember, modRana has rerouting logic implemented, but I am not sure whether its exposed in the current code.

Re espeak-English vs German: no wonder . There are better TTS engines available, some with German support. But they would have to be interfaced from modRana as well as selection of language for routing instructions.
 

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#1985
Originally Posted by rinigus View Post
Re changing route: I don't think you can do it interactively. The best bet is to start driving and hope for rerouting. As far as I remember, modRana has rerouting logic implemented, but I am not sure whether its exposed in the current code.
That's unfortunate.
Of couse I can just decide to ignore instructions if I know the route. But then I don't need routing at all.
If I don't know the route then unexpectedly ending up on an S2 trail is not an option. I might be riding my road bike or I may have company that can't handle S2.

I'll have to plan the route in advance anyway, but I don't see me remembering which instructions to follow and which to ignore on a 100km tour. So planning the route the way I intend to ride it is imperative.

Originally Posted by rinigus View Post
Re espeak-English vs German: no wonder . There are better TTS engines available, some with German support. But they would have to be interfaced from modRana as well as selection of language for routing instructions.
I found that espeak can use German pronounciation if one provides the option -vde with the string it should read. The result is not pleasant but it's understandable. Adding something like +m3 or +f2 to the option even lets one pick one of four male or two female voices. Although I must say that the different voices of one gender all sound the same or at least very similar.
So it would be nice if one could tell modrana to use that switch.
 

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#1986
Originally Posted by sulu View Post
That's unfortunate.
Of couse I can just decide to ignore instructions if I know the route. But then I don't need routing at all.
If I don't know the route then unexpectedly ending up on an S2 trail is not an option. I might be riding my road bike or I may have company that can't handle S2.

I'll have to plan the route in advance anyway, but I don't see me remembering which instructions to follow and which to ignore on a 100km tour. So planning the route the way I intend to ride it is imperative.
Assuming that you use OSM Scout Server for routing, the routing engine (Valhalla) has rather good support for cycling (see https://mapzen.com/blog/low-stress-bike-routing/ , ignore red banner on the bottom). These options would have to be exposed by the map clients (modRana and Poor Maps). I haven't looked into it myself. If you have time, maybe you could look into the API of Valhalla and suggest which options should be exposed for cyclist (for example, by opening issues for modRana and Poor Maps).

The routing engine also supports waypoints which would help in your case. Waypoints are not supported by modRana nor Poor Maps. Again, I would suggest to open issues for this. Waypoints would allow you to shape the route to your liking, if you know the sections to avoid.

I have not imported elevation data that can be used by Valhalla to calculate the bike routes. Brief look indicated that it would require some additional service, but I think it should be possible.


Originally Posted by sulu View Post
I found that espeak can use German pronounciation if one provides the option -vde with the string it should read. The result is not pleasant but it's understandable. Adding something like +m3 or +f2 to the option even lets one pick one of four male or two female voices. Although I must say that the different voices of one gender all sound the same or at least very similar.
So it would be nice if one could tell modrana to use that switch.
Its not trivial to provide the spoken language support. Namely, you cannot just set the spoken language by locale setting since many routers have very limited set of languages, TTS engines have also low number of languages. So, forget about Swedish/Finnish/Estonian and many others.

Thus, language selection has to be programmed against router and available TTS engines. This has been done for Poor Maps, not modRana yet.

As for street names that's the next problem. When you have spoken language English and get German street name, this may not sound as good. German/German should be OK. In this case, at present, the best TTS would be picoTTS (only female voice) that is supported by Poor Maps.

In general, TTS is a weakly supported by Linux (maybe except MaryTTS which is Java-based engine). There is some work done by mimic, let's hope the language coverage will improve.

PS: espeak is really bad in terms of quality, but has the largest number of supported languages. Hence its frequently used when programming as the first engine and later mainly for amusing kids.
 

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#1987
Thanks for all the feedback sulu, it's much appreciated!

Now for the individual issues:

bad route/route with bad segments
As rinigius already mentioned, waypoints are a reasonably good solution. Valhalla and many online services support them and modRana actually does too! So what's remaining is support in the (Qt5) GUI, which is definitely planned (and quite a priority actually).

There are also other (possibly complementary) options. One of them is returning multiple routes (from different backends or with different settings) and letting the user select one. Also it could be possible to provide the router with more data and increasing the chance of a good route being found. This could be combined with the first option.

And if you are on a bad route or conditions change - modRana does have automatic rerouting and it should be enabled by default.

turn-by-turn voice issues
There are multiple issues and ongoing efforts to fix them. As for the voice quality overall, rinigius did a significant amount of work in this area (thanks! ) by porting multiple new & likely better than espeak TTS engines and then helped them to be used by Poor Maps.

I should be able to reuse much of this in modRana, but this requires changes in the turn-by-turn navigation logic. At the moment voice messages are generated and "spoken" immediately when modRana detect they are needed.

To make use of the new TTS engines and the need for people to install obscure packages manually, the logic needs to be changed to pre-generate the messages to temporary files first and then just play those files (via QML) once needed. This could also make recorded voice sample based navigation possible (IIRC Marble has a good collection of multilingual navigation voice samples).

As for local name vs instruction language missmatch - this could be a hard nut to crack as rinigius mentioned. I think I should definitely expose any language selection settings for the routing engine and/or the TTS engine - that should help in many cases.

Also - it it possible to detect the language for place names in Valhalla output ? If they could be tagged by language (or even just country) it might be possible to set a different language in the TTS engine just fort he place name (at least espeak can do that).

Actually, modRana can do this in a limited capability already - there is an option (only in GTK2 GUI, not yet exposed in the Qt 5 GUI) to consider words with cyrilic to be Russian words, so that espeak will speak them in Russian. If we can detect the language by more robust means, this technique could easily be used universally.
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#1988
Originally Posted by MartinK View Post
To make use of the new TTS engines and the need for people to install obscure packages manually, the logic needs to be changed to pre-generate the messages to temporary files first and then just play those files (via QML) once needed. This could also make recorded voice sample based navigation possible (IIRC Marble has a good collection of multilingual navigation voice samples).
Prerecorded voices would require limited phrases. This assumption doesn't hold for routing engines adding street names into the instructions. Also supporting multiple routing engines doesn't help either ...


Originally Posted by MartinK View Post
Also - it it possible to detect the language for place names in Valhalla output ? If they could be tagged by language (or even just country) it might be possible to set a different language in the TTS engine just fort he place name (at least espeak can do that).
In theory, its possible. I don't know whether Valhalla imports multiple names (if available) when making the tiles. As soon as the names are available, should be possible to tag them in the instructions. Its not done yet, as far as I know.

I haven't filed the issue describing it in Valhalla's repo since I am not sure we can actually make use of this output (yet?). I think I saw somewhere mimic/flite issue regarding reading multi-language text, but it wasn't resolved at that time. Which brings the question up regarding partitioning: is it modRana/Poor Maps/... who is supposed to split the sentence and later glue it together or TTS? I would expect TTS to do that, but maybe its na´ve.
 

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#1989
@rinigus, MartinK:
Thanks a lot for your answers, but I must admit I lack the expertise to follow much of it.

My preferred way of navigation is still a paper map and the sun, especially while biking. Think of it as a contrast program to my IT-heavy job!
As a consequence, although I have some basic knowledge about the underlying algorithms, I'm not familiar with the implementation of any concrete navigation SW.
I've used Marble occasionally, where due to the old version on the N900 no longer being able to find routes, I need to plan those on my PC with a more recent Marble version and then export these routes to Marble on the N900, which still works.
I was hoping to replace this Marble duo with modrana, thus becoming indepentent of my PC again. But for that I'd need waypoints combined with on-device routing.

As for espeak, wouldn't it be possible to add some submenu in modrana's options menu that lets one forward arbitrary options to espeak?
That's of course assuming that modrana calls the espeak binary, which might not be the case.
 
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