State Your Name Please
The State Your Name Please app for Windows 8.1 shows a map of the United States. As you explore the map with touch or a mouse, the name of the states that you encounter are spoken. This can be useful to people who are blind or have low vision, and who want to get a reminder of the geographical relationships of states. It can also be useful to students learning a map of the United States, particularly if the students have cognitive challenges.
Demo using the Narrator screen reader with touch
Demo using the Narrator screen reader with touch to zoom in and zoom out
Using the app
On a touch device, place your finger on the map to have the name of the state spoken. While your finger is touching the screen, move it around the map to have the names of other states spoken as you encounter them. If you're using a mouse, simply move the mouse around the map to have the name of the states beneath the mouse cursor spoken.
Touch and mouse movement is ignored while a state name is being spoken, in order to prevent the speech from being interrupted. So if after moving your finger or the mouse, the name of a state is not spoken, (because speech was in progress for a different state during the movement,) make a little extra movement to have the state name spoken.
You can also have the name of the state shown visually on the screen, as shown in the picture below. Note that if you use a high contrast theme, the box used to show the state name will use what high contrast theme colors were current at the time that the app started.
You can zoom in and pan the map if there's an area of particular interest to you. by setting the "Allow zoom and pan" option. Once the area of interest is showing in the view, turn off the option to zoom in, and then continue to explore the map. Depending on how far you've zoomed in, you might also hear the county name and city name spoken, in addition to the state name. The picture below shows the option for zooming in on an area in the map.
How can the State Your Name Please app be made more useful to you?
There are many enhancements that could be made to the app. For example, perhaps you'd like to have the county name and city name spoken, also shown visually on the screen? Or you'd like explicit control of which of the state, county and city names get spoken, rather than having that based on the current map zoom level.
At some point the app will likely be turned into a simple game, where you have to find states on the map, without the names of the states being shown.
If the app outputs no speech when you explore the map, check the following:
Do you have an internet connection? If you have no connection, the app will not be able to find the state name based on the map location of interest.
Can any audio be heard on your computer? Perhaps the volume on your computer is turned down very low.
Is the "Allow zoom and pan" option turned on. After you've zoomed in, you'll want to turn this option off before continuing to explore the map.