Text to Speech Facility

Roger Barton shared this idea 4 years ago
Collecting votes

It would be useful if text added to a point (or even an audio file) could have the option of being offered as speech.

I like to prepare walking routes on my PC and upload them as a series of points to Locus, but it's almost impossible to read the screen on my tablet in daylight and I prefer to have it hidden in my pocket anyway for security and to eliminate the risk of bumping into things!

Spoken instructions or comments at points could be easily personalised, such as "Take a sharp left down the high street next to the butcher's"

This would work without any wi-fi connection or the need to install add-ons.

The message could be repeated whilst close to the point, or for a specified number of times, just in case part of the message was missed due to traffic noise &c.

The message would be best stored in a new field so as not to clash with any comments already stored in point data.

Comments (6)


Adding to the above -

If a text file could be rendered as audio that would save having to add another field to the point details, and directions could be received via email and pasted into a file using a PC and imported into Locus, much easier than fiddling around with a tablet/phone keyboard, also a library of messages could be compiled.


Or = By strict navigation ! And your city guide is: A prepared personalised "free text" and message spoken by TTS.

Like in this example ? http://youtu.be/s5g7nJFPK1Y


Rather than add a new field, it may be better to arrange for the title and/or description to be read aloud, this would save space in the database. If the field to be read out was prefixed with say an asterisk (*) it would be read.

This would make it easier to prepare spoken fields on a PC (I use Route Converter)


Roger, you're talking about simple POI (wpt) announcements ? Yes ? Does not work properly, because non strict, only will bring confusional bad timed messages if to be guided on complicated paths. Did you have a look at the suggested example video ? And a previous +/- similar item as yours is here: http://help.locusmap.eu/topic/guiding-point-by-point-with-a-voice-announcement (9 votes.)

Then also have a look at the second video POI (wpt) announcements by Locus. See (hear) the difference ?


Thanks for your replies, I did search for a similar topic, but obviously not far back enough.

Pretty much as shown in the first video, I don't see a link to the 2nd video.

Any confusion would arise from the content of the message so not a problem if the messages were composed with care. It would be mostly used for walking so plenty of time to stop and look around, or perhaps on a bus journey with "Get off at the next stop" announcement - bus stops are far enough apart to avoid confusion.

Perhaps the only alternative is a piece of paper with a map drawn on it - perfectly visible in bright sunlight, battery won't give out and unlikely to be stolen.



Roger, do you have example file with a few prepared messages in wpt's ? What you had in mind ?

No need to send a long trip or walk if still interested ;-) Attach as zip or replace .gpx by .txt

That last alternative, oh yes I see...these nice paper maps.....+/- system as used by Petrov for rafting.


That 2nd video is interesting - I see what you mean about false alarms on a circuitous route.

I don't have any PC software that allows me to enter an audible message in a waypoint, if you can suggest a program I'll have a go; this is what I've put together with RouteConverter (file attached), I've put the instructions in the <name> field. Is there a way this field can be displayed on a map without having to tap the point? Note the first name doesn't have an asterisk in front of it, this would not be spoken, the others with the (*) would.

I've had a look at guidance between points in the manual, TTS is an option, but I don't see how to get the text in the point data in order that it may be read aloud.


Ah I see, waypoints only. Advise you to remove the asterix's. Sure the waypoints are announced in TTS by the POI alerter. Import file and when asked save in database POI (a new) folder 'Test'. All imported poi's must be active and visible.

Then activate your POI alerter. You have to activate the POI alerter each time after a Locus restart, do not forget !

POI alarm settings: BASIC: 30 m (advise not a very low value, phone in pocket is not very accurate). Notify when a new Poi is in range. Notify once. NOTIFICATION: Text to Speech. ( tts test by Play) ! FOLDERS: Select folder 'Test'. And walk.



A program to add waypoints ? by Locus ? Add point function.

And give that point a name...will be announced by TTS . No problem.


I have attached a second file: A track with your (associated) waypoints.

Import in Android app "Track Navigator"...and walk again. (both files are .gpx )

Another pc program to have a look at gpx files is freeware: "gpx editor". (google)

View waypoints and trackpoints in lists and map.


Thanks again - That went well!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all the point details are read out apart from the "description" field? Personally I think that's the one field you'd want read, that way the user has control over the message. The manual doesn't give any indication of where the text is read from.

I put the asterisks in the submitted file just to illustrate what I meant earlier.

I was asking for any program written by anyone that would run on a PC to allow me to input any data that could be read aloud, but I realise that would have to be compatible with Locus, and if there's no provision for a "description" field in the GPX specification then we're stuck with what we've got.

It's just that I prefer to do as much as possible on a PC, big screen, decent keyboard & mouse, no battery and any work is automatically backed up.


First your question about point labels in Locus: Make Labels of points visible on map: In Locus go to Settings ->Maps-objects &style->Style on map ->Points popup content ->Basic settings: Labels on map: "Always" or "on hover" or "never". As far as I know tts on points in Locus is expressed only by the <name> field.

If you want to run more tests, this can be done easily by the pc program gpx editor. (editable pointlists)

The second file: The one that runs in TN app. You can move all details into the <desc> waypoint field. And in <name> add a compact ref name. If both are used TN " will display on map compact "<name> but TTS is expressed by <desc>. If <desc> is empty than <name> is used for TTS. Just play with the various point attributes by pc gpx editor and test. You will notice that these waypoints in the last file always have a "twinbrother" trackpoint. Or both are associated. They correspond in position and timestamp with each other. The navigation information (for TN) is in the waypoints, in the attributes <name>and <desc>. If the association position/timestamp is broken no navigation.

Produce a navigation file by gpx editor in a "must be" timestamped track !

You can add all info you want into the single trackpoints: <name><cmt><desc><type><Icon>

Add all navigation or information you want at the exact point. Such a file should already be usable for perfect strict navigation but there is no app because there is no gpx navigation standard norm.

But what can you do ? By using gpx editor function in the bottom pane 'plant a waypoint' you can copy all information of single trackpoints to a wpt into the waypointlist and automatically these wpt's are associated. Or produce a compatible Navigation file for (only) TN app. A gpx system +/- similar to the tcx system. (Not recognised format by Locus btw.)

outdated but still nice to read document: http://www.topografix.com/gpx_manual.asp


Got the point labels sorted thanks.

TTS reads the name field with embellishments, eg "Point <name> 7 O'clock 10 feet", It would be great to be able to specify which fields are read out. If nobody has suggested this I'll start a new topic and see what people think.

I haven't been able to install track Navigator (TN) because I'm running out of space on my tablet, I'll put that on my to-do list.

GPXEditor works fine, pity it won't create a GPX file from scratch! I have about 5 programs to work with GPX, they'll all do a bit of what I want, none will do everything! For example the GPXeditor's export to CSV uses the semicolon as a delimeter "CSV" means COMMA separated variables", Hey Ho!

I think CSV support should be added to Locus. Once a set of waypoints is generated :-

export from Locus to CSV > edit with a spreadsheet or database > save as CSV > import into Locus.

Much quicker than tapping on a screen and opening each waypoint in turn. At the same time the data is stored on a PC and backed up. CSV files are smaller than formatted GPX &c files, you just have to be aware that you need to allow for commas and quotes that may be embedded in the data.

Again if nobody has suggested this I'll start a new topic and see what people think.


- To get rid of the O'clock directions -> no problem.

Folder: Locus/data/tts you should find "en_sample_v4.tts" file. You can edit (notepad) this file to your own wishes. Then save as "en.tts". Locus (I think after a restart) will use that personalised new file. Anyway I send you in attachment my personalised "en.tts" version. Result: Compact instructions, less talk.

Attachment: "en.txt change to "en.tts"

- About Locus export/import by .csv.

Never tried, never asked, so can't give you direct answer if available or not. Someone ?

- About gpx editor csv output.

Make proposal/request in gpx editor forum for a change. Become gpspassion member and then in graphical gpx editor forum have a new reply just after the actual latest one.


Roger are you also member here ? If not pse become member. Use same name pse.

(Forum there has possiblity to send PM)


Files: en.txt

I like that .tts file, that's just how I'd envisage setting such a file up. Rather than delete the line you don't need it would be better to change it to a comment, that way you can get it back quickly if you need to.

I've joined the Locusmap forum, just waiting for my validation email.