FROM OPEN GEOGRAPHICAL DATA TO TANGIBLE MAPS: IMPROVING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF MAPS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE
Keywords: Tactile maps, tangible maps, visual impairment, open data, Human-Computer Interaction
Abstract. Visual maps must be transcribed into (interactive) raised-line maps to be accessible for visually impaired people. However, these tactile maps suffer from several shortcomings: they are long and expensive to produce, they cannot display a large amount of information, and they are not dynamically modifiable. A number of methods have been developed to automate the production of raised-line maps, but there is not yet any tactile map editor on the market. Tangible interactions proved to be an efficient way to help a visually impaired user manipulate spatial representations. Contrary to raised-line maps, tangible maps can be autonomously constructed and edited. In this paper, we present the scenarios and the main expected contributions of the AccessiMap project, which is based on the availability of many sources of open spatial data: 1/ facilitating the production of interactive tactile maps with the development of an open-source web-based editor; 2/ investigating the use of tangible interfaces for the autonomous construction and exploration of a map by a visually impaired user.