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Re: Ideas for accessible maps?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 10:02:22 -0600
Message-Id: <199911221516.KAA24036@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: "webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net" <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>
Cc: "'tabitha@bleujay.com'" <tabitha@bleujay.com>, "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 06:06 PM 11/17/99 -0500, Bruce Bailey wrote:
>Dear All,
>
>Ignoring any other accessibility problems (for the moment) with the page at 
>URL:
>http://www.mdtechshowcase.com/floplan.htm
>What are the techniques for making maps (in this case the indoor booth 
>layout for a trade show) accessible?
>I think the authors have taken a decent shot at it, but I am sure they 
>would welcome constructive criticism.
>
[snip]

>But what is a better solution?
>Is a fixed pitch line drawing consider accessible?
>I have seen some nice embossed maps, but how does one capture that in html?
>I have seen good textual descriptions of fairly complex graphs and charts, 
>but a map is not nearly the same thing!
>If you got them, please supply URLs that show how traditional maps have 
>been made accessible.
>

Take this floorplan to someone who is a qualified orientation and
navigation trainer for the blind.  The root problem is that the
nomenclature for identifying booths is bad.  It is not consistent nor is it
two-dimensional.  If booths had a consistent (e.g. letter-number)
designation that located them in a regular set of location coordinates,
then the answer to "which booth am I at" would have orientation value.  As
it is the floor is totally chaotic and I would have to go to an orientation
and navigation professional to find "the end of the string" to try to fix
this.

From my amateur perspective, for orientation and navigation purposes the
floor is a structure formed of aisles, not booths.  In the information
presented in the Excel or .PDF graphics, there is no articulated structure
to the aisles, just anecdotal annotations where there are booth clusters.
The floor planners need to develop an aislewise index to _all the
aisle/booth interfaces_ where visitors may access the booths.  With that
one could offer an access guide for a blind visitor.

The best general solution I could offer you for maps at this time is to
distill the map information into a geographical information system and lay
a wayfinding application over the information in the GIS.

Al
Received on Monday, 22 November 1999 09:57:25 GMT

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