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Re: Ideas for accessible maps?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 04:09:10 -0500 (EST)
To: "webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net" <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>
cc: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'tabitha@bleujay.com'" <tabitha@bleujay.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9911250407490.11307-100000@tux.w3.org>
Have you thought about talking signs? (I can't use pdfs on this machine, so I
can't see the layout either).

Charles McCN

On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, 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.
  
  The PDF, of course, is not very useful.  You can take a look yourself at 
  URL:
  http://access.adobe.com/perl/convertPDF.pl?url=http://www.mdtechshowcase  
  .com/pdf/floorplan.pdf
  Which will return booth numbers and list the names of vendors, but not any 
  relationship to each other.
  
  The Excel document I think is interesting.  Spreadsheets are, of course, in 
  general considered accessible so I don't think this is a bad approach in 
  and of itself.  With a screen reader, one can learn the booth numbers and 
  their relationship with each other.  Each cell has been resized to be a 
  perfect square, so a nice grid arrangement is presented.  The authors have 
  conveyed information with color (for example a cell filled with color is 
  occupied, where white is, usually but not always, vacant).  Walls are show 
  by cell borders and the occasional free hand line.  All of this 
  information, even if not totally invisible to the screen reader, is 
  functionally useless because it is just too much work to find out what a 
  cell border setting is.  More regrettably, the names of vendors are put in 
  as little floating text labels.  It is not clear to me at all how one 
  accesses those without a mouse, and I suspect they are effectively hidden 
  from a screen reader.
  
  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.
  
  Thank you,
  Bruce
  

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Thursday, 25 November 1999 04:11:39 GMT

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