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Re: Ideas for accessible maps?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 20:54:48 -0600
Message-Id: <199911260150.UAA15268@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, "webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net" <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>
Cc: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'tabitha@bleujay.com'" <tabitha@bleujay.com>
At 04:09 AM 11/25/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>Have you thought about talking signs? (I can't use pdfs on this machine, so I
>can't see the layout either).

Talking signs would help the visitor to the show.  Doesn't help the visitor
to the website.  I suppose you could annotate the map of the show floor
with the audio messages the signs transmit.

Al

PS: for anyone not acquainted with talking signs you might want to start at

S-K INST/RERC/Introduction to Talking Signs

http://www.ski.org/rerc/WCrandall/intro.htm

>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 20:48:59 GMT

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