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Re: Maps that are accessible

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Sun, 06 Jun 2004 21:46:30 +0930
Message-ID: <40C30B1E.4000606@kbc.net.au>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Cc: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org' Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> Jesper wrote, 50-odd messages ago, about how to make maps that are 
> accessible.

<ramble subject="accessible mapping">

Yep - and I replied it could be done.  I've been looking at the Mapserver 
system, spatially enabled databases and XHTML from the point of view of a 
blind/visually impaired user for some time.

I have no commercial drive to work on a project like this at present, but I'm 
hoping to convince a client that they need mapping facilities on their site 
(they really do) and that they should be accessible.  This should be the 
proof-of-concept of my thoughts so far.  It's going to be crude, but it should 
work.  My own testing will be trying to use it with Lynx, but I will invite 
others to look and comment with whatever they have/use.

We already have talking GPS systems in cars, so navigation has really been 
addressed.  My interest is in mapping applications where a basic topographic map 
is overlaid by other information layers such as demographics, climate 
information, geological data, etc.  This information is generally mapped from 
tables of textual data so there is no reason why that data should not be able to 
stand on its own in a text [I include Braille in this category] or speech 
browser, but with the graphical version being there for those that can use it.

This isn't "rocket science", it's just something that something that doesn't 
appear to have been worked on that much. [I base this on my experience of 
representations of Geographical data that I have come across on the Web.]

If anyone's interested following progress, contact me off-list.  Peer-pressure 
is a great motivator for me.




Matthew Smith
Kadina Business Consultancy
South Australia
Received on Sunday, 6 June 2004 08:16:59 UTC

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