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Re: Maps that are accessible

From: david poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 15:56:20 -0400
Message-ID: <000801c44c00$56e86bc0$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

a lot of these maps have images with text in them so even though the
information appears as text, it is not readable with a screen reader.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2004 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: Maps that are accessible

I have been testing close to 50 different maps (GIS), the road map type
most people use.

I have found the following:

1) They are all only accessible with the mouse.
2) Many if not most actually use the right markup, and only need to get
a few more details right to be accessible also with the keyboard.

The most accessible I have been able to find is MSN. Nice to have
Microsoft in front:


(The link shows the street of my childhood...)

Zoom, panning and selection of map size work with the keyboard alone.
But it is still far from perfect. The page is too complex with too many
links, and it is too difficult to spot the active link. Only experienced
keyboard users with a lot of time can actually use the map.

To be accessible also for screen readers we need much better window
titles, etc.

But it is interesting that it is actually easy to make maps accessible
for both mouse and the keyboard, and also for screen readers. Navigation
of maps can always be broken down to functionality that basically
consists of a list of links.

The only "exception" I know of is recentering the map. Today it is done
by clicking in the map. Here we need not only panning but also to pan in
very small steps, and the mouse will always be far superior to the
keyboard, but it could be done with the keyboard alone if it was
possible also to pan in small steps. It would actually be easy to
implement a step selector: 100m, 500m, 1km, etc.

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Sunday, 6 June 2004 15:58:53 UTC

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