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Re: Query - Street level maps for JAWS users in UK

From: Joshua Street <josh.street@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 11:29:42 +1000
Message-ID: <582b5b480804301829k28c3c601yce2f26b6e91cb5f9@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 7:31 AM, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
wrote:

>
> Making actual graphical maps accessible to blind users is a whole
> different ballgame, and some (including myself) might argue that it's not
> technically feasible - even if you make something like Google maps perfectly
> technically accessible, the interface and data paradigms themselves may not
> be suitable to blind users.
>
> This is one of those situations where a completely separate approach
> targeting the specific needs of users with a particular disability may
> actually be useful. Key would be to get opinions and recommendations from
> actual users on what type of information and service would work best for
> them.
>

It's perhaps worth noting that Google Maps, in particular, have a directions
to/from product that compliments their visual Maps product. Speaking with no
disability of this kind myself, I am of course presuming -- but it does seem
that the language used would be a helpful step towards expressing this
information in a different manner.

Example follows:


> From: Bathurst St
> Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
> Via Broadway
> Change location or drag marker
>
> Via Broadway Remove
>
> Edit
>
> Drive: 3.3 km  about 12 mins
> 3.3 km  about 12 mins
> 1. Head east on Bathurst St toward George St 7 m
> 2. Turn right at George St 1.0 km
> 3. Turn right at Broadway 1.2 km
> 4. Continue on Great Western Hwy 0.7 km
> 5. Turn left at Western Ave 78 m
> 6. Turn left to stay on Western Ave 0.3 km
> 7. Turn left at Physics Rd 74 m
> To: The University of Sydney
> New South Wales, Australia
>

This mode of expressing locations in a relative sense would achieve some of
the OP's goals, but not others: for example, it presumes knowledge of the
area sufficient to cite to the application a start and end point; it is not
possible to input a region and, as sighted users may, subsequently view all
the streets in a given area (subject to detail/zoom settings).

I haven't looked extensively into the accessibility of this information
within Google's product in particular, but am aware of others (at least with
Australian map data) that are less AJAX intensive and more likely able to be
parsed successfully.

Josh Street
http://josh.st/blog/
Received on Thursday, 1 May 2008 01:30:22 GMT

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