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Re: maps and alternate content

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 22:57:03 -0400
Message-Id: <200007200256.WAA2113607@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: "Benjamin J. Simpson" <bsimpson@arc.nasa.gov>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
You're at Ames.  Have you met the Moose?  This is a haptic mouse that one of
the programmers at Project Archimedes at Stanford uses to good effect.  

There is the hypothesis that one could present map information with the
graphics sensible via haptics and the cities, mileages, etc. textual
annotations presented by coordinated speech or Braille.

With the advent of a commercial haptic mouse under $100, this gets

There is also a new attempt at commercializing a tactile mouse -- sort of an
Optacon on a puck -- that was showing at CSUN this year.  This can give you
illusion of a dynamic and electronically sharable Braille Graphic region.

Maps are certainly an area where it is desirable to generate some capability
for presenting at least rough line-drawn figures and perhaps a bit of texture
in the plane under the user's touch or muscular feel.  And use that as a base
for verbal annotations at key points.


At 02:14 PM 2000-07-19 -0700, Benjamin J. Simpson wrote: 
> How would one go about providing alternative content for maps?
> Yahoo Maps does a good job at providing text directions alongside a visual
> map.  However, directions from A to B are not the same as an entire map.
> Some map alternatives that I know about are:
> -Topographic maps with actual rises and falls in the material.  These are
> expensive, and I don't know that they would provide necessary useful
> information to a blind user.  And of course, this isn't an electronicly
> transferable media (tho I could imagine braile displays conveying something
> like this).
> -Descriptions of regions.  These mostly occur in literature - writing
them is
> an art, and I've been able to get very accurate information from them. 
But I
> don't think web developers can be expected to write these.
> Thanks for your input,
> Benjamin J. Simpson
> Education Associate, Web Development Group
> NASA Ames Research Center
> email: <mailto:bsimpson@mail.arc.nasa.gov>bsimpson@mail.arc.nasa.gov
> (650) 604-3292
Received on Wednesday, 19 July 2000 22:52:44 UTC

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