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Re: Accessible map with polygons

From: Elizabeth Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:58:16 -0500
Cc: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <4E588D7D-09C1-4418-8424-E7C3CE118238@psu.edu>
To: Michiel Bijl <michiel.list@moiety.me>
When I think about map accessibility, a question that I ask myself is what information the map is trying to convey, not in terms of images, but in terms of information structure.

I think the other suggestions make sense, but my thought would be to pair this application with a search interface that can also output text based results.  

For instance, suppose you want to know about restaurants in a certain radius from a hotel? The polygon would be good for many users, but a text based (and screen reader friendly) list of the restaurants within the radius could also be a useful option. The list could also include general information about address, phone, direction and neighborhood. 

IMO - I think asking a screen reader user to select a specific dot on a map (even with Aria) would be difficult for most, but providing a button to access the text based list would be very doable.

Similarly, if someone put in a specific location to ask how far it was, providing that information as screen reader friendly text could be a useful option.

Hope this helps.


P.S. Another recommendation would also be good to include walking time options as well as driving time options. 

> On Nov 29, 2017, at 1:40 AM, Michiel Bijl <michiel.list@moiety.me> wrote:
> Dear colleagues and friends,
> There’s a project at work where we want to show the distance someone can travel within a given time from their current location. We want to do this by drawing polygons around a specific point on the map. These polygons would vary in colour & pattern and we’d have a legend next to the map that would indicate what all the different colours/patterns mean.
> We can tick off colourblindness because we have the patterns, we can even make the legend accessible if we include colour/pattern combinations in text. However, I’m unsure how to make the rest of this map accessible. We can give the polygons an aria-label, something like “5 minutes” and “15 minutes”, but that’s not gonna do any good as you’d still have no idea what is within that polygon if you can’t see the darn thing.
> Does anyone have experience with this or any ideas on how to solve this?
> Talk soon.
> — Michiel

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Accessibility IT Consultant
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

The 300 Building, 112
304 West College Avenue
University Park, PA 16802
Received on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:58:52 UTC

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