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Web-Enabled Creation and Distribution of Audio-Tactile Maps for Use in Orientation and Mobility Training

Principal researcher

Name: Steven Landau

Contact details: Touch Graphics, Inc., 330 West 38 Street, Suite 1204, New York, NY  10018, United States of America.
Tel: +1 212 375 6341; Fax: +1 646 452 4211
Email: sl@touchgraphics.com

Website: www.touchgraphics.com/tmap.htm

Project details

Start date: 01/10/2006
End date: 01/10/2008

Description: Phase II of this project develops a system for providing one-off, talking, tactile neighborhood maps on demand for use by individuals who are blind, have low vision, or have other print disabilities. Files downloaded from a website are used to create raised-line maps from standard Braille embossers or using other methods. The finished maps are placed on a Talking Tactile Tablet, a computer peripheral device, and the user interacts with a map by exploring it through touch sense, pressing down on streets and other features to hear names and descriptions of map entities of interest. The system, TMAP Reader, includes a web service for requesting maps of any location in the US, a software application for outputting downloaded map files to a standard Braille embosser, an application that facilitates user interaction with the maps, and a map production and delivery service for novice users or users without access to equipment for outputting maps. Additional Phase II research demonstrates how this technology can be used to create other kinds of talking tactile maps on demand, including transit system, campus, city, and regional maps, and includes considerations of how these could be used in teaching geography, history, and other subject matter.

Other organisations involved in this project

Last updated: 19/03/2010