Braille Maps for Anywhere On Line

Janina Sajka janina at
Fri Jan 30 18:22:18 EST 2004

The following announcement from the Smith-Kettlewell Institute in San
Francisco will be of interest to many, I think.

Please feel free to forward the following message to colleagues who
be interested.

I wanted to let the list know about a project currently under way here
The Smith-Kett                  lewell Eye Research Institute to provide
tactile street
maps over the web. The system uses a server-based geographic information
system (GIS), and will be able to produce tactile graphics files
prepared for standard Braille embossers, swell paper, ViewPlus Tiger
embossers, or other tactile output devices. Ultimately, The software
be available as an on-line service that allows anyone to request a
street map of any location at any scale, download the files and emboss
render the tactile map immediately. The street maps are automatically
produced with appropriate information density, Braille labels, and
line figures, to optimize their use by a blind map reader. The user will
have a high degree of flexibility over how an individual map appears,
kinds of features represented, labeling style, and map key information.
Currently the GIS that we are using (TIGER Line Maps from the US Census
Bureau) includes only USA data, but in the future, it will be possible
use richer data sources that include street information on a more global

We will be presenting an update and demo of this project at the
CSUN conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities in LA on

If you are interested in learning more about this project or the
presentation, or would like to become a beta tester of the service,

Janina Sajka
Email: janina at		
Phone: +1 (202) 408-8175

Director, Technology Research and Development
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Chair, Accessibility Work Group
Free Standards Group

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