Maps and Graphics for Blind and Partially Sighted People

Mapping Accessibility

3605.2 - Teaching/Research Project 'Wheelmap'

Monday, July 3
3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Virginia C

With the assistance of the VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) application “Wheelmap” (www.wheelmap.org) users can easily find places all over the world, which are accessible for people with impairments. The OSM (Open Street Map) based thematic map helps wheelchair users and people with other mobility limitations with planning their days. The “Wheelmap” is also available as a mobile application for smartphones.
In the course “Cartographic Information Processing” students participating in a Master program “Geodesy and Geoinformatics” took the perspective of wheelchair users in self-experiments. The goal was to overcome or to drive around existing obstacles on different routes from the university campus to the city centre using borrowed wheelchairs. At the same time missing Places of Interest (POI) were evaluated and added to the “Wheelmap”. If necessary, already existing POI were reviewed and updated.
The work and research packages identified and structured by the students themselves were divided into three main parts. In the preparation phase a first prototype of a mobile mapping application was developed. The second step was planning and performing the outdoor part of the experiment. The final package included a cartographic visualisation showing the existing and the newly captured elements.
This holistic approach in the context of cartographic education was very well accepted by the students. Fundamentally, it covers all steps of the so-called IMAP-principle (Input, Management, Analysis and Presentation) well known from Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Therefore, this was an ideal opportunity for the students to reflect on different aspects of this comprehensive project, such as the various tools that have been used and the different capturing and presentation methods and last but not least the very dissimilar viewing angles (wheelchair user or non-wheelchair user).
The further development of the mobile client and the mapping application under consideration of empirical usability tests and, if possible, the cooperation with the main “Wheelmap” project and local inclusion initiatives for people with disabilities are future steps.

Andreas Gollenstede

Lecturer in the fields of cartography and geoinformatics
Jade University of Applied Sciences Wilhelmshaven/Oldenburg/Elsfleth

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Gollenstede, lecturer in the fields of cartography and geoinformatics at Jade University of Applied Sciences Wilhelmshaven/Oldenburg/Elsfleth in Germany.
Studies of Geodesy at the Technical University Braunschweig and University of Hannover, Germany. Second State Examination in Lower Saxony, Germany. Research assistant at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg, Germany.
Since 2005 owner of a engineering office specialized on the development of web based and mobile touristic information systems and the production of touristic maps in Oldenburg, Germany, and Reykjavík, Iceland.
Since 2006 lectureship in the fields of cartography and geoinformatics at the Jade University of Applied Sciences, Oldenburg, Germany.
Since 2013 GIS courses at vocational schools.
Since 2014 editor of the section "Geoinformation Aktuell" of the German cartographic magazine "Kartographische Nachrichten (KN)".

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3605.2 - Teaching/Research Project 'Wheelmap'

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