Friday, 30 September 2016

Design Considerations for Haptic and Auditory Map Interfaces

Rice, M., Jacobson, R.D., Golledge, R.G., and Jones, D. (2005) Design Considerations for Haptic and Auditory Map Interfaces. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 32 (4), 381-391


Communicating spatial information to the blind and visually impaired using maps and graphics presents many difficulties. Past research has offered advice to cartographers on topics such as tactile areal, point, and line symbolization; on perceptual problems related to dense linear features on tactile maps; and on the relationship between categorical data, measurement theory, and tactile discrimination. With this previous work as a foundation, we describe our research efforts with haptic and auditory maps - the Haptic Soundscapes Project. Haptic Soundscapes maps allow blind and visually-impaired individuals to feel map features through force feedback devices and hear auditory cues that add both redundant and complementary information. Recent experimental work by the authors has led to several recommended practices for cartographic data simplification, object size discrimination, shape identification, and general interface navigation. The authors also present haptic and auditory mapping examples to illustrate design ideas, algorithms, and technical requirements. Future prospects for automated haptic and auditory map creation are discussed and presented in the context of the past work in generating maps for the blind and visually impaired from cartographic data.


Mapping the location, design and decline of London's psychiatric asylums (1831–2012)

Jacobson, R. D. (2015). Mapping the location, design and decline of London's psychiatric asylums (1831–2012)Journal of Maps12(4), 684-694.


This research analyses the location of psychiatric hospitals, previously known as ‘mental asylums’ built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in London, UK. Twenty of the largest facilities are geo-referenced using a mixed-methods approach including the use of archival documents, historical Ordnance Survey mapping, and a variety of recent digital datasets. The hospital locations are plotted on Ordnance Survey© [2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013, from] Meridian™2 vector data. Inset maps provide comparative mapping of historic and current hospital sites using historic Ordnance Survey©, and recent Google™ Satellite data. Two of the largest former asylums of the ‘Epsom Cluster’ are explored in detail, Long Grove Hospital and West Park Hospital. Architectural design details and on-site photographs from 2007 and 2011 are used to demonstrate changes to luxury housing and of hospital decay. Of the 20 hospital sites mapped, 14 were converted into luxury housing, while only 2 remain as mental health facilities.