Showing posts with label tactile map. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tactile map. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Comparing Tactile Maps and Haptic Digital Representations of a Maritime Environment

Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, and Tisseau, J. (2011) Comparing Tactile Maps and Haptic Digital Representations of a Maritime Environment. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 105 (4), 222-234.


A map exploration and representation exercise was conducted with participants who were totally blind. Representations of maritime environments were presented either with a tactile map or with a digital haptic virtual map. We assessed the knowledge of spatial configurations using a triangulation technique. The results revealed that both types of map learning were equivalent.

Tactile maps

Jacobson, R.D. (2010) Tactile maps, In: Goldstein, B. (ed) Encyclopedia of Perception, pp.950-952. Sage: London


Extracting meaningful information from a tactile map, that is a map elevated in the third dimension, designed to be read by the sense of touch, is far more problematic than reading a conventional map with the use of vision.  Tactile maps are widely used in educational settings and in orientation and mobility training for vision impaired individuals. Maps and graphics are the most fundamental and primary mechanism for communicating spatial arrangements to blind people that is any representation of spatial features their arrangement and intra relationships.  Tactile graphics are used as diagrams in school text books, and portable maps when traveling. Just as Braille is often used as a substitute for the written word, tactile graphics are the equivalent for maps and diagrams. These are an essential tool for providing independence and education to people without vision.

The future of tactile cartography

Jacobson, R.D. (2007) The future of tactile cartography: from static raised lines to multimodal dynamic portable computer interfaces, International Cartographic Conference, Moscow 


While still not considered a large component of mainstream cartographic research, the map-related research focusing on the blind and partially sighted map user population continues to grow.  Currently, several groups of researchers housed in universities in North America and internationally are conducting and pursuing research that focuses on identifying the needs, creating new innovative delivery methods, assessing strategies and spatial and geospatial performance, improving access, and developing potential educational resources for blind and partially sighted map users.  


Monday, 20 May 2013

Press Comment: Scientific American

Scientific American, Getting in Touch: Virtual Maps for the Blind (2007)

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Comments by Dan Jacobson

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Navigation for the visually impaired: Going beyond tactile cartography

 Jacobson, R.D. (1994) Navigation for the visually impaired: Going beyond tactile cartography, Swansea Geographer, 31, 53-59.


Wayfinding for the visually handicapped, is made more complex by the loss of their visual sense. In spite  of  this  they  can  hold  spatial  concepts  and  are  often  competent  navigators.  Tactile  maps,  those sensed by touch, have been shown to improve their spatial awareness and mobility. It is however the development of a personal guidance system  (PGS) relying on recently developed technologies that
may  herald  a  break  through  for  navigation  for  the  blind  and  visually  impaired.  It  would  enable  the visually handicapped to move more  freely  and  independently  through  their  environment.  It  would provide  on-line  interactions  with  representations  of  their  environment,  in  audio  or  tactile  form,
providing orientation, location and guidance information, enabling them to plan, monitor and execute navigation  decisions.

[View PDF]

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Spatial cognition through tactile mapping

 Jacobson, R.D. (1992) Spatial cognition through tactile mapping. Swansea Geographer 29, 79-88.

This paper describes an experiment to determine whether a tactile map of the University College of Swansea campus increases the spatial awareness of visually handicapped subjects.
View paper [PDF]