Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Unique Challenge: Map for the blind

  1. #1
      MarkusTay is offline
    Guild Journeyer MarkusTay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Long Island, USA
    Posts
    127

    Help Unique Challenge: Map for the blind

    I have been tasked to do a map for the vision-impaired. At first I thought, "simple, I'll just place locale names (text) spatially, and they can print it out in braille."

    But as I ask questions, I realize they want to know what the terrain is like - that's way harder to do. At this point, I am thinking making a map similar to how pictures were done back in 'the old days' with dot-matrix printers: use text to 'draw' the map.

    Has anyone ever tried this? Anyone have any good ideas?

  2. #2
      Korash is offline
    Community Leader Korash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,304

    Default

    I DO remember seeing a map where the text of varying thickness or darkness was used to create a map/image...but I can not remember where or what. I am not sure that would suffice for your project as they might not be able to distinguish the changes in the text. You might want to find out just WHAT impairments you are to make allowances for.

    If you want to convey terrain by touch, I believe that there are papers and inks that can be used to layer an image with each layer having a certain noticeable thickness to it. Again going from (faulty) memory here....better to ask Gameprinter about that. And the last method that I can think of is 3D printing.....used in some industries like Architecture and Model creation.

    As for the colors...I wouldn't think that using too much shading would be a good idea....use mostly solids and none too similar to another...

    Hope that helps some
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  3. #3
      Chashio is offline
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Interesting challenge. Perhaps you could carve it (with block printing tools or somesuch) into a thick piece of mat board. I'd also suggest attaching it to a sturdy backing to prevent warping, and sealing it with a heavy varnish that can be washed. I've never tried anything of the sort, so I'm not positive the materials will hold up, but it might be worth a test run, at the least.

    Another possible method--similar to Korash's idea--might be to actually cut the mat board (or wood veneer, etc) on topographical lines and build up the layers in a three-dimensional form (example).

    You can mix different materials (sand, small beads, etc) into acrylic paint to create unique textures. There are some pre-textured paints and gessoes available, too... art or craft-grade in an art store, home-grade in places like home depot.

    Good luck with the project. =)
    Last edited by Chashio; 09-10-2012 at 04:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Guild Journeyer LindaJeanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    On a small world west of wonder
    Posts
    169

    Default

    Could you use materials with different textures to represent the different terrains? Berber carpet for wooded areas; something astroturf-like for open areas. Roads could be raised lines.

    What is the scale of this map?

  5. #5
      Larb is online now
    Guild Artisan Larb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    921

    Default

    Do a google search on "tactile maps". That should bring up a lot of information that may help you.

    I investigated them briefly a while back and I used one form of them in a game I ran once as a puzzle, although the map in question only gave basic directions.

  6. #6
      Jaxilon is offline
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,914

    Default

    Makes me think of those old plastic 3d terrain maps that had real humps for hills, mountains and stuff.

    Look up "Raised relief bumpy vinyl maps".
    Last edited by Jaxilon; 09-11-2012 at 03:56 PM.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

  7. #7
      MarkusTay is offline
    Guild Journeyer MarkusTay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Long Island, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Problem is, this has to be over the internet. I could have easily done a texture-based map with a trip to the crafts store.

    I had planned to do it all in text, so that when they printed out in braille they would be able to 'feel' where the different areas/regions/locales/settlements were in relation to each other. Now I found out they do not have a braille printer (they are very expensive), so I have to somehow be able to interpret this into a speech emulator (which is how they read forums). I've already tried the text-based approach. The emulator kept the font sizing (which was great - not even sure how it did that), but it loses all the spacing (and without the spacing, the distances get all messed up). I may have to try spacing the map text in some other way (like asterisks).

    If I can figure this out, I may be the world's first 'cartographer for the blind'.

    Which is great, because my art sucks.

  8. #8
      Larb is online now
    Guild Artisan Larb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    921

    Default

    I really don't know how the speech emulators work and how text is browsed. Also I'm not blind. But can you browse a block of text more freely than left to right, and line by line?

    Because you could just go with the text map with a letter (for terrain type) and number (for elevation). ie:

    G1G1G1G1G1G2G2R2G2G3F3F3
    G1G1G1G1G1G2G2R2G2G3F3F3
    G1G1G2G1G1G2G2R2G2G3F3F3
    G1G2G2G1G1G1H1R1G2G2F2F3
    G1G1G1G1G1G1G1R1G2G2F2F2

    Or the something similar. Not being able to print it out means the tactile bit isn't an option at all.

    * (G being grassland, F being forest, R being a road and H being a house)

  9. #9
      Hai-Etlik is offline
    Guild Expert Gracious Donor Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Posts
    1,080
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It occurs to me that a plotter that could extrude a thick plastic ink could work. Maybe based on a modified Makerbot.

    You could them print out raised patterns. If the "ink" were clear and you were careful about registration, you could texturize a graphical map.

    I do recall seeing something on the OpenStreetMap page about making maps for the blind. I believe they used some form of etching to generate relief.

    PS: Yes, OSM has a page on their wiki about tactile maps: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tactile_map
    Last edited by Hai-Etlik; 09-12-2012 at 10:25 PM.

  10. #10
      Chashio is offline
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    823

    Default

    I don't know anything about speech emulators either, but if it has to be over the internet, what about creating some type of flash-based webpage map with a system of mouse-over labels that play audio? Probably work best with a touchscreen device. I also don't know anything about flash website building, but you might ask a site designer if it's a possibility.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •