3D maps could help people with visual impairments navigate cities
Japan’s governmental department GSI is currently creating software which will support people with visual impairments by allowing them to print out 3D versions of online maps.
The official mapping body for Japan GSI have already developed paper maps for those with visual impairments using embossed surfaces to mark out roads, and is now planning a programme which will do the same thing for digital maps, reports Springwise.
The software will first differentiate between the motorways, railway lines and walkways from the rest of the landscape. It will then create a 3D model using different textures to distinguish different features so that anybody running their finger along them will be able to identify what it is. The program will also take into account contour lines which will create accurate topographical representations of a particular area.
Users will require access to a 3D printer in order to create their own physical maps, however GSI believe that the technology is becoming more affordable and available and hold value for those with visual impairments.
What do you think of this idea? Do you think this could be a viable support option for people with visual impairments?
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