[Art_beyond_sight_educators] maps

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Fri Aug 2 11:15:10 UTC 2013

Startup of the Week -- Invici Technologies 
Traditional computer and mobile devices are great for exploring imagery 
like diagrams, maps, tables and graphs if you can see them, but people 
with limited sight cannot use these products. As a result, the visually 
impaired community faces serious levels of under employment, reduced 
mobility and technology exclusion.

Enter Invici Technologies, a startup that's developing accessible 
computer interfaces to help the blind and visually impaired easily 
explore, edit and share digital media and spatial information. Invici 
transforms images that are normally displayed as pixels of light on a 
screen into a unique touch friendly format, saving users considerable 
time, money and frustration.

Founder and CEO, Doug Hagedorn says they are currently focused on 
creating technologies to help visually impaired students and their 
teachers exchange educational content in the classroom




Design and User Satisfaction of Interactive Maps for Visually Impaired 
Multimodal interactive maps are a solution for presenting spatial 
information to visually impaired people. In this paper, we present an 
interactive multimodal map prototype that is based on a tactile paper 
map, a multi-touch screen and audio output. We first describe the 
different steps for designing an interactive map: drawing and printing 
the tactile paper map, choice of multi-touch technology, interaction 
technologies and the software architecture. Then we describe the method 
used to assess user satisfaction. We provide data showing that an 
interactive map -- although based on a unique, elementary, double tap 
interaction -- has been met with a high level of user satisfaction. 
Interestingly, satisfaction is independent of a user's age, previous 
visual experience or Braille experience. This prototype will be used as 
a platform to design advanced interactions for spatial learning


Learning Geography in the Absence of Sight
Sight is the most comprehensive of the senses when dealing with the 
geospatial domain. Not only does sight reach well beyond the radii of 
other human senses and other body parts, but, since geography has a long 
tradition of representing its data and its findings in forms tailored to 
visual representation, it is indeed difficult to think of doing 
geography without sight. Usually, when one thinks of a geographic 
representation, one thinks of maps, images, tables, graphs, charts, 
sketches, photographs, videos, and, now, immersive or desktop virtual 
environments. Some of these representations are available in hardcopy; 
others are projected on a screen (including computer screens). As more 
and more geospatial problems have been pursued with the help of 
computers and electronic representational forms, such as geographic 
information systems (GIS), the emphasis on visualization for the 
representational modality has become even more obvious.

Inside out: Google launches indoor maps

Google has launched indoor maps in Australia allowing users to find 
their way around inside airports, shopping centres, train stations and 
other large buildings using their mobile devices.

Australian engineers at firms such as Navisens, CSIRO and UNSW are 
leading the world in developing advanced indoor navigation technology 
capable of helping people locate specific products on supermarket 
shelves, tracking athletes' performance or guiding the visually impaired.


*A full list of the Australian venues supported at the launch of Google 
Indoor Maps.*


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