[Art_beyond_sight_educators] talking 3D maps, projected googlemaps and touch sensitive paint

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Fri Mar 13 11:42:39 UTC 2015


A lot of articles about maps - first one from TouchGraphics and Univ. of 
Buffalo is a 3D sound, using touch sensitve paint and projected Google 
maps - what a combo!
Talking 3-D Maps Help The Blind Navigate

Feel and hear your way through a school’s campus instead of looking at a 
flat paper map.

Three years ago, private company Touch Graphics 
<http://www.fastcoexist.com/company/touch-graphics> and the University 
of Buffalo 
<http://www.fastcoexist.com/organization/university-of-buffalo>’s Center 
for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center 
<http://www.fastcoexist.com/organization/idea-center>) teamed up to 
install their first talking, interactive map at the Carroll Center for 
the Blind 
in Massachusetts. Since then, the same team has installed two more 
versions—one at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and another the 
Perkins School <http://www.fastcoexist.com/organization/perkins-school> 
for the Blind, where Helen Keller once studied as a teenager. The latest 
installation, at Perkins, boasts a 3-D 
<http://www.fastcoexist.com/technology/3-d> printed model coated in 
touch-sensitive paint 
<http://www.fastcoexist.com/explore/touch-sensitive-paint> that 
activates audio instructions.

The Perkins School talking map also features an overhead projector that 
can cast dazzling Google Earth aerial views onto the 3-D model. Adding 
the extra functionality to appeal to sighted users goes to the heart of 
the model’s inclusive mission, Subryan says. The talking maps aren’t 
just for the blind; they can help anyone create a mental map of a space 
by engaging more senses than vision alone.


Now blind people can print their own 3D maps
     Now blind people can print their own 3D maps
3D printing has already proved its potential in the field of disability, 
mainly in making prostheses. However, thanks to a Japanese map-producing 
company, the printing technique could also be an invaluable aid for the 
blind and visually impaired. The Geospatial Information Authority of 
Japan (GSI) is currently working on software that will print 3D maps 
that could be used to help people with visual impairments get around. 
The 3D maps show roads, footpaths, crossings and railways, which can be 
understood by touch, as well as some topographical details such as 
altitude. The tactile maps can be downloaded online and can then be 
printed cheaply, costing about €1 for a 15cm x 15cm format.

  Public Works: Maps for the Blind

A San Francisco group is creating tactile and audio maps of transit 
stations. What measures has the TTC taken to accommodate the visually 
Visually impaired commuters are now able to navigate public transit in 
San Francisco like never before.
A pair of non-profits, LightHouse <http://lighthouse-sf.org/> (think of 
it like a local Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and the 
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, have created maps that use 
touch and sound to show the layout of municipal transit and inter-city 
rapid-transit stations.

The maps are referred to as audio/tactile. Users can feel the maps’ 
features or, if they are partially sighted, can read the large print. 
When a user touches certain points on a map with a special smart-pen, it 
sets off an audio recording that explains in detail which station exits 
lead where, or how much fares cost.

This $35 wristband helps the blind use bat-like echolocation
Echolocation isn't just for bats anymore. For the blind, it can mean a 
whole new way of navigating the world -- and even "seeing" it, in a way. 
A group of researchers and students at Wake Forest University want to 
bring that ability to everyone with limited eyesight by means of a 
cheap, easy-to-use echolocation wristband.

Using Google Glass, Elementary Students Learn How Blind People Live

Hebrew U. scientists map brains of the blind
Researchers studying brain activity of blind people have tackled the 
long-inscrutable question of how tasks such as reading and identifying 
numerical symbols have their own brain region.
Researchers at the Hebrew University studying the brain activity of 
blind people have tackled the long-inscrutable question of how tasks 
such as reading and identifying numerical symbols have their own brain 
regions, if these tasks were developed only a mere few thousand years ago.

They wondered what was the job of these physiological regions before the 
invention of symbols.

In a new paper published over the weekend in the prestigious journal 
/Nature Communications/, Sami Abboud and colleagues in the lab for brain 
and multisensory research of Prof. Amir Amedi show that these same 
“visual” brain regions are used by blind subjects, who are actually 
“seeing” through sound


Low-cost tech set up that can help blind people ‘see’
Sight into sound
For auditory devices the technology can be basic: you need a camera to 
extract information from the environment, a PC or smartphone to run the 
conversion algorithm, and headphones to relay the converted signal back 
to the user – but the magic in how it works lies in how the brain 
processes sensory information and how this is used to inform the algorithm.
And it does work. The vOICe substitution device (the middle three 
letters stand for “oh I see”) was developed 
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1612614> by Dutch engineer Peter 
Meijer and uses a three principle conversion algorithm to tell the user 
where something is in the visual scene and how bright it is using 
auditory features such as pitch, volume, and stereo scan. If an object 
is high up, on a shelf perhaps, then it has a high pitch. If it is to 
the left, you hear it in the left headphone; visually bright then it is 
aurally loud.


A Global Network Of Eyes Gives Sight To the Blind
For a person with perfect vision, it might be difficult to imagine 
struggling with reading directions on a map or looking at a product’s 
nutritional information. But for a visually-impaired person, sometimes 
the simplest tasks require assistance. Be My Eyes <http://bemyeyes.org/> 
is an app that connects the blind to global volunteers through a 
live-video chat. A volunteer can help with activities such as describing 
a picture or figuring out the train schedule.

Maps That You Can Hear and Touch
Scientists and architects are pioneering a new cartography for blind users.
A great aid for the visually challenged goes unnoticed
NATMO makes Braille maps, but many say it is not doing enough to market them
The country’s foremost map producing organisation, NATMO, started 
producing Braille maps a decade and a half ago. But few are aware of this.
Many, including the NGOs for differently-abled children, complained on 
World Braille Day that NATMO’s specially designed maps for the blind are 
“difficult to access.”

Echolocation: How A Blind Man Sees With Sound [Video]


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