Accessibility

Interactive mapping can aid mobility planning for people with disabilities

Posted on August 10, 2015

Photo: Gold Coast Transit
Photo: Gold Coast Transit
SAN FRANCISCO — Much like digital maps have made planning a road trip easier. Interactive community maps could do the same for people with disabilities, but on a much grander scale, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), also known as Community Mapping, is computer software that makes digital maps to help us “see” the issues, needs, and trends of a geographic area. A simple Google Map or a more complex ArcGIS map could show, for example, the locations of services and amenities commonly used by people with disabilities: VA hospitals, community centers, health care providers, wheelchair accessible stores, parks and restaurants, and bus routes, the report said.

Because these maps are interactive, users can input information — say, where sidewalks end or do not exist, or whether a restaurant bathroom is truly accessible — the same way drivers upload traffic information to a navigation app like Waze, the Chronicle reported.

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