Grand challenges in accessible maps

Abstract : Digital maps such as Google Maps, Yelp, and Waze represent an incredible HCI success-they have transformed the way people navigate and access information about the world. However, there is a twofold problem limiting who can use these systems and how they benefit. First, these platforms focus almost exclusively on data about road networks and points of interest (POIs), noticeably lacking information about pedestrian infrastructure and physical accessibility. Second, because of their graphical nature and reliance on gesture and mouse input, digital maps can be inaccessible to some users-for example, those with visual or upper-body motor impairments. Thus, at a high level, there are two key accessibility problems related to accessible maps: 1) How can we collect, validate, and integrate accessibility information about the physical world into maps? 2) How can we design digital maps to be accessible to a diverse set of users across a wide range of physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities? Active research in HCI and beyond exists in both areas, but there has been no direct effort to unite this research community. To begin addressing this gap, we recently organized a Special Interest Group (SIG) at CHI2018 entitled "Making Maps Accessible and Putting Accessibility in Maps" (Figure 1). We set forth three explicit goals: First, to bring together and network scholars and practitioners who are broadly interested in accessible maps; second, to identify grand challenges and future research trajectories; and third, to establish accessible maps as a valuable topic within HCI. Accessibility is a broad, multifaceted topic. We assembled co-organizers from both academia and industry with varying topical expertise and regional and cultural experiences. The SIG attracted roughly 25 participants, including three telepresence robots, and interwove small-group brainstorming and discussion with large-group summary presentations. The two primary discussion topics were identifying key challenges and seeding potential solutions in the area of accessible maps. Below, we synthesize key themes and enumerate rich, open paths for future work, which emerged from the SIG (Table 1)
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 10:34:34 PM
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Jon E Froehlich, Anke Brock, Anat Caspi, João Guerreiro, Kotaro Hara, et al.. Grand challenges in accessible maps. Interactions, Association for Computing Machinery, 2019, 26 (2), pp.78. ⟨hal-02048705⟩

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