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The reading of virtual maps without vision
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)In: XXIII International Cartographic Conference, Moscow, 4-11 August, 2007, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

There are ways available to make virtual maps readable for people with vision problems. The aim of this paper is to discuss possibilities and problems of two alternatives for reading virtual maps: (1) a haptic mouse and (2) an embossed map placed on a touch pad. For both options tactile, as well as kinaesthetic and auditory information, is provided. Experiments on the usefulness for the task of finding a series of USA states were performed, and they demonstrated that the addition of tactile information, in its respective standard form, did not mean any or only little improvement over kinaesthetic and auditory information alone. In further experiments possible improvements of the tactile information were compared.

It was found that the tactile information for the haptic mouse (the VTPlayer) could be improved by changes in the software rendering the virtual maps. The problems with the use of a computer mouse without visual feedback, probably due to dissimilarities between the movements with which the user moved the mouse and the motions of the cursor in the virtual scene can be reduced by making the two motions more similar.

Continued experiments on the tactile information for the embossed map on a touchpad (the ViewPlus equipment) concerned comparisons between forms produced by the ViewPlus embossment printer and forms obtained by a traditional method with higher spatial resolution (swellpaper). Further, the discriminability of textures produced by the embossment printer was investigated. A tendency for improvement with the swellpaper method was obtained.

The conclusions are that both alternatives have potentials as aids for visually impaired people's reading of virtual maps, but that they can be improved by changes in the tactile information they provide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007.
Keyword [en]
Technical aids, visually impaired children and youth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14527OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-14527DiVA: diva2:42298
Available from: 2008-01-30 Created: 2008-01-30

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