Using the power of touch to bring tactile maps to life
The Netherlands Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster) is committed to making its information easily accessible to everyone. To enable blind and visually impaired people to benefit from its data, it is developing a series of tactile maps for navigating by touch.
Tactile maps are expensive to produce as they require special paper and ink as well as the Braille used to ‘read’ them. Whilst Kadaster wanted to improve the style and coverage it offered, it also needed to assess if there was sufficient demand to justify developing a production process, and if so, how best to apply it to other countries in Europe.
“Our aim is to make all geodata from Kadaster available and accessible to everyone. For blind and visually impaired people, the best way is to create tactile maps. Open Maps For Europe provided an easy way to access official topographic data from different countries and apply the production process we have developed for The Netherlands to other parts of Europe,: says Daan Rijnberk, Kadaster.