Accessible maps of the Brisbane Museum District

While at the 2019 Round Table Conference in Brisbane, a group of attendees (touch readers, family members and accessible format producers) took a short excursion to explore the accessible maps of the museum district in South Bank.

We found several wall-mounted print/braille maps along with a large table-top model, located on the Grey street side of the State Library. It was wonderful to experience these inclusive accessibility measures in public spaces.
3 photographs: walking with dog and cane; clear print and tactile map; large 3D model of buildings and roads

Do you know of any similar maps or models in your area? Please let us know!

Inclusive Maps at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show took place at the Carlton Gardens from Wednesday 27 to Sunday 31 March 2019. Guide Dogs Victoria partnered with Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE to sponsor the Rob Waddell Show Garden and host their own sensory garden, featuring scented plants, auditory cues, beacons and braille. As an added tool for accessibility and inclusion, researchers from Monash University’s Inclusive Technology group created 3D printed maps of the Carlton gardens, the Rob Waddell Show Garden and the Guide Dogs Victoria sensory garden. Visitors who were blind or have low vision were able to use the maps to gain a better understanding of their surroundings.

3D printed map of the Carlton Gardens and Exhibition Building, placed in a garden with herbs and bee hives

Anuradha’s achievements in accessible mapping

With the holiday season around the corner, we had another reason to celebrate this week. PhD candidate Anuradha Madugalla has been working on the automated conversion of house floor plans to accessible formats: a written description, tactile graphic and interactive GraVVITAS diagram with audio labels on the iPad. Her work has resulted in two major publications:

  • Madugalla, A., Marriott, K. & Marinai, S. (2017). Partitioning Open Plan Areas in Floor Plans. 2017 14th IAPR International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR).
  • Goncu, C., Madugalla, A., Marinai, S. & Marriott, K. (2015). Accessible On-Line Floor Plans. WWW ’15 Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web.

Anuradha has submitted her thesis and is looking forward to a well-deserved break before pursuing work goals. We wish her all the very best.

Anuradha (3rd from the right) with staff and students from Monash FIT's Computer-Human Interaction & Creativity group.
Anuradha (3rd from the right) with staff and students from Monash FIT’s Computer-Human Interaction & Creativity group.