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A GIS-based digital information platform for the visually impaired and blind people


A GIS-based digital information platform for the visually impaired and blind people
Original Language Title: 
ways2see: Eine GIS-basierte digitale Informationsplattform für sehbehinderte und blinde Menschen

Background & policy context: 

One of the main issues which are discussed to reduce the consequences of climate change is the promotion of sustainable mobility. The focus in this debate is basically on raising the proportion of alternative means of transportation as well as the development of new and alternative modes of transportation. If it comes to social sustainability the research and discussion on mobility of people with special needs is still rudimental, but especially independent mobility of people with special needs empowers them to participate actively in social life and supports a self-determined and independent life.


The core goal of ways2see is the development of a digital Internet-platform for partially sighted or blind people and their assisting persons. The platform offers on the one hand information according to the needs and services of their daily life as well as accessibility issues, on the other hand this information is presented in an accessible way and adopted to these special needs. ways2see is more than just a navigation tool- it presents spatial information including potential barriers, shows accessibility and availability information, service areas and possible routes. Based on the participative and iterative development of the user-oriented information and criteria for the design and visualization, which will be the result of several workshops with representatives of the target group, the design of the database and maps will be conducted following the basic principle "Design for All".


Combined with the results of expert interviews this information will be integrated in the Geographic Information System (GIS), which works as the basis for the information-platform. The data which will be implemented in the GIS will result from secondary data-sources (e.g. city of Graz) as well as from surveying and mapping. The pre-commercial development as well as feasible product based on JavaScript, HTML and ArcGIS will be produced by SynerGIS. The project results of ways2see can be split into three equivalent parts:

  1. The development and dissemination of scientific results in an- up to now- almost unassigned part of geography: The selection, the design and integration of spatial information in a Geographic Information System for partially sighted or blind people and their assisting persons as well as the design of the GIS due to these needs.
  2. Raising awareness and sensitization of the public for the topic "mobility of people which are partially sighted or blind", and the needs of these people.
  3. Offering ways2see to partially sighted or blind people and their assisting persons, so that they are able to improve the preparation and planning of their daily ways and destinations.
Parent Programmes: 
Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
FFG - Die Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft
Type of funding:
Programme Other: 
MdZ - 4. Ausschreibung 2014
Lead Organisation: 

Universitat Graz Institut Fur Geographie Und Raumforschung

Heinrichstraße 36
8010 Graz
Partner Organisations: 

Odilien-Institut Verein Zur Forderung Und Betreuung Sehbehinderter Und Blinder Steiermarks

Leonhardstraße 130
8010 Graz

Synergis Informationssysteme Gmbh

Technologiestraße 10
1120 Wien
Development phase: