Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Providing accessibility to blind people using GIS

Fernandes, H.F. ; Conceição, N.C. ; Paredes, H.P. ; Pereira, A.P. ; Araújo, P.A. ; Barroso, J.B.

Universal Access in the Information Society Vol. 11, Nº 4, pp. 399 - 407, November, 2012.

ISSN (print): 1615-5289
ISSN (online): 1615-5297

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,49 (in 2012)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1007/s10209-011-0255-7

In everyday life, people need to move, whether in business or leisure. Navigation requires spatial knowledge and ability to make decisions based on geographic information. Recently, powerful tools have been developed, enhancing the capabilities of geographical analysis and decision-making. This work presents a platform to handle and provide geographic information, including accessibility oriented features. This geographic information system (GIS) is part of a wider project, called SmartVision. The aim of this project is to create a system that allows blind users to navigate in the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro campus. The GIS platform, together with other modules of the SmartVision system prototype, provides information to blind users, assisting their navigation and giving alerts of nearby points-of-interest or obstacles. Together with the GIS platform, this paper also describes the handling of accessibility information by the SmartVision prototype, namely the Navigation Module, the Computer Vision Module and the Interface Module.