Articles | Volume 5
30 May 2024
 | 30 May 2024

UV printed tactile maps of historic parks

Jakub Wabiński, Andrzej Araszkiewicz, Albina Mościcka, Emilia Śmiechowska-Petrovskij, and Damian Kiliszek

Keywords: tactile maps, barrier-free cartography, UV printing, people with visual impairments, cultural heritage

Abstract. Tactile maps are complex to develop because people with visual impairments (PVI) have perception limitations that require the maps to be highly simplified. However, tactile maps also need to meet other criteria, such as being user-friendly, cost-effective, and fast to produce. Current production methods for tactile maps are not satisfactory. Fortunately, we observe a rapid development of novel production techniques, e.g. additive manufacturing. One of them is UV printing, which has not been applied to tactile graphics yet. Our preliminary research indicates that this technique fulfils all the criteria for making tactile maps. A case study map of a historic park UV printed on a foamed PVC that consists of both: highly-contrasting graphic content and height-differentiated tactile content, has been positively evaluated in a controlled study session by 15 PVI. This technique could enable easy and cheap production of high-quality tactile maps, improving the availability of cartographic materials for PVI worldwide.