Tactile Maps and Mapping

By Amy Lobben

Preferred Citation

Lobben, A. (2015). Tactile Maps and Mapping. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 5(1). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir15/jbir050102.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-65


While the new millennium delivered significant advances for map-making and map acquisition, with a focus on maps production for digital and two-dimensional printed maps, acquiring and producing tactile map can still be a challenge. In addition, the tactile mapping community is mostly untouched by the cartographic advances made over the past two-thousand years. And these advances provide the foundation for many cartographic standards and conventions used by large-scale producers of maps in the United States. This paper has three aspects to its purpose: (a) to identify the cartographic communication process and some of the cartographic conventions that have been systematically developed, tested, and applied to maps; (b) to argue that the tactile mapmaking process and the tactile map-readers may benefit from the cartographic communication process and subsequent map conventions; and (c) to outline several projects (and their free availability) undertaken in an effort to investigate potential tactile map conventions.


Tactile maps, cartographic conventions, mapmaking, map design

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-65

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2015 to the National Federation of the Blind.