Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco

Tactile Maps Automated Production (or TMAP) at the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco creates consumer-grade, on-demand tactile maps that give blind people information and self-confidence to travel independently.

TMAP uses software that enables tactile maps to be produced quickly and at a low cost.

"What has particularly impressed me about TMAP is the team's deep understanding that, in presenting spatial material to blind users, you cannot take a visual image and simply print it in tactile form," said one user. "The TMAP is specifically designed to place the user's Point Of Interest (POI) at the center of the map, and to provide a consistent frame of reference for map presentation. Symbols are simple and text which might clutter a visual map (such as street names) is moved to the edges of the tactile image to prevent overcrowding."

"A 2018 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award will enable us to expand the TMAP program by spreading information about this resource nationally, continue development of our mapping software, and improve our ordering and distribution system," said a representative from Lighthouse. "At relatively little cost, TMAP has the ability to totally change the blindness community and how blind people route plan, travel independently and live full, productive lives."

Audio interview with Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco (play MP3; 14 minutes; English).

Sponsored by the Alfred & Rosalind Perlman Trust. Presented by the National Federation of the Blind.