On May 5th, the European protest day for the equality of people with disabilities, the Heidelberg advisory board of people with disabilities organized an event at the world famous tourist attraction, Heidelberg castle. Every year on May 5th, organizations plan activities in order to raise awareness for the needs of people with disabilities. This year, the MyAccessible.EU team from the GIScience group of Heidelberg University took part in the day’s activities by leading a mapping event in the garden of the Heidelberg Castle. Considering that the castle attracts nearly a million visitors per year, the accessibility of this popular tourist attraction is an important factor for many people. Continue reading GIScience maps paths at Heidelberg Castle
Vienna has one of the most advanced open data policies of any European city. The Austrian capital makes a vast array of rich data sets available, reaching far beyond the typical offerings found elsewhere. One of the reasons the Open Government Data Initiative (OGD) in Vienna is so successful is that the data and services which are used within the administrative processes are the same ones provided to the public. In this way Vienna’s public offering of open data incurs only minor extra costs, thereby doing away with the argument of other municipalities that providing open data to the public is too expensive.
“I am not a disabled person, I live in a disabled city”. This insight, voiced by a participant during last weekend’s accessibility mapping party in Elche, Spain, can be applied to many cities in Europe. Although Elche has already done a great deal to improve its accessibility for people with mobility impairments, there is still work to be done. Continue reading Elche, Spain colors in the Wheelmap
February 21 was International Open Data Day; a day when open data enthusiasts around the world gather to write applications using open public data, thereby showing support for and encouraging the adoption of open data policies. Open data is data that is freely available for everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyrights or patents. In Mannheim, the GIScience group of the University of Heidelberg took part in the local Open Data Day. Continue reading Looking for Sidewalks on Open Data Day
University College London is a fairly historic university: the majority of its buildings were constructed during the nineteenth century when step-free access was sadly not high on the agenda. Steps and spiralling staircases characterise the built environment, meaning many areas of campus are completely inaccessible for wheelchair users, and plenty more are very tricky to access. This includes areas that would be fundamental for some people’s areas of study, including the Law library (pictured). Continue reading Try It! Experiencing Accessibility at UCL
Elche, a beautiful, palm-covered city in Spain’s Valencian community, is already one of Europe’s most accessible cities. However, its shops, restaurants, tapas bars and cafés are not yet well represented on OpenStreetMap (OSM), the crowd-sourced mapping platform which forms the basis for the activities of MyAccessible.EU. Continue reading Putting Elche on the (OpenStreet)Map
On December 3rd a mixed group of participants gathered at a community center in Vienna, ready to „explore their area through different eyes“. The mapping event was hosted by the Austrian MyAccessibleEU partner, the Center for Social Innovation. After a short introduction on how to use the Wheelmap App, a wheelchair user talked to the participants about the different aspects that must be considered when rating the accessibility of locations. She pointed out the fact that certain, easily overlooked, details can be important, such as the swinging doors to an otherwise accessible restaurant or the small step one encounters inside, on the way to the bathroom.
Continue reading Vienna active for #mapforaccess
Across London the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd was celebrated with a series of mapping parties, wheelchair access walks, and events for the empowerment of disabled people – all organized by the MyAccessible.EU partner, Mapping for Change. The day provided a great opportunity to engage with a variety of different groups, including students, third sector organisations, and local authorities. Continue reading Raising Awareness in London
On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, several mapping for accessibility events were carried out in the MyAccessible.EU pilot site cities Vienna, London and Heidelberg. Turnout was good, everyone had fun, and the OpenStreetMap and Wheelmap.org definitely profited from the important data that was added to them during the events. During the mapping party in Heidelberg about 20 participants got acquainted with the hows and whys of mapping and tagging wheelchair accessible places on the OpenStreetMap and on Wheelmap.org. Continue reading Successful Mapping Party in Heidelberg
December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year the UN has chosen „Sustainable Development: the Promise of Technology“ as the day’s theme. Since the partners of the MyAccessible.EU project are exploring some of the the possibilities that technology offers people with mobility impairments, the project’s pilot sites decided to plan something special to mark this day. The MyAccessible.EU pilot sites, London, Vienna and Heidelberg are throwing „Mapping Parties“ in order to raise awareness for disability issues and to collect valuable accessibility information in these cities. Continue reading Parties for Accessibility