GIScience maps paths at Heidelberg Castle

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.

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During the mapping event, participants mapped accessibility related information for objects such as footpaths and stairs, including information on their surface, smoothness and incline. For this purpose, the participants were taught how to use the data collection applications  Mapillary and Vespucci, which is an OSM editor for Android devices. The participants were divided into 4 groups in different time slots. Overall, ways totalling a distance of 1600m were covered with images for Mapillary and 15 paths got new tags for their incline, smoothness and surface on OpenStreetMap. Information like this is valuable input for the routing tool OpenRouteService.org, which is being worked on for MyAccessible.EU by the GIScience group.

Some of the participants were not aware of the needs of geospatial data or of the tools that are available to assist them in mapping the accessibility of their cities. So, in addition to collecting valuable accessibility data, the day’s event was also successful in raising awareness for accessibility issues. 

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