Inclusive Pedestrian Mapping: OpenSidewalks, AccessMap, and Accessibility

Friday, 4:30 pm – 20 min
Nick Bolten
University of Washington, Taskar Center, OpenSidewalks

Safely and predictably navigating pedestrian spaces presents an informational challenge for all kinds of users - whether an area is steep, has sidewalks of a certain width, or raised curbs can make the difference between a successful outing and a late arrival (or even cancelled trip). To compound this, the information pedestrians need to reliably get around is often unavailable: hard to discover, in an inconvenient/insufficient data format, or simply missing. OpenStreetMap is uniquely positioned to be a leader in mapping pedestrian spaces due to its connectivity (pedestrian spaces link POIs and transit), flexible data model, and ability to match (or even co-locate) user needs with mappers. The OpenSidewalks project is focused on collecting this kind of information in OpenStreetMap by developing and promoting mapping standards, hosting mapathons, and creating open source software tools to support mapping efforts to make self-mapping easy and distributed. AccessMap is a free, open source, user-facing web and native mobile application that consumes pedestrian information from OpenStreetMap in order to deliver a deeply examinable pedestrian map and custom-tailored trip planning for individuals with specific mobility requirements, such as avoiding curbs or steep hills.