Research

CURRENT PROJECTS

Accessible Wayfinding. Accessible wayfinding refers to the ability to pre-plan a trip with information about how accessible a place or path is for an individual traveler. Researchers of wayfinding and navigation services, tourism, and participation in society have studied accessibility within the built environment from various perspectives and produced interesting yet unconnected findings. My research in this area aims to connect the findings within these disciplines with public comments and standard guidelines on accessibility to generate a comprehensive understanding of what accessible wayfinding means to different groups of people with disabilities. This new knowledge can then be used to inform developers of wayfinding services as well as anyone who has an interest in understanding accessibility.

Collaborative Mapping. Collaborative maps like OpenStreetMap have grown tremendously since their introduction in the early 2000s. These maps provide a space for anyone with a GPS, mobile device, or computer to add data to a map. This new type of mapping is referred to in different ways including Neogeography, Volunteered Geographic Information, and Geo-crowdsourcing. My research has investigated OpenStreetMap and a subset of these types of systems focused on mapping physical accessibility. In 2010, several new collaborative maps were designed with a focus on mapping the physical conditions of places for various groups of people (e.g., people who travel in wheelchairs, people with low to no vision, seniors, etc). These maps are designed by people in different settings such as foundations, individual developers, and film makers. Additionally, many different people collect the data shared in these maps across the world. These maps and the people who are driving their creation and use are a very interesting area of study that includes public participation GIS, critical mapping, and disability studies.

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