This project was supported by Riga City Council Welfare Department. From the middle of June to
the end of 2021 we worked on creating a 3D model of Jugla, a neighborhood of Riga.

Why such a choice? Probably, many of you know that Jugla is a quiet residential area with a
settlement for the blind. People live, study, work, and do rehabilitation there. The peculiarity of
the area is that Braille street, where the main facilities (a school, a rehabilitation centre, a club,
etc.) are located, runs very unevenly, going around the houses, making bizarre bends and even
turns. Sometimes even a sighted person has difficulty with orientation. But what about visually
impaired people?

Well, Jugla area. The basis of the layout is an ordinary magnetic note board. Yes, it is! At first,
we planned to build a neighborhood model with houses on magnets. When testing the layout,
we abandoned this idea because houses moved and interfered with orientation. As a result, the
houses have been fixed with double-sided adhesive tape. Each object has been printed on a 3D
printer. We use small magnets of different shapes to indicate different objects that can be used
as reference points. The green area is made of magnetic sheets with soft felt glued on one side.
In between the lawns, there are paths. We can add the paths at any time, as it turns out that
not all paths are shown on Google maps. For the map to be accurate we need to walk along
each path.

The accuracy of the map is very important for a blind person. After all, it is very easy to get lost
in the dark. And this imposes a great responsibility on the map author. So, there is still a long
way ahead in mapping all the footpaths in the village.
Watch the video of blind rehabilitologist Natalya Muravyova testing the first stage of creating
the layout.

Here is the video of the rehabilitator’s session.

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