For several months now, work has been going on to create an experimental tactile layout of the city
map for our partners from Yekaterinburg, the White Cane organization. The uniqueness of the object
is that any person, including the blind, can use the map.

The long creative process is aimed at creating a visual map that is familiar to ordinary users and
combine it with tactile signs that are understandable to the blind and visually impaired people.

Work on creating a layout and making a map is being carried out in the studio of the organization
“Socintegra” (Riga). Experts and specialists in different fields participate in the work process. So, the
development of a visual layout takes place in cooperation with the organization “2ГИЗ“
(Yekaterinburg). “2ГИЗ“ is a developer of electronic directories that help program users to easily
navigate in more than 250 cities of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Italy, Cyprus and the Czech
Republic and quickly find the information they need.

Typhlographers, cartographers, and designers also take part in the creation of the map.

Several prototypes of the map fragment have already been made. At each stage, the samples are
necessarily tested by blind and visually impaired people. All the specialists involved in the work also
take part in the discussion. During the discussion, the necessary adjustments are made to the
layout. Thus, we find common ground between the aesthetic appearance of the future object and the
practicality necessary for blind people

Today, on April 3, 2014, another Skype conference was held, where the next stage of layout
development was discussed.

Participants of the event:

– Maria Kozharina, head of organisation “Socintegra” (Riga);
Oleg Kolpashchikov, organisation “White Cane” (Yekaterinburg);
– Mikhail Voitsekhovsky, organisation “White Cane” (Yekaterinburg);
– Olga Prygunova, Deputy director of 2GIS (company – developer of electronic directories)
– Daria Kostina, curator of the B.U.Kashkin Museum, student of the Faculty of Art History and
Cultural Studies of the Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg;
– Elizaveta Yuzhanova, curator of the Center for Contemporary Culture, Faculty of Art History and
Cultural Studies, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg;
– Alexey Filatov, lecturer at the Faculty of Art History and Cultural Studies, Ural Federal University,
– Anastasia Kharlamtseva, head of the Editorial and Publishing Department of the Sverdlovsk
Regional Special Library for the Blind, Yekaterinburg;
– Sergey Uymin, employee of the Sverdlovsk Regional Special Library for the Blind.

Our ultimate goal is to create a map of the city of Yekaterinburg, which will have a modern, in terms
of design, look that will be functional and pleasant to the touch. Bright contrasting colours of the
visual part will help visually impaired people to read information. The wavy surface of the water, the
rough texture of the green areas, the dotted lines of the main streets will help blind people navigate
in their hometown.

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