Tactile Thematic Maps

Who We Are

The Spatial and Map Cognition Research Lab.

What We Do

We study map use, navigation, and spatial thinking primarily. We use multiple measurement tools, including traditional laboratory and in-field behavioral methods as well as fMRI and eye-tracking. 

Where We Do It

SMCRL is a part of the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon - Eugene.

Thematic Tactile Maps

The tactile thematic maps designed for download on this website use a set of empirically designed and tested thematic tactile symbols. The tactile thematic symbols are composed of a series of dots that are legible and discriminable to replace traditional ramps of color implemented on visual maps. Much like a color scale works with visual thematic maps, where darker colors usually represent more of some phenomenon, and lighter colors less, counties with many dots have a higher value or more of the particular variable than those with fewer or no dots. While the density of the dots is used to distinguish relative amounts of something in a county, it is important to note that each individual dot does not actually represent a specific value. The dot patterns represent a range in values; that one county has, for example, more or less population than another, not that a county has a certain number of people.

These maps were designed for 11 by 17 on sheets of Microcapsule paper. They also require a tactile image enhancer.

Legend (coming soon)