Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pingel, Thomas J.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Although many advances in turn-by-turn, GPS-enabled guidance for people with visual impairments have been made in the last decade, research suggests that map-based learning significantly improves long-term spatial memory and wayfinding performance. As part of the long tradition of touch-based maps, have developed 3D printed maps for people with visual impairments based on laser scans and photogrammetrically reconstructed 3D models of the environment. These methods provide a powerful mechanism to capture local areas at ultra-high resolution, allowing for the construction of highly detailed indoor/outdoor models of the built environment. We expect that such 3D printed maps will provide an improved medium through which people with visual impairments can more efficiently and accurately build cognitive maps of their local environment. This project presents the results of several labeling systems for the 3D maps, so that users can touch and interact with the system to receive audio information about map object via computer rendered speech. We have developed several touch-based systems for audio interaction, including: (a) the PenFriend system, (b) QR codes, and (c) laser-pointer We present results evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency, and overall ease-of-use for these methods.

Program Program

Student Engagement Fund


5 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type