Evaluation of a Non-Visual Auditory Choropleth and Travel Map Viewer

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Publication: International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) 2022, Virtual (2022)

The auditory virtual reality interface of Audiom, a web-based map viewer, was evaluated by thirteen blind participants. In Audiom, the user is an avatar that navigates, using the arrow keys, through geographic data, as if they are playing a first-person, egocentric game. The research questions were: What will make blind users want to use Audiom maps? And Can participants demonstrate basic acquisition of spatial knowledge after viewing an auditory map? A dynamic choropleth map of state-level US COVID-19 data, and a detailed OpenStreetMap powered travel map, were evaluated. All participants agreed they wanted more maps of all kinds, in particular county-level COVID data, and they would use Audiom once some bugs were fixed and their few recommended features were added. Everyone wanted to see Audiom embedded in their existing travel and mapping applications. All participants were able to answer a question evaluating spatial knowledge. Participants also agreed this spatial information was not available in existing applications.

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