Audiom: an Auditory Web-Based Geographic Map Viewer Showing COVID-19 State Data and a Travel Map



Audiom aims to provide an interactive auditory interface to present spatial relationships from geographic data through the web browser. Any of these maps could be embedded next to an existing visual map and show the same data in audio. There are two maps that are presented here, a COVID-19 state by state choropleth map, and a travel map showing buildings, streets, and other information that one may find in a Google map. The motivation was to create an interface where users can functionally answer questions evaluating spatial knowledge, such as: What state bordering California has the highest number of COVID cases? Or What clock face direction is Wells Fargo when standing on Joya restaurant? These maps are meant to communicate the same information as the visual representations of the same map data. All the sounds were designed to help users functionally use the interface and were based on past research projects as well as audio games - games that can be played completely in audio. Both interfaces extensively combine speech with audio to provide precision and context that is difficult to present exclusively through sounds, such as exact values, distances, and names. Most testing has been performed on blind and visually impaired individuals (BVIs) and feedback from users outside this population is desired.

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