Guiding the blind
January 31, 2013
Researchers from the Gdańsk University of Technology have teamed up with engineers from the Opegieka company based in the northern city of Elbląg to develop a mobile geographic information system designed to help Poland’s 100,000 blind people—enabling them to move around on their own, especially in an urban environment they are not familiar with.
The Gdańsk University of Technology researchers are from the Department of Geoinformatics, part of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics (ETI), and the system is being developed as part of the Talking Maps project. The project is headed by Prof. Andrzej Stepnowski from the Gdańsk University of Technology, a recognized authority in the field of geoinformatics.
Getting lost with GPS
While it is not completely true that blind people are left to their own devices when trying to move around on their own, the tools currently available to them, though useful, do not guarantee full independence. This is especially the case when blind people find themselves in a place they are not familiar with or lose their way. Then they may become completely helpless and nervously ask for help from the people around them.