How to Create Accessible Campus Maps


Presented at 11:30am in Denver 4-6 on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.



  • Greg Kraus, Director of Product Accessibility, SAS

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


When people with visual impairments can study the layout of a new location before visiting it, they navigate the new space more easily. Using free software, anyone can create accessible maps of any location, leveraging sonification to convey information such as distance and location. This workshop will introduce you to the concept of sonification in conveying geospatial data, will show you how to use free tools to create accessible maps, and finally how to share these maps with others.


SAS is solving difficult accessibility problems with data visualizations for people with visual impairments. The first solution was creating sonification of graphs, such as bar charts and heat maps. The next step brought accessibility support to interactive data visualizations. The latest solution tackles the problem of accessible geospatial data.

SAS Graphics Accelerator, a free Chrome extension, allows users to explore maps using sonification technology to perceive distance and location. This information is augmented with spoken descriptions. To create these maps, free software such as Google Earth (or any software that can generate KML files) can be used to define the points of interest.

To date, accessible maps have been created of university campuses, points of interest in several towns, and interior layouts of transportation centers. When users with visual impairments have these maps before they visit the location, they can build a mental model of the space so they can more successfully navigate the new location.


  1. Geospatial data can be made accessible to people with visual impairments through sonification.
  2. Studying the layout of new locations in advance greatly aids in navigation for people with visual impairments.
  3. Accessible maps are easily made with freely available software.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Other, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Greg Kraus

Greg Kraus is the Director of Product Accessibility at SAS where his team is making the entire analytics lifecycle accessible through innovative solutions and practices. He has led accessibility efforts in higher education, developed accessibility testing tools, and consulted with organizations of all sizes to make their products and services accessible.