Historical Map: Tactile/Braille Map of the Washington DC Metro, 1988
A tactile map designed by J.W. Wiedel for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education.
Tactile surfaces on the map reveal information about the Metrorail system for vision-impaired users, including whether stations have side or centre platforms (more information than can be found on the official map) and transfer stations. It’s hard to make out, but braille text is also included for major stations and areas. Each route line also appears to have a unique texture so that one can be distinguished from another easily. It’s easiest to see this with the Yellow Line in the legend, where a tactile dotted line can be discerned.
We talk about making maps accessible for colour-blind users a lot, but we don’t often discuss how to make transit accessible for completely blind or heavily vision-impaired users. Maps like this are a great tool for such users, but seem to be pretty few and far between.
Note also the “missing” parts of the system that haven’t been built yet: no Green Line at all, Yellow Line only goes to Gallery Place, etc.
(Source: Library of Congress, via Ghosts of DC)