What are tactile maps?

Haptic maps, which are also reffered to as tactile maps, are map sheets designed to be read by touch. Their base map is a standard map source converted to a simplified black-and-white graphic following the principles of tactile perception.

The graphic is optimised for technologies that use so-called microcapsule paper or “swell paper”, a special foil with a heat-sensitive layer on the surface. The source document is printed on this paper using a common black print, which is then heated by an infra-red lamp in a special device called “fuser”. During the heat treatment the graphics grows in volume, it raises above the surface of the paper and creates a smooth relief, easy to be read by touch.

Who is this service for?

The service is open to public on-line and above all it should cover needs of these user groups:

  • blind users who use the maps to move around safely, to get basic information about the terrain and for basic orientation in it
  • people who arrange spatial orientation for the blind and therefore need base maps in haptic form
  • people who are technologically able to provide the production of tactile graphics

How does it work?

Do you want to know what scales the maps use, how maps are displayed on map sheets and what you need for haptic print?

How it works