Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disorienting Braille Maps

Braille maps feature prominently in "America on the Move," an ongoing exhibition at the National Museum of American History). This map depicting streetcar paths in DC circa 1900 provides inscriptions in raised letters along with Braille dots. You can also use your fingers to trace the contours of the city and discern the routes streetcars could take as they moved people about the city. Note the standard map orientation here, with north as as "up."

This map depicting harbor travel in New York City in the 1920s is a little more complicated. It includes inscriptions and Braille dots on either side of the map, so that side that is "up" is not based on absolute cardinal directions - instead, what is "up" depends on how you are positioned in relation to the map.

(For related posts, click the "Braille" tag below or on the right hand side of this page.)

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