2 Screenshots of Elon Campus: One is a visual map (Google Maps) and & the other is a non-visual map made from Google Maps data.

How to Create Accessible Digital Maps Using SAS Graphics Accelerator and Google Maps

Quickly create customized, accessible digital maps that students can use to build mental maps and answer map-related educational questions.

This post was updated on July 3, 2020.


This post explains how to create non-visual digital maps that contain points of interest such as intersections, bus stops, buildings, and other landmarks. The resulting maps can be posted on your website or shared with students via email.

The scale of the maps can range from a city block, to a campus, to an entire metropolitan region. You can create maps that are used by many students, e.g. a map of a school or college campus. Students may use the map to orient themselves as a freshman and then refer back to the map at the beginning of every semester when they need to find new buildings.

Students with visual impairments or blindness can access the maps using a pair of headphones and a standard computer keyboard. They can pan around the map, zoom in or out, and quickly perceive where points are located in relation to each other. This interaction provides a very effective way for students to orient themselves to a new school or plan travel to a new destination.

Step 0: Before you begin

Step 1: Create a map in Google My Maps

Step 2: Add points to the map using Search

You can search for a wide variety of objects including:

Step 3: Add points for places you see visually on the map

Step 4: Add points for any random location on the map

Step 5: Test the map using SAS Graphics Accelerator

Step 6: Share the map with your student

Note: Your student must first install SAS Graphics Accelerator in Google Chrome.


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By Ed Summers