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A GIS-based application for persons with visual impairment and blindness.

The goal of the project is to create a webGIS-based wayfinding tool to support persons with visual impairment or blindness in their daily mobility.

  • Project duration: 01-03-2015 to 31-03-2018
  • Funding: FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency)
  • Project management: Zimmermann-Janschitz Susanne
  • Staff members: Drexel Sebastian, Dückelmann Antonia, Landauer Simon, Mandl Bettina, Obermeier Jana
  • Coopertion partner:
    • Odilien‐Institute – Society for People with Visual Impairments or Blindness
    • SynerGIS Information Systems GmbH
  • Selected links:


Mobility is the key to an independent and self-determined life. Persons with visual impairment or blindness need additional and individualized orientation hints for planning daily trips and routes, not offered by standard navigation tools. Additionally, the way this information is presented to the target group is critically important.

In cooperation with the target group, various checklists have been developed. They include the content provided by the application, orientation hints, landmarks, barriers and dangerous spots. The checklists served as a basis to derive user profiles. Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), network analysis algorithms access these profiles to calculate routing information. As a result, the application ways2see offers individualized and detailed descriptions of routes between a starting address and destination as well as a ‘near me’ tool, which offers points of interest in the surrounding. 

Ways2see is characterized by its inclusive approach and accessible design. It is operable via keyboard; all elements are capable for screen readers and that maps are specifically designed for the use by people with visual impairment. Ways2see is implemented for the administrative area of Graz.


Selected Publications

  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne (2022): Digital Media and Persons with Visual Impairment or Blindness. In: Paul C. Adams and Barney L. Warf (Hg.): Routledge Handbook on Media Geographies. London and New York. Routledge. 2022. 74-91. doi:10.4324/9781003039068
  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne; Landauer, Simon; Drexel, Sebastian; Obermeier, Jana (2021): Independent mobility for persons with VIB using GIS. In: Journal of Enabling Technologies. 15,3. 159.174. doi:10.1108/JET-03-2020-0014
  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne (2019): The Application of Geographic Information Systems to Support Wayfinding for People with Visual Impairments or Blindness. In: Giuseppe Lo Giudice (Hg.): Visual Impairment and Blindness. London/Rieka. IntechOpen. 22. doi:10.5772/intechopen.89308
  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne (2018): Geographic Information Systems in the context of disabilities. In: Journal of Accessibility and Design for All. 8,2. 161-193. doi:10.17411/jacces.v8i2.171
  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne; Dückelmann, Antonia; Drexel, Sebastian; Obermeier, Jana; Landauer, Simon; (2018): Selbstverständlich SELBSTSTÄNDIG durch die Welt. Kranzberg. ESRI Deutschland GesmbH.
  • Zimmermann-Janschitz, Susanne; Mandl, Bettina; Dückelmann, Antonia (2017): Clustering the Mobility Needs of Persons with Visual Impairments or Legal Blindness. In: Transportation Research Record TRR. 2650. 2017. 66-73. doi:10.3141/2650-08


Secretary of the Institute
Heinrichstraße 36 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5137


Office Hours:
Monday til Friday 10-12 am

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