We are proud to be the official accessibility map of this Europe top 5 festival – #Sziget2017!
Wheelchair accessibility map and navigation of the 25th Sziget Festival is now available. You can find optimal routes, accessible services and toilets on the map. You can add accessibility info and obstacles in the app and help others by doing so. The map is kept up-to-date.
or ELTE, founded in 1635 is a public research university based in Budapest, Hungary. Itis the largest and one of the most prestigious universities in the country. ELTE is also Hungary’s largest scientific establishment with 118 PhD programs at 17 doctoral schools, and also offers 38 bachelor’s programs, 96 master’s programs, and over 50 degree programs in foreign languages. Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the university among the best 301-400 globally.
University’s Disability Center
is responsible to provide direct and indirect services to any ELTE citizens, including the international students and staff. The aim of the newly estabilished Center is to ensure equal opportunity, accessibility and offer support to domestic and international students/teachers and staff across the University who have a disability or chronical illness which impacts upon their ability to participate fully in university life.
The fact that big percentage of the historic university buildings are not, or not entirely accessible by wheelchair is a big concern, even though the situation is getting better every year, thanks to renovations being in accordance with EU policies. New and old faculty buildings are scattered in Budapest, a city of nearly 2 million, so understandably the Disability Center wished to show their campuses’ exact accessibility situation. It was in every party’s best interest to make sure that relevant and up-to-date accessibility information is finally available on a searchable, easy-to-access online platform. Students can look up each facility’s accessibility themselves without the need of contacting the university’s Disability Center.
“the app gives self-sufficiency and the freedom of movement to students in active or electric wheelchairs. It is expanding the limits.”
Krisztina Kovács, ELTE Disability Center
Route4U, the world’s first sidewalk navigation app for wheelchair users
The Route4U app can be set to automatically collect sidewalk information (smoothness, slope and kerb data). Users can even add accessibility info manually to Points of Interest on the map by just a few taps on the screen. This is an extremely fast way to create maps that are truly useful for wheelchair users. Go ahead and try planning a convenient, wheelchair-accessible route on our online map of central Portsmouth, UK.
Our solution to the Problem
We surveyed each and every building defined in the project by ELTE, we talked to the operators and the local staff to make sure every fine detail is included in the facilities’ data sheet. We fine-tuned our database – which is originally based on OpenStreetmap data – to make sure everything is shown correctly on the map. The university buildings are now searchable both in the app and the web-map.
We added entrance, toilet and elevator information, as well as important comments to the buildings, to make sure everyone finds their way without trouble or delay.
Users can conveniently navigate the sidewalks in the surveyed areas (marked with coloured lines on the map). In addition we also surveyed the shortest route between every ELTE building, that are currenty out of the Budapest surveyed area, and the nearest accessible public transport stop. This way our users can safely and reliably get to the city center.
As a result ELTE buildings’ accessibility details are now easy to search and access. In our crowd-sourced app and map, students (or the staff) can add important notes or even obstacles that are immediately noticable by others. ELTE is a large, public university with a growing number of students in wheelchair. Their buildings host numerous public events throughout the year, so not only the students and staff, but also the general public benefits from the product of this project.
Up-to-date accessibility information together with improving infrastructure is key to remaining one of the most progressive and disability friendly universities in Central Europe.
To find out more about our offer for universities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org tel.: +36 70 931 83 82
Testing the University Accessiblity Map with future students
This is Daniel and Adam. They plan to apply ELTE’s computer science program once they finish high school. We went for a walk together in the Faculty of Informatics, a relatively new ELTE Campus built in central Budapest. The guys used the app to look for routes from the low-floor tram to the accessible entry points of the building (not all of them are).
Since Route4U is a community tool, users can add useful information about Points of Interest everywhere they go. During our walk, Daniel, Adam and their friend successfully added accessibility info to a couple of cafés and restaurants around the Campus.
They also added complemenary info, that was important to them, to the Uni building’s data sheet. The guys told us, it’s comforting to know that ELTE already provides a tool to make sure they find their convenient way between and inside Campuses.
Did you know that you can find almost all the places of interest (restaurants, shops, services) on the online map of Portsmouth? Today, it is pretty easy to select a pub on an online map to socialize with your friends and navigate there with your phone.
Well, it may be easy for YOU but not for your fellow citizens in wheelchairs!
We know that no city will ever be fully accessible, but we also know that up to date information brings freedom and confidence. Our map already has a fair amount of useful data in Portsmouth and in other cities of the the UK, but there are still a good number of places on the map which lack accessibility information – they show in grey circles. But…
Now, it is only a few clicks to change it all!
Join our Community Puzzle Challenge and let’s make Portsmouth more livable for all, together! We will be solving the jigsaw photo-puzzle by real life contribution to the accessibility of Portsmouth. Sounds good, right? Click the picture to Play for change!
The process is super fast, and it works like this:
If you want to help the Route4U community make the world’s first sidewalk navigation solution truly useful, download the iOS app first here or the Android one here.
These are the ways you can contribute:
assess places’ accessibility
automatically map sidewalks and crossings
notify others about obstacles
Sometimes categorizing places’ entrances or toilets is not easy, here’s some help:
By tapping any Place on the map, you see their accessibility info. If there is no information yet (it’s gray) or if you find it incorrect you can change it’s properties by tapping the pencil icon and set it according to your findings. You can also add text on relevant details at the bottom.
are level or the doorstep is max. 2 centimeters tall, the door is at least 120 cm wide, and there is no ramp in front of/behind the door. If assess a Place as green, be sure that there is enough space inside for wheelchair users, and that there are no stairs inside that limit movement.
are inconvenient for most wheelchair users, but are still usable alone for some, and with assistance for the majority. If you find hard to decide the type of an entrance. Please leave a description, so others will know the exact characteristics. Places with mobile ramps and/or working wheelchair bells are and should be yellow in Route4U.
are with a high doorsteps or are too narrow for most wheelchair users (<80cm) or have steep ramps leading up to them. Narrow entraces always fall into this category.
are big enough for an electric wheelchair user to turn around, are equipped with handrails and an alarm, door opens outside, mirror and sink are convenient to use in a wheelchair.
are missing at least one of the features of Green toilets, but are still usable for some. Please always include accessibility details at the bottom!
are either: too small, not enough space next to the toilet without handrails, the door opens inside or any combination of these.
Even if the entrance is accessible (Green) with wheelchair, there might be problems inside. These are:
Not enough space to move/turn inside with a wheelchair conveniently. If this is the case, please assess the Point of Interest as Yellow
If there are ramps inside that are possible to use alone, please assess the Point of Interest as Yellow
If there are steep ramps or stairs in the way, please assess the Point of Interest as Red
If the tables inside are too high, or there are tables that are inconvenient to use with a wheelchair, please assess the Place as Red
Join the community!
If all this is not enough, You can also join the fun by following our Facebook page . We regularly share information about the map and the apps (both iOS and Android) organize events and share interesting stuff about the world of accessibility.
We also created a Route4U – UK Mapping closed Facebook group where our UK-based users can share feedback about map data and the app in general. We also hope to build an active community of accessiblity enthusiasts
Route4U is a community-contributed tool that helps You to navigate on the sidewalks of a city. The purpose of the application is to give you the highest possible level of freedom in mobility, whether you are in your hometown or out exploring a new city. In exchange You can also help the community in many ways. We have data available in every single city of the world.
How does it work?
First, download the iOS app here or the Android one here. Once you open the app, you’ll see a map with color coded information on it. These are
Places – Points of Interests (circles),
sidewalks and crossings (gray or coloured lines),
and maybe obstacles (exclamation marks).
With Route4U, you can search for accessible places, and if there’s information available already, you can have personalized sidewalk routes planned between two locations.
You can also contribute:
assess places’ accessibility,
automatically map sidewalks and
notify others about obstacles!
We also have a web based map, with limited functionality here.
What are the colours on the map?
We use colours on Places (or Points of Interest – POI), sidewalks and crossings.
Places can be gray, green, yellow and red.
Green means the entrance is accessible with all kinds of wheelchairs.
Yellow means entering is inconvenient but possible, either alone or with help.
Red means “impossible” because of the characteristics of the entrance.
Gray POI means insufficient data. But you can change that! 🙂
Sidewalks can be green, yellow, orange, red and gray. The colours show the smoothness and/or the steepness of the sidewalk surface.
Orange is very inconvenient and
red is impossible to roll on for most wheelchair users.
Gray sidewalks are not yet mapped, but again, you can change that!
Crossings can also be green, yellow, orange, red and gray. Colours of crossings indicate their kerb height.
You will definitely not have problems with green crossings, while
red ones have at least 10 cm high kerbs.
Route4U’s Navigation function shows you personalized routes. You can set your accessibility preferences in the Settings.
Can I also change colour of Places or sidewalks?
Sure! By tapping any Place on the map, you see their accessibility info. If there is no information yet (it’s gray) or if you find it incorrect you can change it’s properties by tapping the pencil icon and set it according to your findings. You can also add text on relevant details at the bottom.
Please read our Assessment Guide to see what kind of toilets and entrances fit into which category. This way we can avoid false data appearing on the map. Don’t worry though! Sometimes it’s not easy to decide the colours. If you have doubts, just add some comments in the “Accessibility Details” box. See the guide here.
Every user can “survey” sidewalks, kerbs and preferred routes while they move around in the city. Tapping the ruler (survey button) – even if the area is already mapped – automatically helps the community by keeping the map data fresh and accurate. Same applies when using the app in navigation mode. During survey, Route4U collects sensor data of your phone, and turns it into accessibility maps. No data about our users or their routes is given to a third party. This automatic survey function works best when you roll on the sidewalks and crossings. Surveying while driving or sitting in the car collects false data – however our built-in artificial intelligence will filter these out. 🙂
What if the sidewalk would be fine, but is temporarily obstructed?
You can notify other users about that! Long tap on the map, choose “Obstacle“. You can even add a photo for others to see. These obstacles also count in the route planning process, if the sidewalk is blocked, Route4U will show you an alternative route.
Why does Route4U say “No route!” when I try to use the navigation function!
We can only show you accessible routes on the mapped areas. Route4U is a community based app, which means you and your friends can automatically map your city from zero, only by opening the app and tapping on the ruler icon. This way we receive sidewalk data that is turned into coloured sidewalk maps. If you are an active person from a not-yet mapped city, feel free to contact us at email@example.com and our cartographer will help you get things rolling.
Does Route4U follow me when I am not using the app?
Does Route4U use mobile data?
Yes, and GPS too.
Who can I contact if I have questions or something’s not working?
Although we’re just starting our pilot in Portsmouth, UK, you can use the Route4U app anywhere in the world already. The general problem with services based on community-contribution is that reaching the minimum viable amount of data in a given area is not easy. This is why we designed our app to use OpenStreetMap data, this way we already have hunders, thousands of places (Points of Interest – POI) with accessibility data available in every town and city of the world.
This means that If you use wheelchairs or prams every day, you can still use the app, even though there will be no sidewalk navigation in your city at first, due to the inital lack of sidewalk data. Of course, since you can automatically “survey” sidewalks, crossings and road surfaces, you can be one of the pioneers of your area who help us put the map together.
By tapping on gray circles on the Route4U map, you can add accessibility information to that shop, venue, etc. This way, you notify every Route4U user in the world, about the accessibility of that place. In addition, this information will be available on OpenStreetMap too, for everyone to see. Check the current status of the Portsmouth map out here. Please read our Assessment Guide to see what kind of toilets and entrances fit into which category. This way we can avoid false data appearing on the map. Don’t worry though! Sometimes it’s not easy to decide the colours. If you have doubts, just add some comments in the “Accessibility Details” box. See the guide here.
You can also join the fun by following our Facebook page . We regularly share information about the map and the apps (both iOS and Android) organize events and share interesting stuff about the world of accessibility.
We also created a Route4U – UK Mapping closed Facebook group where our UK-based users can share feedback about map data and the app in general. We also hope to build an active community of accessiblity enthusiasts 🙂
As we mentioned above, sidewalk data is very difficult to collect – even with our automatic function – without a big number of active wheelchair or pram users on the city streets. This is why we cooperate with city councils to map the first version of the accessibility map, which is then continuously being updated by our users, just by rolling around the city streets. We provide cites with statistics, heat maps, and problematic locations data about their sidewalk network. Please contact our CEO: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
We collected sidewalk and crossing data on our trip to Portsmouth using the automatic survey funcion of the Route4U iOS application. We compared the result of this survey with open source data sets, and now released this preliminary sidewalk map of a pilot area in the centre of Portsmouth. We say it’s preliminary because only after Route4U users are actively contributing to the map, when all the shortcuts and personal routes are on it, we can say we’re ashore.
You are reading this because you are enthusiastic about wheelchair navigation, and you – as we do – actively work for a more convenient, more accessible world.
Before the October 1. start of our public test in Portsmouth, we would like YOU to check the map out, and give us feedback. We want to make sure it’s useful for locals and tourists alike. It looks like this now:
Check out the current status here. Right-click the map to plan an accessible route from A to B, or click on the grey circles (they are Points of Interest – POI) to view and assess their accessibility. You can also download the iOS app here, for more features and a much better user experience.
Please help us with these questions, let’s make sure everything is ready before setting sail:
You can show us your preferred routes (even if they’re not yet on the map) by tapping the “ruler” icon in the bottom left corner of the map in our iPhone app.
Have you encountered any map errors regarding sidewalk surfaces, crossings, curbs? You can pin them for review inside the app. Just make a long tap on the map and choose “Obstacle”. Please choose “Map improvement” and if you can, attach a photo of the problematic area by tapping the camera icon above the red face.
Since you’re definitely an early adopter,
Feel free to write a note in our mapping group about anything Route4U related, or send an email to our cartographer: email@example.com
If you feel like, you can start the public testing right away! By clicking on the grey circles on the map around you, you can assess their accessibility. The information becomes available to everyone in less then an hour! If you encounter any obstacles – temporary or permanent – why not put them on the map, as it is mentioned above? The Route4U route planner now takes this into consideration during sidewalk navigation!
You are amazing, thank You! 🙂
Oh and there’s more: during our campaign in October we’ll be solving a nice, online community puzzle game together. – Stay tuned!
One of our friends told us about the wheelchair sailing opportunity at Agárd, on the shore of lake Velencei. They operate a Rehabilitation Centre at the lakeside where people can move in for a couple of months while they are learning to cope with challanges of their new life. The Centre is also next to a small harbor where residents can (and should!) try sailing.
How it works
With the help of the super friendly local staff, we prepared our boats, put them on water and got in. Zoltán, our teammate got in the boat with the help of a nifty crane next to the pier. All of us wore life jackets, and at least one person of the two in every boat had to know the basics of sailing.
As we were told it was nearly impossible to tip over with the boat but still, the author of these lines was not so sure about that when we tilted 45 degress multiple times 🙂
This is how it went, and this is how it looked:
Everything is given at Agárd what’s needed for a fun and exciting day with or without a wheelchair. Our goal with Route4U is the same. It’s easier to be active, when circumstances are optimal. And when they’re not, you need information to know how to bring the most out of the situation.
Santa has already left Lapland… and it depends on You, when he’ll arrive!
Categorize places (Points Of Interests – bars, cafés, restaurants, gov. offices, hospitals, etc.) by deciding if it’s possible to enter with a wheelchair or not. By saving your survey result in our game, you help Santa with 1 km route, on his way from the North Pole. The distance is around 3000 kms to Budapest, so we’ll need you to check on 3000 places if you want him to arrive in time.
All the accessibility information you provide during the game is immediately shown in the Route4U application and online map and is real value to the wheelchair user community.
How does it work?
1. On the main page, click on the bottom-right arrow.
2. Choose the area where you want to play. The system will determine your position automatically, but it won’t always work due to phone and browser settings. Shall this occur, you can set your location by moving the map.
3. Choose the place you’d like to categorize and look for stairs at the entrace.
4. Finalize your choice by choosing one of the three colours.
5. Be proud of yourself, you’ve just created value! 🙂
Meaning of colours
No stairs at the entrance, doorstep is 3 centimeters maximum
There is a maximum of 1 stair at the entrance, not taller than 7 centimeters
There are more than 1 stairs at the entrance, or step is higher than 7 centimeters
Did you know that information about places’ accessibility is at least as important as phisical accessibility itself?
There are hunders of thousands of places on Hungary’s online map, but majority of them doesn’t have any info about accessibility. Now with a little cooperation we can achieve huge difference.
How can I join?
You can join the game on guruljszabadon.hu. You’ll hear about the latest news on our facebook page. If you like the initiation, and you suppose some of your friends might be interested in helping a good cause or spreading the word, please invite them too, so we can make the world a bit more convenient place.
What we do and why we do it, to make the world a better place
For those who’ve been following our work in the last year, it’s clear, that the aim of Route4U is to make the lives of people with disabilities better. But maybe even these followers of ours haven’t realized, that our solution’s impact on the whole of society is significant.
Today 2% of Hungary’s population is with reduced mobility. In towns and cities – since conditions are better – their percentage of the population is even higher. Based on census data, only 7% of working-age disabled people work. This puts huge stress on society. Another, Western European survey’s results show that more than 50% of non-working people with disabilites would love to, if the conditions were sufficient. Younger generations’ access to accessible education helps them grow into adults actively helping society, even on the job market.
Higher incomes of working disabled people, hand in hand with accessible services, result in increased consumption in settlements, which is one of the key factors of growth and development .
Integration is everyone’s business and everyone’s interest, not only local governments’ and of those affected.
Sounds good, but why doesn’t it just work by itself?
Looking at the problem from the views of all affected parties, it’s the lack of information what’s really conspicuous. Those affected do not have the neccessary information on accessible routes, barriers, accessible services/places and alternative routes, especially when they are not in their everyday environment. Decision makers do not have the necceessary dataset to decide the best spots to use the limited funds available for this matter. And the majority society simply does not know the needs and expectations – which are, in majority of cases are easily achievable with minor effort – of those with disabilites.
If the root of all problems is the lack of information, they can be solved by communication and infocommunication means.
The base of all this is city map with accessibility information. We create these, commissioned by local goverments by systemtically mapping sidewalks, curbs, slopes and services of a town or city. Thanks to our innovative technology, this is extremely fast and cost efficient, and also very cheap compared to city budgets. Personalized sidewalk navigation and search of the accessible services is available for the mapped areas shortly after our survey. We involve local organizations and the majority society in the survey. We raise awareness of the importance of equal opportunities with targeted, gamified communication campaigns. Thanks to our awareness-raising communication, it’s not uncommon that shops and other services of the city invest in accessibility plainly for business considerations. Don’t think about thousands of Euros here. Mounting a few Euros, bluetooth enabled disability bell on the outside of the shop not only helps a person in wheelchair, it also raises the prestige of the shop by making others content with the shop owners’ proactive behaviour. It also helps spreading the word and the idea.
Thanks to the wheelchair users actively using Route4U, local governments can see the problematic points in the sidewalk infrastructure, making it possible to plan development or refurbishment priorities based on real-life data. Effective problem management increases voter satisfaction.
In our view, if we plan to achieve fast and spectacular results, we need more complex approach than that was available before.
We are confident that the issue can only be solved, if all parties of society take part in the process, and not because of obligations of law, but for their own interests. It’s not the City Leadership’s duty to know and solve every local problem themselves, but to operate as a catalyst to help setting up a chain reaction, which grows into a self-sustaining system.
Role of the majority society is to realize their own interests in integration and to find opportunities in it. Route4U’s mission is to give platform to the most effective information flow between all actors. This is a “Smart City” answer to the problem of integration. This is why we built Route4U and this is how we’ll continue to build it in the future.
We call it Smart Accessibility.
Please contact us for further information about our solution.