CrowdMapForAccess: Making Sidewalks Accessible by Gamifying the Right of Way

University of Washington

To learn more about their project, view their original winning entry, below.

People use pedestrian walkways to commute and to engage with and enjoy their communities. However, people with limited mobility are faced with an informational challenge when planning a pedestrian trip. They need to know the location of sidewalks and curb ramps, whether a sidewalk is too steep, and whether there are obstructions in the way, including construction or poor surface conditions becomes part of trip planning.

Unfortunately, the required geospatial information is incomplete or unavailable for many regions of the U.S. With a high level of user interest in crowdsourcing such information, this group proposes the creation of a crowdsourcing platform to collect accessibility information about the pedestrian right of ways. The University of Washington eScience Institute has expressed great interest in supporting the larger aims of the AccessMap project, and has supported these efforts in the past in the form of expertise and labor. The 2016 project will focus on creating a detailed specification for open sidewalk data (targeting OpenStreetMap) which it is believed the AccessMap project will adopt. This data will be inherently editable by the community, and the ability to combine the static data of OpenStreetMap sidewalks with the temporal data of this project is essential to the long-term success of the project.