This allows a Google map to be accessible in two ways:
2. Providing Accessible Data – Data, such as name, website, weather, etc, can be entered into an accessible form, which is stored in a database. The data is then retrieved from the database via the scripting mechanism described in Making Google Maps Accessible (Part 2 – Accessible Data), and displayed both on the map on custom made pushpins and as an ordered list, which is accessible to screen readers. Because the pushpins can be custom made, the font associated with the pushpins can also be made larger.
Although Google Maps only understand latitude and longitude co-ordinates, rather than actual addresses, Google does provide a publicly available API which will do the translation for you. However, it should be noted that any information that shows terrain or streets will be inaccessible to screen reader users. Nevertheless, descriptions could be added to the pushpins to describe their relationship with other features.
It was quite exciting to see attempts to make something as inaccessible as a map accessible and it’s great to see that Greg Klaus has made his work freely available to us all.