People in every corner of the world, has developed and created its own cultural heritage that is reflected mainly through the building stock as monuments, archaeological sites, places of worship and more. Greece is one of the countries with the largest archaeological interest in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year to visit all these unique ancient monuments located throughout its extent.
In our country all the monuments and sites of archaeological interest that are accessible to visitors of all ages, gender and nationality, are restored and permanently preserved.
However people with partial or total blindness were not yet able to have comprehensive information and proper guidance when visiting such places. According to the World Health Organization, 14% of people worldwide are blind. Since, culture is for everyone, and is an inviolable condition and necessary provision, actions and movements must be made in order to offer this culture to the majority of the population with partial or total blindness.
The “Mind The Map- 3d printed tactile maps for archaeological sites and public spaces” is a complete study, design, research, and manufacturing tactile maps product for people with reduced or no vision with the help of 3d printing technology in order to smooth their guidance in these areas.
To construct the map, it is studied, not only the process and the material, but is also emphasized the practical manufacturing and assembly. Ergonomic requirements taken into account so that the map and the information in it is direct and understandable, independent of age and gender of the user and also the method of extracting information. The mounting height of the map, which consists of a support base, the map itself and protective cover form the weather, has been calculated, taking into account the average percentage of adults and children.
The tactile maps of Mind the Map provide to the people with partial or total blindness information about the space they are in through their tactile senses by using different lines, symbols and textures, shapes , sizes , orientation symbols , graphic scales and information texts written in Braille system (the international standard writing system for the blind).
Indicatively, some of the data contained in the maps are paths crossing archaeological sites and parks, attractions and major references in each room, ancient theater representations and mapping public spaces, are some of the additions that can serve them better guidance.
With the help of 3D printing, and with the necessary additions to the map, depending on the needs of each application, people with partial or total blindness may have a more comprehensive and complete picture of the visiting area.
All additions and innovations on the map are intended to give visitors a complete experience for the respective area. The tactile information in combination with the correct placement of the map, can create an image to the visitor which will help memorize the space better.
The “Mind the map- 3d printed tactile maps for archaeological sites and public spaces” can be applied to any public or private place accessible to people with partial or total blindness. The purpose of the map is to enable people with partial or total blindness to be served with the least possible assistance from a sighted person or user. Some of the places where the product could be applied are: Archaeological sites, museums, individual monuments in the province or urban areas, churches, places of worship, ancient settlements, themed archaeological parks, lighthouses, public services (Town Hall), castles, fortifications, places of cultural interest, monasteries, listed buildings.