Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 269–287 | Cite as

U-Access: a web-based system for routing pedestrians of differing abilities

Original article

Abstract

For most people, traveling through urban and built environments is straightforward. However, for people with physical disabilities, even a short trip can be difficult and perhaps impossible. This paper provides the design and implementation of a web-based system for the routing and prescriptive analysis of pedestrians with different physical abilities within built environments. U-Access, as a routing tool, provides pedestrians with the shortest feasible route with respect to one of three differing ability levels, namely, peripatetic (unaided mobility), aided mobility (mobility with the help of a cane, walker or crutches) and wheelchair users. U-Access is also an analytical tool that can help identify obstacles in built environments that create routing discrepancies among pedestrians with different physical abilities. This paper discusses the system design, including database, algorithm and interface specifications, and technologies for efficiently delivering results through the World Wide Web (WWW). This paper also provides an illustrative example of a routing problem and an analytical evaluation of the existing infrastructure which identifies the obstacles that pose the greatest discrepancies between physical ability levels. U-Access was evaluated by wheelchair users and route experts from the Center for Disability Services at The University of Utah, USA.

Keywords

Accessibility Disability Pedestrian Routing GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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