NorCal URISA Designing Visually Accessible Maps Workshop Registration
Please Register Here for the January 30th Workshop 8:30am-4:00pm, West Sacramento (location will be provided upon registration). Workshop attendees need to bring their own laptop for use during the workshop with your mapping software of choice installed.

Course Summary:
Maps tell a story, and should be usable and understandable to everyone. This means making design choices from the start that consider users with different situations such as color vision deficiency and visual impairments, motor impairments, cognitive disabilities and conditions, considering cultural understandings, and much more. We will create beautiful and accessible maps to help your map’s viewers understand the content you aim to share.

This full day workshop will highlight color, patterns, aerial photo usage, and more. We will go through resources, and guides to incorporate accessibility into your map products right away. Content is focused on cartography, static maps (e.g., PNG, or PDF-based), and web maps. Participants will learn ways to make their maps digitally accessible. Material will be presented at a beginner level; all audiences welcome!

Amy Ellison
Amy is the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Cartographer & Event Coordinator at the Department of Natural Resources. She has been producing recreation maps, both digitally and in print, for the public for over 21 years. Outside the office, Amy loves being active outside, to travel with her husband and kids and watch British period and crime dramas.

Kitty Hurley
Kitty is a GIS Applications Developer at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources with over a decade of GIS experience. She specializes in web accessibility, user interface/user experience (UI/UX), mobile-first development, and front-end web development. In her free time she enjoys playing and coaching hockey, hiking, canoeing, and traveling with her husband.


1. Background/History
• Background on accessibility, and why accessibility is important
• Why maps are included in the accessibility discussion

2. Accessible Maps
• Why a map?
• Purpose/audience
• Cartographic standards - 80% there
• How can maps be accessible
• Accessible map examples

< Morning Break />

3. Color
• Contrast
• Individual Activity (Color): What color is this?
• Individual Post-it’s
• Show different answers from the group on the board
• Similarities? Differences?
• Color Palettes
• Print (paper) vs. Digital (screen/machine/projector)
• Assumptions for both print and digital
• Cannot rely on color alone
• GeoPDF example (color and patterns)
• Individual Activity: Color Perception – What color is this?
• What color is this dress? What color are the sneakers?
• Once complete, work in small groups to discuss.
• Report results to the larger group.

< Lunch />

4. Patterns and Line styles
• Patterns
• Line Styles
• Exercise 3

5. Labeling (Text)
• Fonts and annotation
• Text (Bold, Regular, Italics)
• Labels
• Halos
• Exercise 4

< Afternoon Break />

6. Symbols (Objects)
• Leader lines
• White space
• Object Placement
• Hands-on Exercise/Game (teams)

7. Accessible map “do’s and do not’s summary”

8. Basemaps and Imagery
• Team exercise: Filter test with imagery
• Examples

9. Static and Interactive
• Static Maps
• Interactive Web Maps

10. Tools and Resources
• Tools
• Resources
• Exercise 5

Cost for members: FREE
Cost for non-members: $195

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Last Name *
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Are you a NorCal OneURISA member? *
We provide lunch during the workshop, do you have any special food needs?
Please describe (i.e.:vegan, gluten free, localvore)
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