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Making Web Accessible Maps

This information provides helpful resources and recommendations for creating Web accessible map content.

WCAG success criteria that may be most applicable to this topic are:

When we talk about contrast consider the implications to people who use Windows High Contrast Mode when creating your maps.

World Wide Web Consortium

W3C/OGC Joint Workshop Series on Maps for the Web in 2020

This contains a final report with a section that discusses accessibility that pointed out none of the existing map frameworks at that time met WCAG 2.1 success criteria.

W3C accessible maps documentation compiled by the Research and Development Working Group.

Maps for HTML Community Group, which is hosted by the W3C, has accessibility in mind from the start as they work to establish a media type associated with a new map HTML element.

Blog Posts Covering This Topic

A Plan for Accessible Maps touches on a number of things that also apply to other media content:

  • have an equivalent text alternative
  • do not use color alone to convey meaning
  • use semantic markup as the first choice

Accessible Digital Map Experiences: a mountain climb or walk in the park? (written by a "cartographer turned inclusive-design advocate")

  • map controls are labeled and operable without a mouse
  • map information is presented without relying on color
  • there is a non-graphical equivalent for the map information

The Accessibility of Web Maps

Interactive Map Accessibility Principles

How to Make Maps Accessible?

Additional resources on creating accessible web maps, as well as some that are for specific map libraries.

Map Images