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Allen School News » Taskar Center launches first mobile version of AccessMap pedestrian trip planning tool for Android and iOS

University of Washington Computer Science

There are many options for mapping and route planning on a smartphone, but one thing they all have in common is their car-centric nature. Those apps that do support pedestrian navigation tend to make assumptions about a user that are at best inaccurate, and at worst dangerous. The app, which was developed by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology housed at the Paul G. Allen Center of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and is based off of the web-based tool of the same name, enables users of Android and iOS in the cities of Seattle, Bellingham and Mount Vernon to generate customized walking directions on the go based on their own mobility needs and preferences. The app's release coincides with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an annual observance initiated by the United Nations to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society, including political, social, economic and cultural life. "Many apps offer some semblance of pedestrian directions, but those directions assume a user profile that ignores the lived experience of a vast number of people," explained Anat Caspi, director of the Taskar Center.