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Interactive or enhanced maps

Summary – For people with disabilities, interactive or enhanced trail maps, that would be posted on line, may be even more useful than regular trail maps, to better prepare for, and anticipate the conditions of the hike.  As a benefit, some interactive maps are easier to prepare than conventional maps and could save low-budget entities staff time and cost and yet provide more useful and current resources.

DescriptionInteractive or enhanced mapping can be achieved through the utilization of online mapping resources, such as Google Maps and MapQuest, that provide a variety of views which include street views and aerial photos.  They also can create custom-made trail maps by incorporating GPS or smartphone tracking methods, by which the trail and its specific features can be highlighted.  User-contributed photos and video can be added, and, if appropriate, even audio can be inserted.

Importance/Purpose – People planning hikes will often look at websites for information.  The type of information that can be presented on websites is substantially more diverse and interactive than printed material.  In addition, the disabled community may use one of several assistive devices that would benefit from the use of mapping enhancements such as GPS coordinates and smartphone tracking.  Either way, the additional perspective gained by the use of interactive maps provides the user with another source of information about the trail.  Diversity is important since some users may find one type of map easier to understand than another. 


  1. An aerial view with interactive components may be more beneficial to some users than a conventional trail map. 

  2. Allowing users to contribute their comments and perspective to maps can provide a way to update conditions and provide a variety of insights on the usability of a trail.

  3. Mapping applications allow user contributed photos, videos and descriptions of the trail experience.

  4. Mapping applications allow overlay of trails and features. 

Graphic 1

Example of GPS coordinates for downtown Portland


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Graphic 2

Google map in aerial view with user photo as a pop-up

Graphics 3 and 4

Enhanced maps showing facility location [upper] and trail as custom overlay [lower]

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