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Getting around with Open Data

Getting around with Open Data

Getting around with Open Data maps wheelchair accessible places

For people with a physical disability, traveling comes with a number of challenges such as the accessibility of certain places or finding a suitable route. Raúl Krauthausen, in a wheelchair himself, solves these challenges with technical creativity and the use of Open Data. For example by the use of wheelmap, an application which uses Open Street Map to indicate wheelchair accessible places. To explore how Open Data helps him develop these innovative applications and what can be improved, the German website Golem interviewed Raúl Krauthausen and fellow developer Holger Dieterich about their experiences.

During this interview, it became apparent that Wheelmap is just one of the solutions these developers are working on to improve the mobility of people with a physical disability. For example thanks to their application Broken Lifts which maps broken elevators in the public transport in the Berlin region. Both applications use a combination of Open Data and crowd collected data to function, for example by reports from the community which elevator has a malfunction. With these apps the developers not only enable disabled people to travel more freely around town, it also serves as a tool to inform the concerned organisation to repair reported malfunctions.

While the data provided to the developers by their active communities is vital to the applications, both developers stress the need for data holders to share more information. Want to know more about the work of these two? Read the interview below.