OSM maps that are accessible for the visually impaired


we are currently exploring whether there are any OSM based mapping apps that can be used by visually impaired users. We would like the visually impaired user to be able to interact with the map possibly (and very likely) in conjunction with Apple’s Voiceover.

Currently if I use Apple’s Voiceover and other mapping applications such as Google maps or TripAdvisor, and if there are several POIs appearing as icons on the map, when using Voiceover to navigate these maps to find the POIs with my finger, none of the POIs are called out.

So I am assuming these maps are not accessible for the visually impaired user. However, when using Apples Voice Over with Apple Maps, Voiceover will callout the POIs on the map.

What I would to find out is whether anyone has created any mapping applications that are accessible and could do the following:

When a user taps or selects a POI, Voiceover will read out information including how far the POI is from the user’s current location.

Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.


Hi Steven,

There’s an OSM wiki page at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_for_the_blind which has some information, but some of the projects that it refers to seem to be no longer maintained or no longer in existence. There’s a laundry list of apps and frameworks for iOS at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Apple_iOS#Applications_using_OpenStreetMap but the same caveat applies.

I’ll ask a question on the main OSM mailing list in case someone there knows (that probably has a wider readership than this forum).

Best Regards,


Edit: Question asked at https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2017-December/079868.html

Hi there Andy,

thanks for the quick reply. I will be very interested in the response you get on the main mailing list. I will also try the Accessibility list too.

Thanks again

The American Printing House for the Blind’s Nearby Explorer app uses OSM to support indoor navigation. We have a video demonstrating the app reading out the distance and direction of POIs to a blind user.

To that end, we’ve been mapping a variety of venues with Simple Indoor Tagging.

@jrose_aph I will take a look at those links.

In the meantime, if you know of any good mapping applications for the visually impaired that work outdoors too, let me know. Thanks