Developing a barrier-free map by using global positioning system and cellular phones with digital cameras

Teppei Osada*, Hirotaka Koike, Akinori Morimoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The recent enactment of the transportation barrier-free law in Japan emphasizes the importance of incorporating a barrier-free approach for any new road facility construction and for improvements to existing road facilities in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to develop barrier-free maps for people with various types of disabilities to help public agencies plan a barrier-free transportation system environment Statistics show that technological progress and the explosive proliferation of cellular phone use in Japan has reached the level of two phones for every three people. In particular, new advanced cellular phones equipped with additional features such as a Global Positioning System (GPS) and digital cameras are gaining in popularity. The focus is on GPS cellular phones with digital cameras as a tool to collect barrier-free information on the streets. The digital photos and location information generated by the GPS are sent to a personal computer by e-mail. The gathered information is then stored in a geographic information system (GIS) database to display hazardous barrier locations with pictures and messages on a map. Actual field surveys were conducted in the central business district of Utsunomiya City using this method, and information was collected about various barriers for people with different types of disabilities. Barrier-free maps for different types of disabilities were then developed using the multilayer feature of GIS. By comparing hazardous locations for each group of disabilities, both common and differential characteristics were found and summarized in the form of a barrier-free map. Such barrier-free maps are expected to be useful to public agencies for providing a barrier-free transportation environment for people with all types of disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1878
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a barrier-free map by using global positioning system and cellular phones with digital cameras'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this