Research Project

CAP4Access: Collective Awareness Platforms for Improving Accessibility in European Cities & Regions

The objective of CAP4Access is to develop and pilot-test methods and tools for collectively gathering and sharing spatial information for improving accessibility. The aim is to exploit the power of online maps and mobile devices for fostering awareness of barriers for individuals with limited mobility and in turn aid in the removal of such barriers.


CAP4Access helps integrating disabled communities into society (social sustainability), saving public resources e.g. by helping municipalities to focus expenditures (economic sustainability) and also saving natural resources e.g. by facilitating public transport use (ecological sustainability). Data sources will include citizen humans as sensors, sensors in smartphones and Public Sector Information such as data held by local administrations which are of relevance to accessibility (e.g. road surface and width, traffic volumes and speed, elevation, road works). Target groups include people requiring enhanced accessibility; grassroots initiatives supporting people with disabilities; policy-makers, planners and service providers with responsibility for the built environment; and the general public. Rather than setting up a new platform, the tools to be developed will be pilot-tested on established platforms including Wheelmap, WheelchairRouting, and the OSM.

More specifically our research group will participate in developing:

  • Collective tagging: Tools for tagging (human-as-sensor principle), annotating and facilitating the discussion of locations/places and routes/streets within the built environment according to their accessibility/suitability for individuals with limited mobility. Develop a tagging management system to support the collection of user-generated data.
  • Quality assessment of crowd-sourced data: Develop a data quality assessment and management approach.
  • Tools for integration of PSI/sponsored data in OSM based mapping platforms
  • Routing and navigation: Develop and implement a data and model for cityscape navigation for persons with limited mobility.
  • Tools targeting local initiatives for supporting awareness raising and collective action: Enabling local activities for creating awareness and initiating concrete measures for eliminating barriers for people with limited mobility.

This European project is funded for 3 years.

28.09.2016 23:25
Wheelmap event led by CAP4ACCESS team is part of a short documentary movie

Our efforts related to the mapping of wheelchair accessible places at the Freiwilligentag 2016 in Heidelberg are now part of a short documentary movie made by the FreiwilligenAgentur Heidelberg. The movie focuses on 6 projects promoting social inclusion of disabled people and can be watched on YouTube.

21.09.2016 09:40
CAP4ACCESS team active on the Freiwilligentag 2016 in Heidelberg

On the occasion of the Freiwilligentag 2016 (September 17th), organised by the MRN GmbH to realize charitable projects based on volunteer engagement, the CAP4Access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg university contributed by leading a Wheelmap mapping event at Heidelberg. is a map for finding wheelchair accessible places and it is run by one [...]

15.09.2016 16:13
Report on the 7th PCC meeting and 2nd Expert Workshop for CAP4Access project

The 7th PCC meeting for CAP4Access project took place on September 8th in Bonn. The meeting was focused on presentations and discussions regarding the works that have been progressed since the last meeting and more importantly, clarifying and planning on what remains to be done for the final deliverables by end of the year. From GIScience [...]

31.08.2016 10:35

Last week, the worldwide FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial) conference took place in Bonn. The GIScience department was represented by Jakob Miksch. He presented a poster and gave a presentation with the topic “Routing through Open Spaces”. Before and after the conference a code sprint took place. More than 100 developer from all [...]

30.08.2016 15:23
European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information

Recently, a new open access handbook edited by Capineri, and supported by the European Commission - COST Action IC1203 (ENERGIC) has been published. This book focuses on the study of the remarkable new source of geographic information that has become available in the form of user-generated content accessible over the Internet through mobile and Web [...]

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