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.

08.12.2016 09:50
Mapping ramps on the ocassion of the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Heidelberg

On Saturday 3rd December 2016 the CAP4Access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg university led a Wheelmap mapping event on the ocassion of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) at Heidelberg. is a map for finding wheelchair accessible places and it is run by one of our CAP4Access project partners, the [...]

23.11.2016 23:04
Upcoming Wheelmap mapping event at Heidelberg on December 3rd

December 3rd is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). In this scope the CAP4Access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg University invites any interested person to a public Wheelmap mapping event on Saturday 3rd December at Heidelberg. Similiar to previously organized Mapping Events we would like to improve the Wheelmap project [...]

01.11.2016 11:18
Successful Wheelmap event with volunteers of SAP at Heidelberg

On Thursday 27 October 2016 the CAP4Access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg university organised a Wheelmap mapping event for SAP volunteers in the course of the “SAP month of service“. Volunteers of SAP already supported us in merging volunteered accessibility data (from and expert accessibility data (from Heidelberg Hürdenlos) last year. This time [...]

31.10.2016 15:39
European COST action IC1203 reports about our work in CAP4Access project

COST action IC1203 is a European Network Exploring Research into Geospatial Information Crowdsourcing: software and methodologies for harnessing geographic information from the crowd (ENERGIC). The action has been greatly active in the past 3 years and is now delivering the results via their website as well as their Youtube channel. One of the outputs of this action [...]

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.

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