Accessible route planning
for people with disabilities, as well as parents with baby carriages
An excellent example of an Open Data project in Heidelberg is accessible route planning for people with disabilities. The city of Heidelberg has taken up this project from Science and supported it wholeheartedly.
The issue of "accessibility" is becoming increasingly important for our society. Older and disabled people are dependent on a barrier-free environment. Though, it is also helpful for people with strollers or luggage.
The "accessible route planning" project will enable users to comfortably plan their journeys to the city on their mobile devices (smartphones). Thereby offering them the opportunity to participate in social life despite their limitations. To this end, the already existing digital services of the City of Heidelberg will include an additional application.
Similar to "GoogleMaps", this app calculates a route from start to end point. The Geoinformatics Department of the University's Geography Institute brings expertise to the project. Their "OpenRouteService" research project laid the groundwork for intelligent, accessible route planning.
Up to this point, the database has been comprised of geographic information recorded by the population. This information is available as Open Data. Now the city of Heidelberg reviews the administrative data that can be used to enrich the existing base.
The administrators of the application plan to widen the range of users through its own digital services. They also want to reach out to people to enter additional information on accessibility via an input mask, thus improving the database for the route calculation. This process shows how perfectly linked a synergy of science, public administration and citizenship can be.
With the "Accessible route planning" project, the city of Heidelberg replied to the "Städte und Gemeinden 4.0 - Future Communities" call for proposals of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Home Affairs, Digitalization and Migration.