Sightless314
 member, 18 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Thu 14 Apr 2022
at 21:51
Mapping software
I might be heading down a dead end road,  given my issues, but I'm fishing for map building software.   If you've used one, let me know what you've used, and I can start figuring out if I too, can use it, thanks.

This message was last updated by the user at 21:52, Thu 14 Apr.

CaptainHellrazor
 member, 246 posts
Thu 14 Apr 2022
at 22:21
Mapping software
That's a pretty broad question.  I have only used a couple of free online mapping tools but if you could give an idea of the kind of maps you want to make, someone with more experience can probably point you in the right direction.
Sightless314
 member, 21 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 00:15
Re: Mapping software
CaptainHellrazor:
That's a pretty broad question.  I have only used a couple of free online mapping tools but if you could give an idea of the kind of maps you want to make, someone with more experience can probably point you in the right direction.


 Unfortunately, my internet skills aren't allowing me to be more specific. I spent literally a week's worth of hours doing every search I could think of related to "blind useable Mapping software."

So, I'm trying a different approach, finding out what sighted folks have used, and then trying to find out if any of it works for a sightless, pun intended, user.
NowhereMan
 member, 476 posts
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 00:33
Re: Mapping software
The pun may be the sticking point. While a particular program might be theoretically useable by a sightless person, it may not be usable by you.

For instance, I am a (admittedly limited) sighted user who absolutely cannot use Campaign Cartographer. The learning curve shoots over my head faster than a rocket-assisted peregrine falcon.
GreenTongue
 member, 1115 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 02:11
Re: Mapping software
There is a newly released mapper maker that uses AI to populate rooms automatically.
Very pretty and intended for VTT and printing. Not sure how sight restricted it is as it does a lot of the work for you and you don't "need" to actually see it.
NextLevelGames
 member, 7 posts
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 02:15
Re: Mapping software
I am curious, if I may, how would you expect this to work? I am a sighted person, and I can see where I place things, the color, the icons, etc. Is there a program (screen reader or otherwise) that would assist in this task?
Sightless314
 member, 22 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 04:17
Re: Mapping software

NextLevelGames:
I am curious, if I may, how would you expect this to work? I am a sighted person, and I can see where I place things, the color, the icons, etc. Is there a program (screen reader or otherwise) that would assist in this task?



Great question, here goes.

1. Iím blind, I donít expect it to work, but not knowing it wonít work, must give it a try.
2. 1, expanded. Whenever I get a program, or go to a website, I donít know when I go there how it will interact with my screen-reader, or even if it will interact with my screen-reader in most instances. When I came here, there was no garantees how this place would work, or even if it would work with my screen-reader.  Some programs will work independently of their GUI, and thus one can use the keyboard alone to interact with them. Iím hoping that there is a mapping software package out there that I can use in such a manner, or write the needed scripts to interact with in such a manner. Mapping programs that use a electronic Ďpiní are more or less using the same softwear as the mouse, and thus wonít work with my screen-reader, if this function canít be turned off.
Again, neither you, or I can know in advance, unless in that really rare case,  someone has had their program tested for it, or some other blind individual has used it before, whether a program is screen-reader accessible.   Thus, as is true with nearly all of my on-line experiences,  I only know when it doesnít work with a screen-reader when I test it.  So, Iím trying to pull from all the sighted individuals on RPOL who have used mapping programs so I can then try and track them down, and, yes, you guessed it, test them. There are certain concepts that would be easier to convey to a sighted audience, both here and elsewhere,  with access to a map.
1492
 member, 14 posts
 ADD Grognard
 PBP Neophyte
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 04:45
Re: Mapping software
@Sightless314 - I wish I could help you, but I don't know anything about mapping software. Haven't used it or encountered it or searched for it online. I do hope other RPoL members will weigh in on this thread and offer their assistance, and I wish you the best of luck.

As an aside, your comments make me wonder if we need federal legislation that would do for web site design what the ADA did for building design. Once upon a time, it didn't occur to most people that the typical building (i.e., office, store, or restaurant) was not accessible for handicapped people. Now, most everyone would agree that all buildings should provide such access.

Seems like the same logic would apply to the internet. Websites should be accessible (and navigable and usable) by those with impaired vision? And maybe software programs should, as a general rule, be compatible with screen readers?

I am technologically illiterate, so there may be challenges to achieving such goals, and maybe what I'm saying doesn't even make sense. But it seems like something worth working towards.
Sightless314
 member, 23 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 05:01
Re: Mapping software
In reply to 1492 (msg # 8):


 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ssibility_Guidelines

There are limitations, I won't go into, which programmers shouldn't be blamed for.
1492
 member, 15 posts
 ADD Grognard
 PBP Neophyte
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 05:05
Re: Mapping software
Thank you for the link. Just curious. Do you think legislation might be more helpful than guidelines? Or are you satisfied with the status quo?
NextLevelGames
 member, 9 posts
Fri 15 Apr 2022
at 12:50
Re: Mapping software
In reply to Sightless314 (msg # 7):

Thanks for the explanation. I can I personally use Inkarnate for a lot of my mapping purposes. It is browser based, and there is a free and pro version. So if you wanted to give it a shot you can.

Link to Site
drew0500
 member, 223 posts
 D&D Gamer
 Eclipse Classless
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 17:38
Mapping software
Tl;Dr we donít need more laws to overcome a software issue.

Warning, I got long winded typing this out on my phone. This is my opinion and mine alone.

Software and websites and the internet in general are supposed to be an arena to express ideas freely. Iíve created websites for personal use or to experiment. Iíve also made programs for fun.  Asking for regulations from a government entity is opening a can of worms.

Whatís the crime website designers or software makers are committing? E-commerce sites will include features to allow the most people to buy products from them. They want to make money and will accommodate those with impairments within reason.

Who would enforce these regulations?
What would be the penalty for non compliance?
Will legacy sites be taken down for non compliance?
What standard would be implemented?

Remember, Laws criminalize certain behavior or activity. The ADA fixed a problem of allowing citizens of the United States with impairments from living life independently.

Building codes are standardized. This is far easier to regulate and applies to buildings for business and apartment complexes or other mainstays. Once a building is built, it gets inspected once and then the process is done. Unless there is renovations nothing further is needed.

As much as I would love to help Sightless, forcing software designers to implement code or forcing websites to include features will push people away from the industry. Making a website is not easy. Making a usable website is harder, making a secure website even more costly. The more features or layers to be implemented translates to time and money.

Enthusiasm to add such features like different languages or other features come from people who want to make a difference. If you tell me that if I want to create Art that I can only create it so a color blind person can enjoy it and that it must read itself out to a non sighted person or anything else you are effectively stifling the creation of art.  Government rarely helps or makes things easier. After all, they are lawyers. Itís bad enough most programs have 8 sections of a EULA that is in lawyer speak.

Mapping software is primarily a visual medium representation of what the characters are exploring or a battle encounter in most cases. You have a background layer to denote the floor, then you have terrain (if in the wilderness), walls and doors (if indoors or dungeons) if you get creative there are traps and devices to open or close doors. Hex mapping vs traditional square mapping has to be fit to the dimensions of the background. Unless you want the map without any token movement. I use maptool a free product from RP tools.net to do token movement, but I use another product to create maps, Dundjinn in the past but now Arkenforge (paid product) to produce the maps. Having something translate that to something usable to a visually impaired user is quite a feat. We know there are varying degrees of impairment to have to compensate for. Is it basic color blindness, or sizing to allow a person to see details, to no sight at all. And what are we trying to accomplish? Is it the creation of the map or just rendering the map?

Donít forget that RPOL has upload restrictions so itís far easier to host the image offsite and link it through a media sharing site. I use discord as that is a simple process versus other sites where you have to hunt to get to the actual image hosting link.

I think for Sightless, a specialty program would be better. Something that would script out question and responses. How large is the map area? Is this a wilderness, dungeon, city or other? Based on the setting allow verbal placement of walls or doors based on grid coordinates. It could be done if someone were to approach this with the right mindset.

Sadly, my programming capabilities are mediocre. But I donít think we need laws to overcome the challenge. Instead find a freelancer programmer and have them build it or see if the open source community can take on this sort of project.

Thanks for reading.
bigbadron
 moderator, 16114 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 17:46
Re: Mapping software
1492:
As an aside, your comments make me wonder if we need federal legislation that would do for web site design what the ADA did for building design.

How would Federal legislation apply to websites which aren't based in/operated from the USA?
1492
 member, 39 posts
 I like monkeys
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 19:24
Re: Mapping software
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 13):

Dunno. I was just thinking out loud.

Why do you ask? Is RPoL based outside the U.S.?
bigbadron
 moderator, 16115 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 20:15
Re: Mapping software
RPoL is definitely run/owned outside of the USA*.  As are a vast number of other websites.

*Though I was not specifically referring to this site in my original comment.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:21, Fri 15 July.

1492
 member, 40 posts
 I like monkeys
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 20:45
Re: Mapping software
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 15):

Really? There are websites run outside of the U.S.?
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3411 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 Creative Writing ROCKS!!
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 22:58
Mapping software
I think that the initial question by Sightless was a simple asking for links anyone has or maybe hasnít used but know of that are for map building.  Something that the links would be helpful to both sighted for sightless to look at.  Just give him any the map building site links you know of so they can be checked out and most preferably free sites.

Good question Sightless.  It would help a lot if us to have a list of those sites.
sunrise.archives
 member, 3 posts
Sat 16 Jul 2022
at 09:25
Mapping software

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 10:20, Sat 16 July.

drew0500
 member, 224 posts
 D&D Gamer
 Eclipse Classless
Sun 17 Jul 2022
at 23:49
Mapping software
I found two websites with a simple google search 'link to fantasy mapping software sites' with a great listing of various browser-based software and desktop applications, both free or paid:

1) https://www.mapforge-software....-to-map-making-apps/
2) https://feedthemultiverse.com/...tors-assorted-links/

Between those two sites, I think most people can find something that fits their needs. That was accomplished.

Hope that helps!
Westwind
 member, 90 posts
 "[Sad] is happy for deep
 people" - Sally Sparrow
Thu 21 Jul 2022
at 12:25
Mapping software
https://maptools.com/

All mapping tools come with a learning curve. This one isn't too bad, and there are handy tutorial videos.
drewalt
 subscriber, 126 posts
Thu 21 Jul 2022
at 17:24
Re: Mapping software
Westwind:
https://maptools.com/

All mapping tools come with a learning curve. This one isn't too bad, and there are handy tutorial videos.


I was about to suggest this one because it is tokens on tiles based (not that others are not).  However, if you mouse over the tile, or look at it in certain menus, it identifies the tile.

I am wondering if a visually impaired or blind user couldn't use some kind of reader to get an audio cue of what the token is read out aloud when it was moused over.  There could be technical limitations that would preclude this from working and I would imagine there are.

It wouldn't solve the problem of being able to "draw", but if the user used a certain type of tile for empty space, it might at least give a way to place objects and characters in a physical space in relation to one another.

Another possibility is using zonal movement like FATE (the game system) uses.  Imagine the space in which the action is happening on a 3x3 grid.  I choose a low number so it's possible someone who is not sighted could feasibly keep track of this mentally, but high enough it's still interesting.

Characters, objects etc. could be said to be in the top left, top middle, top right, middle left, center, middle right, bottom left, bottom middle, and bottom right positions.  Characters can attack in melee or hand to hand any opponent in the same position (so two people in the top right together can punch each other).  Characters can be assumed to be able to launch ranged attacks at least one square away, more if the game master believes it makes sense (so someone in top right can throw a rock at anyone on the top middle, top right, center, or middle right positions).

It's not a true "map", but it would give the semblance of tactical positioning on a grid that so many games use just with lower precision.  Essentially it's the FATE rules, but instead of drawing the zones with irregular but sensible lines, it's strictly a grid with as many squares as the gamemaster can mentally make sense of without being able to see it.

And no it's not a perfect solution but I am just brainstorming here.
Sightless314
 member, 35 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Thu 4 Aug 2022
at 13:36
Re: Mapping software
In reply to drewalt (msg # 21):


Table based maps are easy for even a blind person to make, for something where a simple table to amplify text descriptions is needed.  I've, a blind person, have done this. My experience on RPOL thus far, however is that when describing larger land masses, that people prefer actual visual maps, over descriptions. When I describe a map in text, several people always eventually request, and complain when they don't get, an image map.  I can describe the length  and width of a river, the countries it goes through, etc, but eventually, they want that image.
Durgion
 member, 11 posts
Fri 5 Aug 2022
at 00:41
Re: Mapping software
I call that a curse of the sighted. We interpret so much with our eyes, and while it shouldn't put further hardship on you, it is hard for a lot of us to picture exactly in our minds eye what you picture in yours. I find this true, even as a person who can see, when I try to explain something that I haven't crated a map for I always miss details that could be useful, because I know them all its easy to gloss over some of them.

Basically we just need the matrix so we can plug our minds into each other and share the image that way. I know its not helpful at all, but I wanted to put in my two coppers about the situation.