Accessible descriptions for mapping pages

This article is for Citizen Space Geospatial. Please speak to your customer success manager if you are interested in learning more about it.

The accessible description is designed to provide information for respondents who are unable to use the map on a mapping page, for example people using screen readers.

You should use the accessible description to communicate additional information to what is already written in the page description.

The following will be discussed in this article:

Page description

The page description provides all users with an overview of what the page is for and what action they should take. 

Screenshot of Edit Page with the Description section highlighted..

For example, if we use this example of a mapping page that displays the public toilets across Bristol. 

Screenshot of a mapping page showing the public toilets across Bristol.

The description of the page reads:

'We want to know if there are enough public toilets in Bristol. Before we find out about your usage and where you think there might be a need for more toilet availability, we want to show you where the existing toilets are.

This map shows the existing public toilets across Bristol.'

This sets up the page use and the general overview of what the map shows. 

Accessible description

The accessible description provides an alternative method for communicating information that is otherwise only shown on the map.

Screenshot of Edit Page with the Description section highlighted..

Use the accessible page description to include additional information about the data on the map. In this case, that is the location and name of each of the toilets we've included in the map layer.

Screenshot of the text version of the mapping page showing the list of public toilets across Bristol.

The accessible description reads:

'The map shows Bristol with the following public toilets marked as a layer on top of the map.'

And then lists all the public toilets and the addresses.

Tips for writing accessible descriptions

  • Describe the area shown on the map and reference the type of map that's being used (Ordnance Survey, OpenStreetMap, etc.).
  • Include any extra information that you've added to the map, for example layer attributes (in this example, the opening hours of the public toilets and if there are disabled facilities at the locations were included).
  • Try to have all the info on the page rather than linking off to other pages.
  • If you are asking a mapping question and there is more information that you expect people would need, consider adding the information in a fact bank component on the accessible version of the question.