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High tech maps help mobility impaired iron out the rough spots


A growing number of local councils are using advanced mapping technology to ensure wheelchair-bound residents and others with limited mobility are able to get around to local facilities easier.

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Sunshine Coast Council is the latest local government to employ the technology to track the best routes for mobility-impaired travellers.

The project will involve local “pilots” employing mapping devices installed on their wheelchairs to assess and record things like the condition of footpaths and accessibility problems.

The data will then be uploaded onto the council’s website to provide up-to-date navigational maps for those with limited mobility.

Brisbane City Council, Townsville City Council and transport authorities in other states have undertaken similar projects.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said his council had partnered with mapping company Briometrix and Spinal Life Australia to undertake the project.

“People with limited mobility, whether permanent or temporary, often find it a challenge to move around the Coast due to a lack of maps and way finding information about accessible routes,” he said.

“That’s about to change.”

The program will recruit “pilots” Bevan Kearsley, Dane Cross, Lachy Chapman and Kay Maclean to move around the region and collect data on footpath conditions, public transport and parking, boardwalks, beach access and the like.

“Once the data goes live on our website, each and every one of us can find our best path, given our needs and ability,” Jamieson said.

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