Map Library

People with vision have instant access to a smorgasbord of digital maps - including maps embedded into websites for navigation purposes and maps used in the classroom for educational purposes. Maps often represent the real world in small, easy-to-digest pieces. Maps can help users travel from one location to another, enable users to explore and learn about an area from the safety of their home, can organize information and can provide data to be analyzed. Maps are often used to build concepts such as mental mapping, spatial relationships, and other critical orientation-related skills. Non-visual digital maps are fully accessible maps that are being used by students for O&M purposes and for educational purposes in mainstream classrooms. Please help us grow the Map Library by sharing your maps!

To Access Non-Visual Digital Maps

These virtual maps are created in Google My Maps. Students with visual impairments or blindness can convert them to non-visual digital maps using SAS Graphics Accelerator, a free extension for Google Chrome. Note: You must use the Google Chrome web browser and must install the SAS Graphics Accelerator extension. SAS Graphics Accelerator can be installed and is fully accessible on Windows and Mac computers. The extension can also be installed on Chromebooks; however, it has not been extensively tested with Chromebooks. The SAS Graphics Accelerator is currently NOT available for iOS devices.

Install SAS Graphics Accelerator for Google Chrome

Once you have installed the SAS Graphics Accelerator extension, select the desired map from the list below. This will open the visual Google map; in the bottom right corner of the Google map, select the Accelerate button. This will open the accessible non-visual digital map.

Screenshot of State Capitals Google Map with an annotated red arrow pointing to the Accelerator button in the bottom right corner.

NOTE: If you do not have the SAS Graphics Accelerator installed, you will be redirected to the page to install the software. If you choose not to install the accelerator, you can still open the visual, non-accessible Google Map. Remember, you must use the Google Chrome web browser!

The SAS Graphics Accelerator maps are non-visual meaning that they will not visually look like the traditional Google Map; these maps are designed to be explored using non-visual methods.

SAS Graphics Accelerator Resources

Editing a Map from the Map Library

Is it possible to edit a map found in the Map Library? Absolutely! In order to customize (edit) a map, you must make a copy of the map.

  • Select and open the desired map
  • Select the More button (3 dots symbol beside the title of the map)
  • In the popup menu, select Copy Map
  • Rename your map and close the popup menu 
  • Edit map 

When you make a copy of the map, the map will appear under the "Owned" tab in your mymaps.google.com. Note: When you open a map from the Map Library, the map is under the "Not Owned" tab and cannot be edited. For details and a video tutorial, go to Editing a Non-Visual Digital Map From the Map Library post.

Teaching O&M Concept Lessons

Photo of Pittsboro's historic courthouse and text, "John's O&M Lesson #1"

While any map can be used for O&M purposes, the maps in this section were created specifically for O&M purposes. Many of these maps have associated O&M blog posts.

College Campus Maps

College campuses tend to be challenging, complex environments with few streets and numerous internal sidewalks. Students transitioning to college often need significant time to learn their college campus. These college campus maps were created to help students learn what is on campus and to develop a strong mental map of campus - and can be used remotely before physically walking on campus. A big thanks to SAS Summer 2020 Interns for creating many of the university campus maps!

Schools for the Blind

Municipalities and Political Boundaries 

Colorful US map with states and capitals labeled

Geographic Features