Campus Accessibility Analysis
Texas State University contracted GeoTex to create a comprehensive system of accessible routes covering the core of the campus and suggest the creation of new routes and infrastructure to allow further access. The unofficial nature of the existing route map made it necessary to check the routes that had already been laid out and create new routes as well as suggest the location of additional infrastructure to improve accessibility. Without these the campus would remain a daunting obstacle for students with disabilities and inhibit their ability to be a part of the Texas State University community.
The purpose of this project was to make navigating the campus as easy as possible for persons with disabilities by providing them with clear and easy to understand maps of accessible routes throughout the university. Beyond just showing where routes are present, different levels of difficultly are indicated on maps to further ease the planning of navigating between buildings.
GeoTex wanted to know the slope of any and every wheelchair accessible ramp on the Texas State University campus. In order to obtain this information, members of the GeoTex team walked the campus, tested, and recorded the slopes of all the wheelchair accessible ramps. In addition to recording the slope data of the campus wheelchair ramps; GeoTex recorded the location data with a Garmin eTrex GPS unit as well.
The Garmin GPS point data was converted to an ArcMap shapefile using a program called “DNR Garmin”. Once a shapefile had been created, the locations of the points were checked for correctness by comparing the shapefile to notes collected in the field and satellite imagery. Next, routes were drawn (using ArcMap's “Edit” toolbar) between each point with every point representing either the top or bottom of a ramp. Slope data collected manually in the field determined whether the ramp was classified as having a shallow Green Slope (0-5% grade), medium Yellow Slope (5-10% grade), or steep Red Slope (greater than 10% grade).
The summation of GeoTex’s work is an accurate, easy to read, and clearly defined wheelchair accessibility ramp map with color-coded routes. GeoTex strongly believes that this map will greatly assist all persons with disabilities in navigating Texas State’s hilly campus.