Proposed Features/audio beacon

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Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: overflorian
Tagging: information=audio_beacon
Applies to: node
Definition: A permanent box that plays audio to help blind people for indoor location or guidance
Drafted on: 2015-04-21


An audio beacon is a system that allows blind people to find their way autonomously inside a building.

Audio beacon.gif

It is a speaker that plays a pre-recorded audio message when a blind person is around. The blind person carries a wireless remote control that allows the system to plays the audio message. These remote control are often free or very cheap from the public building operator or from the city council.

You can find such an equipment mostly in public places. It is for example very common in French railway stations.


I propose an audio beacon is described with information=audio_beacon. Indeed this system is a tool providing information to blind people the same way that the following tags are:

Moreover the tag information=* is extensive and there is already a very rich variety of commonly used keys: see Taginfo

For now, none of the pages OSM_for_the_blind and Disabilities do mention any tag describing an audio beacon.

What this is not

The tag information=audioguide describes "a place where you can get information using headphones or a mobile phone."

Therefore it should not be used to describe an audio beacon that is part of the building itself.

Features/Pages affected

The audio beacon is always used in combination with tactile_paving=* and therefore should be always part of a tactile paved way:

This is logically and physically consistent: an audio beacon is on a tactile_paving=* way and the fact that it's part of the its way is useful for routing purpose too.

How to map

information=audio_beacon should be detailed with:

Message type

  • audio_beacon=location when broadcasts location messages e.g. "you are at the reception"
  • audio_beacon=guidance when broadcasts guidance messages e.g. "turn left to go to the ticket shop, turn right to find the exit"


This tag should only apply to nodes: it's just a small box.



For now it's just a first draft. I will add pictures and provide a tagging example and may add some more precise tags. Comments are very welcome on the discussion page.