Category Archive

Touching the News

Touching the News

Topical tactile graphics: get your hands on the pictures making the news!

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Graphics Gallery

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

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How big was that iceberg that broke off Antarctica in February?

How big was that iceberg that broke off Antarctica in February?

Map of antarctica with braille labels, detail map of Antarctica and iceberg with braille labels.

Tactile map 1: Antarctica Map

Description: Map of Antarctica with scale lines, showing longitude lines, Antarctic Circle line, and location of Halley VI Research Station.

Tactile map 2: A-74 Iceberg Map

Description: Detail map of Antarctica showing A-74 Iceberg location, with scale lines, lat/long lines, location of Halley VI Research Station, and labels for Weddell Sea and Brunt Ice Shelf.

Source: NOAA, USA Today, Space.com, British Antarctic Survey.

The A-74 Iceberg covers about 1,270 square kilometers. Cities with similar areas: Phoenix, US (1,230 sq. km); Los Angeles, US (1,215 sq. km); Wellington, New Zealand (1,388 sq. km); Delhi, India (1,483 sq. km); London, UK (1,579 sq. km). Source: The Measure of Things.

Download Maps

ZIP folder contains files for producing 2 tactile maps on 8.5 x 11-inch paper:

  • PRNs for ViewPlus Columbia / Delta, APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet;
  • PDFs for Swell, Microcapsule or PIAF;
  • Reference PDFs with corresponding large print text (not for tactile production).

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

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Suez Canal Maps: Where was the Ever Given stuck and what is the main alternative route?

Suez Canal Maps: Where was the Ever Given stuck and what is the main alternative route?

two maps of suez canal, detail of Egypt and route through Asia, Africa, Europe

Tactile map 1: Alternative route for shipping while Suez Canal blocked

Description: Tactile map of shipping route using Suez Canal and route around Cape of Good Hope. Routes connect Rotterdam, Netherlands to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Additional information not on tactile graphic:

  • Using Suez Canal: 10,000 nautical miles, 18,520 km, 25.5 days (avg speed)
  • Around Cape of Good Hope, 13,500 nautical miles, 25,002 km, 34 days (avg speed)

Source: Suez Canal: Ships stuck in ‘traffic jam’ as salvage efforts continue, BBC.

Tactile map 2: Suez Canal, Egypt: Red Sea to Mediterranean Sea

Description: Tactile map of Suez Canal from Red Sea to Mediterranean Sea, showing location where Ever Given hit right bank of canal.

Source: Suez Canal: Owner of cargo ship blocking waterway apologises, BBC.

Related podcast: Tug Life: The story of the small boats helping reopen the Suez Canal.

Download Maps

ZIP folder contains files for producing 2 tactile maps on 8.5 x 11-inch paper:

  • PRNs for ViewPlus Columbia / Delta, APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet;
  • PDFs for Swell, Microcapsule or PIAF;
  • Reference PDFs with corresponding large print text (not for tactile production).

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

Vote on next week’s graphic

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Sign up to receive tactile graphics files to print at home and surveys to vote on the next week’s tactile graphic.

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What does Flattening the Curve look like?

What does Flattening the Curve look like?

Flattening the curve graph, two curves increasing and decreasing along x-axis, with braille labels.

Title: Flattening the Curve.

Description: Graph with three lines, x-axis label: Time since first case, y-axis label: Daily number of cases. The first line is a tall curve labeled “Cases without protective measures,” starts at the origin with its peak high on the y-axis. The second line is a short curve labeled “Cases with protective measures,” starts at the origin, with its peak about 25% height of the first line and further to the right (more time since first case), the top just reaches the third line. The third line labeled “Capacity of the healthcare system” is straight and horizontal at the lower portion of the graph, about 25% up from the origin.

Source: Flattening the Coronavirus Curve, The New York Times,

Download Graphs

ZIP folder contains files for producing tactile graphics on 8.5 x 11-inch paper, landscape:

  • PRNs for ViewPlus Columbia / Delta, APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet;
  • PDFs for Swell, Microcapsule or PIAF;
  • Reference PDFs with corresponding large print text (not for tactile production).

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

Vote on next week’s graphic

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Sign up to receive tactile graphics files to print at home and surveys to vote on the next week’s tactile graphic.

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Printing Instructions for TTN Graphics

When you download you Touching The News graphics, you will find a ZIP file containing a PRN and PDF files. How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

TTN graphics are designed to be printed on ViewPlus Columbia or Delta, or similar: APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet) and capsule paper (or Swell, PIAF, Zychem). The braille font and raised lines are specific to each embosser or tactile printer. Results may vary if printed on a different embosser.

All files are for 8.5 x 11-inch paper (letter size), landscape or portrait, depending on best fit.

  1. Open PRN in Tiger Viewer or Tiger Designer, available with embosser driver.
  2. Settings are embedded in the file, including paper orientation.
  3. Print (ctrl-P or ctrl-F, depending on printer).
  1. Open the PDF (Adobe recommended). Send to printer. In print settings:
    • Ensure the paper size is 8.5 x 11 (or letter).
    • Check that the paper orientation matches the file (landscape or portrait).
    • Print at 100% or Actual Size. Do not “fit” or “shrink to fit”.
  2. Print.

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Daily US COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered as of March 23

Daily US COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered as of March 23

increasing line on graph with braille labels

Tactile graphic title: US: Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered, Dec 21, 2020 – Mar 23, 2021

Description: Braille graph with a plotted line increasing along the x- and y-axes, dipping a few times, reaching just over 2.5 million in mid-March. X-axis is Date (December 21, 2020 – March 23, 2021) with markers for Jan 1, Feb 1, and Mar 1. Y-axis is doses, from 0 to 3 million. Note that this shows number of doses, which may be different than number of people vaccinated, depending on vaccine.

Download Graphic

ZIP folder contains files for producing tactile graphics on 8.5 x 11-inch paper, landscape:

  • PRNs for ViewPlus Columbia / Delta, APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet;
  • PDFs for Swell, Microcapsule or PIAF;
  • Reference PDFs with corresponding large print text (not for tactile production).

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

Source: Our World In Data (also includes data by state)

Vote on next week’s graphic

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Back to Touching The News main page