Tag Archive

Touching the News

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.

Back to Touching The News main page

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

Sign up

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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LightHouse Introduces “Touching the News”

LightHouse Introduces “Touching the News”

Have you ever been reading a news item or watching it on TV, and thought to yourself: “I wonder what that picture is?” Ever witnessed a meme on social media go viral and want to get your hands on it to really understand what it is? As people who are blind or have low vision, we are surrounded by visual information there is no other way to experience without somebody else interpreting it for us, usually by describing it verbally. That, of course, is great. We love and appreciate the thought and effort that goes in to doing that. But what if you were delivered, into your mailbox, a tactile graphic associated with a news story. So you could then emboss it yourself, or have it raised on swell paper?

That very thing will be coming to you in the next couple of weeks. You will also get the opportunity to choose from a list of proposed graphics each time, and the one with the most votes will be the one produced that week.

You might find yourself thinking: “I wish I could get my hands on one of those Oscar statues”, well, now you just might, even without being at the Academy Awards. Space travel might be your obsession and you’re itching to know what the helicopter is like that recently took off from and landed on Mars.

There will be more in the coming days but if you are interested in subscribing to this new free service, send an email to ttn@lighthouse-sf.org.

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

Back to Touching The News main page