Game of thrones - Tactile maps for the blind and visually impaired

Posted by Eric Scheibler at August 13, 2017

I'm a great fan of the TV series Game of Thrones and the books it's based on. In cooperation with Jens Bornschein from the TU Dresden I've created tactile maps of Westeros and Essos and made them available for download . Be aware, you need a braille printer or similar device to produce tactile maps.

Currently the 7th season of Game of Thrones is running and outright in the first episode we see a big and still incomplete map of Westeros. Its creation was ordered by no lesser than Cersei Lannister. I suspect her point in doing so is to be able to better explain the threats facing house Lannister from all sides.

As a blind fan my understanding of that worlds geography is limited to the information I could extract from the books descriptions. To obtain a better overview in regard to the locations of the great house's homes, I took this as an opportunity to crate a tactile map for my own use. I asked Jens for help, because he was at the time part of project TANGRAM at TU Dresden, focused on interactively creating tactile maps and images for the blind.

We took the map template from gameofthrones.net and had a brief discussion on which objects to include. Then Jens drew the contours of the continents and placed the POI, while I reviewed the progress on a 2-dimensional braille display.

Together we created these two maps:

  1. A landscape format world map containing Westeros and Essos. (unfortunately there was no space left to include Sothoryos)
  2. A portrait format map of Westeros, including the most important POI.

The maps are available in SVG format, each containing a second page detailing the abbreviations used.

We offer two sets of maps:

If you have access to a ViewPlus braille printer please download got_maps_viewPlus-tiger.zip. It produces the best results and should be easy to use.

Alternatively you can try got_maps_print.zip. This package is mainly intended for swell paper printers. The results are a bit less accurate but it still may give you a principle understanding of the worlds geography.