New Delhi, India – According to recent news reported by the Business Standard, the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the Special Edition of Atlas for Visually Impaired (India)” in English Braille. The Braille Atlas has been prepared by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) under Department of Science & Technology.
NATMO is the premier agency of applied Geo-Spatial technology and a specialized institution of its kind in the world. This organization was assigned with responsibility in the field of thematic cartography and geographical research at national level.
NATMO has recently walked ahead to prepare Braille atlases for visually impaired persons. NATMOs long effort from metallic tactile maps to silk-screen printing technology to prepare a full volume of atlas is perhaps unique in the World.
The Minister expressed happiness at the production of these Atlases. He said these atlases will be distributed to various schools across the country for educating the students with visual challenges.Efforts are being made to make these atlases more cost effective than the current price of Rs.600/- per atlas with 20 maps now.
In the Braille Atlas, maps are raised and embossed with simple lines and point symbols to facilitate its users to realize the location and area coverage easily distinguishable in terms of shapes and textures. The legend and reference is placed on the map in Braille script to navigate the map. About 20 maps on different themes of physical, socio-economic and cultural aspects such as river system, natural vegetation, Metropolitan cities, Roads and Railways, Food crops and cash crops have been incorporated in the atlas with write-ups on every map as ready reference.