>> So let’s go ahead and proceed to our next presentation, Making Maps Accessible in PDF Documents. Please join me in welcoming Rob Haverty, who serves as the Senior Product Manager for Adobe. He’s been here the last couple of times, past couple of years to provide a presentation, so looking forward to this one. Welcome, Rob.
>> Thank you, Sid.
>> Thank you all very much. As Sid mentioned, I’m from Adobe, and I am a Senior Product Manager for our Document Cloud Accessibility. So to kind of unpack that a little bit - because that’s just a bunch of kind of nonsense words - my job is to make sure that our products like Acrobat and Adobe Sign, and I work on InDesign also, are as accessible as possible. So we make them accessible so they meet 508, and then also making it easier for you to use those products to create accessible documents. I’ve been involved in accessibility for over 20 years now. I was at Microsoft for 18 years before coming to Adobe, and I do have to say that I now have another reason why I love the Department of the Interior, and I understand a little bit better with your guys’ focus on diversity and in hiring. You’re one of my best partners to help me improve our products. I will hear from someone who might be, use speech recognition, and they’re like, oh, I can’t navigate this or I can’t do this function with my speech recognition tool. And that helps us, so we love hearing from you. So today we’re going to talk about maps, and there’s no other way to put this than it’s scary, okay? Maps are probably almost the hardest thing. Charts and graphs are hard too, but maps are particularly challenging from an accessibility standpoint. So we’re going to go through - if I can get my device to work - there we go. We’re going to go through a number of things. I’m going to talk very briefly about some of the basics of PDF accessibility that are tools that you need if you’re going to make a map accessible. I’m not going to demo those. This is one of the great things again that DOI has done. You have many, many, many recordings of my presentations and materials available to you on your internal servers, and so you can go out and learn these techniques on your own. And also - sorry?
>> They can contact me if they want those links.
>> Oh, and they can contact Sid if they want those links. And I’m actually going to point out somebody else, who I didn’t tell her I was going to point her out, but Regina in the front row. She works for Sid, and she’s going to be working on developing this PDF accessibility training for DOI. So you will have many more things. I did a two-day training yesterday or the last two days on training trainers, and Regina was there, and I hope I’m pronouncing your name right. And so we’re going to work together to make sure that you guys have the best training possible. So we’re going to talk a little bit about the refresh. We’re going to explore some different maps. So we’re going to look at different types of maps that you might have to deal with. And then we’re going to talk a little bit about, well, what kind of a message should I put on this map? What is accessible? What is compliant? Really, when you come down to it and you’re doing maps, it’s generally an image. Certainly in PDF it is an image. So you’re really adding all text. So in some respects, it’s no different than thinking about an image. But maps are much more complex and frequently convey much more information. So how do you make that consumable? So we’re going to talk about that. So goals today, just understand the complexity of maps. You’re going to get all kinds of different maps, and you’re going to have to wrap your head around the fact that, oh, this one I can only do this with, and this one I can do more with, and what can I do that is best? And what’s the best I can do? And then we’re going to learn some approaches, all right? So let’s talk a little bit about the basics. This is always, always, always, always true, and I never do a PDF accessibility presentation without talking about the source document. The more work that you can do in the source document to make it accessible and then convert it to a tagged PDF, the better your chances are of having an accessible PDF and the less work you have to do. This is also true with maps, and we’re going to see as we go through figuring out how to make a map accessible, there’s work that you can do in the source document before you get to the PDF that will make that easier. One of the techniques that I’m going to show today and that you’re going to need to know is how to create a tag and select content in order to tag that. When you’re dealing with very complex maps and you have a lot of information, you’re going to want to break stuff up. And that means you’re going to have to create some new tags. You’re also going to be creating artifacts. These are things that you don’t want to show up and you don’t want the screen reader to announce. One of the maps I have had I think 4,000 individual identified pieces to the map. I’m not going to touch all 4,000 individual pieces. That’s just nonsensical if you can’t visually see the map. And so I’m going to have to artifact some of those and get them out of my way. And then adding alt text, and there’s a couple of ways that you can add alt text to images. In the maps, you’re usually dealing with them one on one because you really need to understand the context of that map and how it’s being used in the document. And so you can go to a tool where you can go through and you can alt text every single image in the document. But I typically do this on a one by one when I’m dealing with maps. All right. I was going to do a little demo here and have some questions, but based on time, I think I’m just going to skip that because I know all that material is already available. And I’m going to skip questions for right now and we’ll do them a little bit later. All right, so we’re going to start looking at some maps. Whoops, I lost my folder. There we go. All right. We’re going to start simple. Whenever I’m doing PDF accessibility, I always start simple because I don’t want to scare you too much to start off with. When we talk about tables, I’m going to give you a simple table before I give you one of those horrible nested tables with all these nested headers and all this stuff. Same thing with maps. All right, so here’s a relatively simple map. And all it is doing is showing the location of the Rio Grande National Forest. So if I hover over this map, I think - nope, not getting that. All right, that’s okay. So when we’re dealing with maps, again, it is essentially a figure, and you’re going to have to go and find the figure in the document. And as I’ve hovered over the figure, I’ve selected the figure tag. Well, the first time I selected it - there we go. We’ll go a different route. I can right-click. Down here in properties, I can go into the properties and I can see what the alt text already is. So in this case, for this map, the alt text says, map showing location of Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado. Okay, that’s not bad. That’s okay, you know? Not the end of the world. It gives some information that I know that the Rio Grande National Forest is in Colorado. It’s going to be hard to do much better than that in this case. However, we’ll go into the next map. And in this case, it might prove a little better to actually give a little bit more location information. So what I’ve said here is map showing the Rio Grande National Forest in Southwestern Colorado. So at least I have some positioning. To give more than that for this map, which really is all it’s showing is that, you don’t have any cities other than Denver. You know, I could say - it’s kind of irrelevant to say it’s southwest of Denver because I’ve already said it’s in the southwest part of Colorado. So this is about as good as I can get in alt text of a map of this type. It’s an irregular shape, so I can’t even give real boundaries or corners or anything like that. This would be considered okay. The other one was fine as well. I just like to give as much information as I can. So this is a basic, simple, map. All right, let’s start moving up the chain on maps. All right, this one I like. Now, this one when I hover over the map, I get the alt text showing up there. And today, this map says complex map showing Kirtland’s Warbler distribution and frequency by township in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada. And then it gives the map years, 2005 to 2012, for assistance, call, and you have a phone number. That’s awesome, because the reality is in most maps, you can’t give all of the detail. We look at this map here, and there are a ton of little tiny squares that indicate how many singing males in each township, okay, of the Kirtland’s Warbler. And you just can’t give that information. So giving that alternate information of, oh, there’s a number I can call if I want to know more information - that’s compliant. That’s pretty darn good. All right. So let’s take a look at this map and how I might change it slightly. Another approach, you might want to just provide a little bit more information that the squares are providing. And so instead, I’ve said, complex map showing Kirtland’s Warbler distribution and frequency by township in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada for the years 2005 to 2012. Remember before, it had just parenthetically 2005 to 2012? You need to be thinking when you are doing alt text and when you are doing maps and things like that - we tend to focus on screen reader users. We think, oh, they’re the only ones who use alt text. And a screen reader user, the only screen reader users are people who have visual impairments. Well, that’s not true. People with cognitive impairments also use screen readers. And so giving, thinking about it cognitively, adding that for the years gives me more cognitive information. Then, I’ve said, the greatest number of singing males are found in the lower Michigan Peninsula with the second most in the upper Michigan Peninsula, and then, for assistance, call. Okay? So I gave a little bit more. It’s like, okay, I know that there’s an area that has the greatest number of them. And it gives me a little more. Because if I look at the map - actually, I had trouble finding it. I was like, wait a second, where’s the one in Canada? And it’s way over here. There’s only one little tiny one in Canada. So I don’t really care about the one in Canada, you know, for my description in my map, because it just isn’t enough information. And there’s actually very little over here in Wisconsin. So Michigan is kind of the place, and so you just want to highlight that. You want to give the most relevant information. The other thing that you can think about with maps - and I do this with charts and graphs all the time - is sometimes, either preceding or following the map, or maybe somewhere in the appendix, there’s a whole lot more textual information about that map. It may actually list out each of the townships and how many singing Warblers there are. In that case, I would put on the map, see details following the map in the document, or something like that. So the idea is to give people as much information as you can without overwhelming them and without overwhelming yourself in creating this information. Now, it just so happens in Acrobat there isn’t an upper limit on how much you can put into that alt text. The sort of rule for alt text is it should be as complete and as concise as possible. So we’re kind of balancing two things there. Well, concise is one word. Complete is a whole document. So where do I go between that? I want to figure out what that’s going to be. Now, some products, when you’re putting alt text on them, there’s a limit. There’s an upper limit, like 256 characters or 512 characters. So you can do more in Acrobat than you can in some other products. I’ve been speaking nonstop for three days, so I’m losing my voice. Okay, so now we’ve got the Kirtland Warbler map. Let’s move down to one that is a little bit more complex, the Catahoula - and I probably completely pronounced that wrong. But the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge. I’m going to make this a little bit smaller so that we can get most of this map on here. Now, if we go back over to our tag tree and we find our figure for the map, which that isn’t it. Those of you who do this fairly regularly and are working in Acrobat, you may notice down at the very bottom there, there’s a pink outline on the no hunting zone icon. It’s kind of hard to see where it’s positioned. Up until Tuesday, that was a blue border. The blue border was really hard to see when you had a black border or an image or a map, and so I changed it to this kind of bright fuchsia pink that shows up pretty much on everything except maybe pink. All right, so let’s find our figure. Sorry about that. I thought I had it set sooner. Oh, there it is. All right, so we can see sort of the pink border that goes around that. The blue would not have shown as well. So what I know from that, because there’s a border and having looked at - this is going to be a problem. Can I get a handheld mic? I think there’s one over here. Oh, there’s not. Can I get a handheld? Sorry about that. Yeah, he’s got it. Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t expect to do this, but it works better this way. All right, so I have the border around the whole map. Now, because I’ve gone through the tag tree over here, I have found out that the legend in the map is also part of that image. Once it’s part of an image - once you have text that is part of an image, depending of course on how it was created - and in this case, it is just one flat image - I can’t get to it. There’s nothing I can do to tag that. So it is invisible to a screen reader or to an assistive technology. So the solution for that would be to go into the alt text. Properties. Okay, so this was the original alt text. It said, refuge hunting and fishing map. Now, think about that for a minute and remember what I told you about people with cognitive issues and even people who are using screen readers. Refuge hunting and fishing map. Well, what refuge? I mean, if I just landed on this, I don't know that it’s Catahoula, and I don't know that it shows the Headquarters and Bushley Units. I don't know anything. All I know is that it is some refuge somewhere in the world and it has a hunting and fishing map. So there’s clearly more that we can do with that one. So let’s go and take a look at what our choices are here. And we’re going to resize that. All right, wow, lots of words in this one now. They’re kind of tiny. Oh, actually, they don’t look too bad up here. All right, so I have first of all said this is the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, which is at the top. But I might have gotten to the map not having gone and read through the document. So I need to repeat that information. Of the Catahoula Headquarters and Bushley Units, and then because there’s no way that I can provide the information about the legend or what this map might show, I have actually listed out everything in the legend, including indication of sign in sign out stations, HQ building, refuge, parking areas, fishing pier, boat ramps, observation tower, walking trail, et cetera, et cetera. Okay, so there are a number of other things there too. The Archie Structure, in holding, wildlife drive, seasonal ATV trails, year-round ATV trail, refuge vehicle roads, and I’ve fallen off the thing there. French Fork Road, Muddy Bayou Road, powerline, known hunting zone, private areas, and Catahoula boundary. All right? So now if I come to this, I know that, oh, this map provides a whole bunch of information. So I’m really interested in the fishing pier. So now I can ask someone, where’s the fishing pier? Because now I know there is a fishing pier. So providing as much information as you can to make it as useful as possible for people to then follow up. It’s like, I want to know what’s in here so I know how to follow up on that map. All right, now we get to the really ugly one, and it’s the only one that’s not federal. This is from my state, the state of Washington. And I do have to say that one of the other things I love about the DOI and coming to the DOI buildings is coming from Seattle Washington, we’re really big on recycling and composting. And I think you guys are the only federal buildings that have the compost and the recycle, and I love that. So it speaks to my heart. All right, so let’s take a look at this map. You take the tag tree, and I’m going to select - there we go, all right. So here’s how I got the map. And this is the one that has the 4,000 different little things all identified. British Columbia, it managed to identify each letter individually. There’s all kinds of stuff on this. Okay, it’s a map. I don't care about all of that. So the first thing did - and I’m going to go back to the platform mic. The first thing I did was delete all of these tags that have to do with the map. And so I can sort of go down my tag tree here. And you’ll notice the lovely pink box is now around municipal stormwater permits, shoreline management plans, et cetera, et cetera. I want to keep that. That’s important stuff. I go down to the next one, and now I start getting stuff that’s in the map. I’ve got the Salish Sea; I’ve got British Columbia. I’ve got some other stuff. I want to get rid of all that for the moment, because it’s going to make my life simpler. In this case, because there are so many of these. If there were only a few, I would use those. And we’ll talk about what I mean by “use those” in a minute. So I can actually go over to the order panel, which kind of gives me the order of the - there we go - the information. And I can see that number one is the northwest region. Number two is the information about municipal stormwater permits. And number three is when I start into those selected things. I can hold down my shift key, and I can down arrow down, and I can start selecting. And actually, I’m going to have a problem with that one. Let’s get out of here for a minute. There we go. All right, I didn’t want the pink boundaries. It kind of messes up the tool there. Okay, so now we’re going to scroll down. And you can see as I’m scrolling down the tag tree, it’s giving a blue shading on the map for each of those numbers, okay? This is a really quick and simple way to get rid of a whole bunch of tags all at once and artifact them. So I’m going to artifact them, so I’m just going to right-click, and I’m going to say, tag as background artifact. And it’s going to redraw my map. This one was built in layers. And I go back into this, and we’re going to notice that after municipal storm drain, the next thing is the O in British Columbia. I didn’t - that’s how far I went, okay? I go back to my tag tree, you’ll notice that Salish Sea at the very top left there no longer has a pink box around it. So it’s gone. I’ve gotten rid of it. All right, so we’re going to go into one that I’ve already gotten rid of all the stuff. And I’ve partially fixed it. So now remember, at the very beginning I talked about this concept of being, of needing to be able to create tags. So I got rid of all those things. But because they used to have boxes around them, the tool knows that those things still exist. So if I go down to - and you can barely see it, because this is horrible. It does not meet the contrast requirements whatsoever. The word Snohomish right here and about the middle is one of our counties. And I can go down there and I can create a tag for that. And I’ve probably already done that. And you will see that, so when I select this figure tag, I have one at the very top, and I’ve kind of - I really only wanted to select one thing, and it wouldn’t let me. So it selected several things. Don’t care, and we’ll talk about why I don’t care in a minute. And then I go down to the next one and I’ve selected Whatcom, for Whatcom County. Then before that, I selected San Juan for San Juan County, which is over on the left of the map out in the water, because those are islands. And then I have Skagit County, and then I have Island County. So I’ve manually selected those and created those figure tags. So now I have something I can work with. So what do I want to tell people about this? Well, let’s scroll down here for a moment in the map, and there’s a legend down at the bottom. I think I’m going to increase the font size on that for a moment, or the size on that for a moment. That was probably too big. All right, so there’s a legend down here at the bottom. This gives me a clue as to some of the stuff I might be interested in. Now, remember on the previous one with the Catahoula Refuge, the legend was in the image and so I spelled all that stuff out in the image. This one is not. This is separate and will be tagged separately. But I still might want to spell some of that out in the image, because it’s showing me where things are. And I might be able to give some of that information. So the first thing I want to do is we go back to our map. What’s the purpose of this map? Well, the purpose of this map is to show the northwest region in Washington State. [LAUGHS] I wondered why that was showing for me. Thank you. He just turned the monitor around in the room so people in the back can see a little bit better. All right, so it’s showing the northwest region in the state of Washington. So I don't care about British Columbia. I don't care about the Salish Sea. You can barely see it, but over here on the left of the map, there’s Clallam County and there’s Jefferson County. All of those are outside the boundary of the northwest region, so the only thing I care about is what is in the northwest region of this map. So the first thing I’m going to do with my, create my figure first. And why I say it doesn’t matter how many things you’ve selected, the screen reader user isn’t going to necessarily see what’s selected here, all right? And when you’re reading through it, you’re not going to see these selections. All you’re going to do is get to a figure and it will say, image, and then it will read the alt text. And so in this case, I’ve said, map showing the northwest region of the state of Washington, which includes Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit, Island, Snohomish, and King Counties. Great. I know there are, count quickly, six, five? Oh, I left Island out. Oh, I left Island out of that. I cheated. San Juan, Skagit. Oh no, there’s Island. Okay, sorry. So there are six. Six counties in the northwest region. That’s the information I want to know about the map in general. Then, because I can in this case - now remember, in some of the maps we saw before, there was no way for me to tag individual things in the map. The one for the Rio Grande National Park, I couldn’t grab anything in the map to add anymore information. This one I can. So I’ve created my second figure, and I chose the word Whatcom for Whatcom County, and now, I can go into there, and I can give much more detailed information. Here’s the balance that comes in again, concise and complete. But I had enough by looking at the map that I knew that Whatcom County’s northwest ecology office, which is where the star is, is just south of the town of Bellingham. I’m going to actually make this a little bit bigger. Come on. There we go. Oh, you still can’t see it. That’s okay. All right, well there’s Bellingham with a little green box below it, and there’s my star that shows my northwest ecology office. Let’s bring up our - all right, so I have said Whatcom’s County northwest ecology office is just south of Bellingham. Whatcom County has - now I’m looking down at the legend again, and I’m saying, what are all these things that are indicated? Okay, so one of the things that is indicated is the NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permits, and these are the green boxes, and so they have Birch Bay, Ferndale, Lynden, and Bellingham all have those, so I’ve listed that in my alt text. It has Shoreline Master Programs for, and that’s the little red triangle. I don’t need to say that it’s a red triangle, because I’m going to get down to the legend later, and it’s going to give me that information in the legend. So in the map, I’m just going to say it’s got these Shoreline Master Programs for Blaine, Sumas, Nooksack, and Everson. Now, when we look at the next icon is for spill response equipment caches. And you’ll notice that that’s the little kind of raindrop icon. And there’s a bunch of them, and each one has a bunch of information. Like this one here says it has boom equipment and OSRV and a skiff and a bunch of stuff, all right? It’s also kind of just sticking out there in the middle of nowhere. So I have nothing to tag that to verbally. I can’t really pin that to anything. And because there was so much information, this is one of those where I’m running that balance between concise and complete, and so all I said was, there are spill response equipment caches in the region, period. You want to know more about that? You can find that out, but that’s it. And then the Puget Sound Initiative site cleanups in Bellingham Bay - that’s this little green stripy thing, and Municipal Stormwater Permit areas are also indicated. Because again, that was one of those things that it was kind of nothing to me to tag, hang it onto, all right? So I’m going to do that for each county. So now when I get to this map, the first thing it’s going to say is that it is a map showing the northwest region of the state of Washington which includes Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit, Island, Snohomish and King Counties, and then the next image that I get to is going to say, Whatcom County includes all of these different things. And then it will go to the next county in the list. And so you will be able to go through each one and know, oh, Skagit County doesn’t have any caches, or it doesn’t have any municipal permits, water management permits or whatever. Because it’s not in the list. So I can tell people what is there, and then you can do that comparison. So simple to complex, balance between concise and complete. Don’t overwhelm people, but don’t under inform them. And as I pointed out in one of the previous maps where they actually had a phone number that you could call, if you do have a support line or you have a resource where people can go to talk to someone and say, hey, I want to go to the fishing pier in the Catahoula refuge; how do I get there? And maybe they have a map app that actually has that detailed out, and so it will be able to take them there. But they will know to look for it. So it’s provide them with as much information as you possible can. All right, we’re going to go back to this screen. Maybe. Come back. Okay, so we looked at maps. We made them accessible. Now, when you’re thinking about maps, you’ve got to think about this kind of loosely, this definition of accessible, because the Rio Grande one, somebody might complain and say, well, this isn’t accessible because you don’t give me enough information. And it’s like, yeah, but that’s all the relevant information I can give you. And on the last one we did, you may have someone complain because, well, you didn’t give me the precise location of everything, and other than having a map that gives me the geocoordinates, I really can’t do that. And that’s kind of not valuable. Or they may say, oh, that’s way too much information; I’m overwhelmed. All right? So you’re always going to be playing this balancing game, and know that you can’t make everybody happy. You can make some of the people happy all the time, but you can’t make all the people happy all the time, all right? So you’re going to have to kind of bear that burden. I wish I could give you something really magical, and I will tell you, if there is anybody who tells you, we have the magical solution, you put your PDF through our tool and it is 100 percent accessible and you don’t have to do anything, they are lying to you. I don't know any other way to say it then that they are lying to you. Because there is nothing that does that. There are many standards that you need to meet in the web content accessible guidelines that - don’t get confused by the word “web”. They apply to all content, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s on the web or not. There are many standards or requirements in there that have to be manually checked. The best tools on the planet will only do about 30 percent of those requirements, so there’s a lot that you have to manually do, because a tool can’t understand the logical reading order, or it can’t understand the local order for tabbing through a form or navigating through a form. So all that currently is manual. Now, there’s hope on the horizon that if you are someone like me who your whole life is around PDF accessibility, that I will be out of a job, because Google and Microsoft and IBM and Adobe are all doing lots and lots of research on artificial intelligence. And at Adobe, well, we’re a document company amongst other things, and so we’re doing a lot of artificial research on understanding the context of a document. So then, we can look at an image. Already, lots of people can look at an image and give you all the stuff that’s in it and throw that into alt text. But it’s usually not useful, because that’s not what you want in context. We’re looking at trying to figure out in context, what is this map about? And we’ll get to the point of where it will autogenerate this kind of stuff. Five to ten years, if we’re lucky. Although, technology does advance really, really fast. So, questions? And I stole the mic. [LAUGHS]
>> Actually, Rob, I’ll lead off with questions from the field.
>> And I do just want to say, I’ve had a hard time answering these, because I was at Rob’s train the trainer class, and I know some of them. But he’s here, so the first question is, the point designating something as an artifact is so 508 equipment ignores it, is that right?
>> Yes, so that is correct. So if you make something an artifact, then the assistive technology like a screen reader, it will be invisible to it. One example I always use on that is - so you create a lot of documents, and you happen to love butterflies, and so you like to put butterflies on your documents. Your document happens to be about brook trout, but you put butterflies on it. Well, butterflies have nothing to do with brook trout, so I’m going to artifact all those images because they’re irrelevant to understanding the context of the document.
>> And as a follow up on that, is there a place readers can go to read the artifacts if the individual is interested, or is that only available to the developers?
>> So that’s a really good question. Once you artifact something, it is gone from the tag tree, which means it is no longer accessible to any assistive technology, and there’s no way you can ever get to it. It’s still there visually. When you artifact something, it doesn’t affect the visual impact of the document. It only affects the information that’s being provided to an assistive technology. So no, there is no way to get back to something as a reader once it’s been artifacted. If you wanted it, I could go in my tool and I could find it, and I could select it and I could retag it, and now it’s back in the reading order.
>> Okay, we’ve got another question asking how the 4,000 tags got there.
>> [LAUGHS] That’s a really good question, and I actually unfortunately don’t know the answer to - well, I know how they got there. So I took the original map and I auto tagged it, so I said, generate the tags for structure for this. Now, whoever had actually originally created that map had created it in such a way that each individual item was a separate part of the map. So it wasn’t a solid image. It was a layered map, and it had a whole bunch of stuff in it, okay? And so that’s how they created it. And so when I tagged it, it grabs anything it sees. And so then you have to get rid of all of those. Now, they may have created that map as an image, and then we’re back to the Catahoula Refuge where, nothing I can do to break this out. So all I could do in that point is say, hey, this is a map of the northwest region, these are the counties, and you’re going to find these things in some of the counties. And I’m stuck. Yes. So it’s kind of nice. Actually, one more thing. It’s nice the more tags you have, because the more you have, the more you can do with it. I’m okay with 4,000 tags because I can get rid of them fairly quickly. Better than only one, and then I’m stuck with only doing one.
>> And the next one from the field is, apart from image quality concerns, is there a reason to prefer an illustrator or EPS file, which picks up all of those tags over a flat JPEG or TIFF image, as that saves them from having to delete the tags?
>> Yeah, so we kind of answered that. But it kind of depends on the purpose of the map. If the map is really simple, then I would probably just do an image of the map. But you might want the illustrator map with all of these different elements in it if you want to be able to break those out. So it really just depends on what you want to do with that map. In many people’s worlds who are working in PDF, you don’t have the ability to actually go from the source document. You’re just given the final thing, so you have to deal with what you have. If you can go to the source document, then sure. Get it set up in the way that will give you the information you need in order to be able to make that map as accessible as possible. So one other thing I want to say, I want to mention, just because Jesse had said that he could answer most of those questions - probably all of them, because he took my two-day training. The Department of the Interior as an agency, in my experience, has more experienced people and trained people in doing PDF accessibility than probably any other agency in the government.
>> There are many agencies that have lots of trained people, but I’ve been working with Sid and Keon and other people in the Department of the Interior for the last two and a half years, and I look out in the audience and I recognize lots of faces. So I know - I can make everybody raise their hand, yes, I’m an expert. So you have a lot of resources within. You are also the only department that I know of that has the trainings recorded and available for you to watch. So leverage your people, okay? Okay, any questions in the room? So I either totally nailed it or totally baffled you. All right, then. Well, so - oh, one more in Jesse there?
>> Yeah, can the map caption be presented to the assistive technology before the map image, as it seems that much of the alt tag is repeating the caption?
>> So that’s a great question that really comes into alt tags for any image. The rule of thumb that I go by is if the alt text that you would put on an image mirrors exactly the caption, the information in the caption, then I’m going to artifact that image, and it will just read the caption. Typically, at least - and it kind of depends on how you create your captions. When I do it in Word, it always says figure 1 or figure 2, and then I have the caption. And so the screen reader user knows, oh, there’s an image, and this is the information. If it does not - and in this, even if it’s a little bit different, like if you had the caption said Catahoula National Refuge, or maybe the other one’s better, the Rio Grande, where it just says, The Rio Grande National Park - that’s not enough information in that alt text. And so it’s okay if there is some duplicative information. Alt text is read as part of the image, so the assistive technology will get to the image and say, image, oh, I’m on an image. And then frequently, there will be nothing else, and so then the screen reader user will go, well, great, what is that image? That’s why we put the alt text, so you know it’s an image, and it’s about this. But there’s no way to disassociate the alt text from the image. This kind of comes back to what I was saying at the beginning, is if you already have all that information in the text of the document, then the alt text you might want to put on that map or that image is see the information preceding the image or following the image or whatever. Sometimes, I have documents where I just artifact the image because it’s a visual representative of all the text that was just given me, and I don’t need it. It’s useless. And remember, when you artifact something, it doesn’t disappear from the document. It’s not touching the document. It’s only touching that thing called the tag tree where we have the structural information. Oh, question. I finally suckered somebody in the room to ask a question.
>> Hi, Daron here. So I run the web for DOI, and understanding - I’ve been to one of your trainings down at the DHS. But the majority of the issues I have with maps are my users, my authors placing those maps as images opposed to in PDFs. Generally, we don’t go into their PDFs, and they’re responsible for making sure the PDFs are 508 compliant. So what I took from you is that I should highlight the specific part of that map, what the author wants the users or the audience to know, and that’s what they’ll place in the alt text?
>> Correct, yes. So when you have a map that is a total image, all you can do is figure out what’s the most important thing about this? What is the author trying to convey with this map, and then put that in the alt text, exactly.
>> Okay. And I often have those same images that would have like we talked about the legend. You talked about the legend. Should they also talk about each one of those items that they’ve placed in the legend as well that are relevant to what they’re wanting the audience to know?
>> Yeah, so as we saw in the Catahoula Refuge where the legend was actually part of the image, I listed every single thing in that legend in the alt text so the people would know, these are the things that are here. Otherwise, there’s no way to get it. Now, if the legend is repeated in text somewhere else, then I might not do that.
>> But the idea is to give people the intent of the map in the alt text.
>> Okay, great. Thank you.
>> Yeah, great questions. All right, well I think we are done. I am going to be here in our little table for the rest of the afternoon, so if you have more questions, please feel free to contact me. Let’s go back in here for a moment. A couple of other things actually, I should point out. I do webinars regularly, and they’re free, so you can just sign up for the webinar. They’ve also been recorded, so you can look at the recordings. You have your own recordings internally as well. I have another two-day training coming up in the fall in Colorado. I do that every year at that conference. There are in the deck - and Sid will be posting the deck so you have access - you can get to other resources, one of which is me. You guys are all my new best friends, so it’s the only way I get best friends anymore is come and talk to people. So there’s my email. You can always email me. I love to get complex and troublesome things. I ask four things of you if you send me an email. What version of Acrobat Pro DC are you using? DOI has the most current. You guys are awesome. In fact, some people updated on Tuesday in my class, and they have the one that came out on Tuesday. What version of the source document are you using? So if it’s Word, are you on Office 10, Office 2010, or are you on Office 2016 or whatever? Send me the source document if you can, and send me the PDF. Now, if all you have is the PDF to send me, that’s fine. If you can’t send me the PDF for security reasons, that’s also fine. You can still contact me. I work a lot with the DOJ, and they’re like, yeah, we can’t send you the document. So then we figure it out. So thank you and enjoy the rest of the conference.
Making Maps Accessible in PDF Documents