Accessibility Map

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Team Members

Hannah Smith

Zahra Wright

Noah Kastelman

John Gibson (TA)


We are creating an “Accessibility Map” program available to WashU students and visitors. This map will tell you the most efficient route to take while on the WashU campus. This will allow students or visitors to get different places as quickly as they can. It will also be able to tell you the best route if you are handicap by taking out the pathways that are not handicap accessible.



Paths, Buildings, Distances -we will be collecting data to input into our algorithm -this will include routes both handicapped accessible and not


Dijkstra's Algorithm - with inputed data distances, this will compute the shortest distance between a destination and current location


Website ArcGIS - we want to display the fastest route using a website display.


As a group, we will have challenges adapting to a new coding language (python) and adjusting our algorithm, GIS, to match our goals.

We have had challenges using arcGIS as a tool and not as the whole project. Because we have been learning how to use many different new tools, we have become distracted from the goal of making an actual product.

We will also need to figure out how to take the data from ArcGIS and export it so it is available for others to use.

Creating a line on a map so users know where to go.

'Final Product Expectations

  • export arcGIS nodes and lines of WashU's campus
  • enter into shortest route google maps like program

We will create a wheelchair map and a able-bodied map. It will be an option for the user.

ArcGIS will be exported into an excel and the fastest route will be calculated for each possible route. Then a map showing the line from point A to B will be displayed.

Finished Design Description

We noticed a problem here on WashU’s campus, that not only is it inaccessible to those with differently abled bodies, but that it is also hard to navigate in general. Our only point of help in finding your way around campus is our WUSTL app which only shows us where a building is, not how to get there. Our project, titled Accessibility Map, had three main components we set out to accomplish. The first was creating a graph containing nodes at all intersections and possible entrances/exits on campus. During this step we used ArcGIS to create these nodes, and connected the nodes to make paths. We then labeled all of the nodes, which is needed for Dijkstra’s Algorithm.

Our second goal was implementing Dijkstra’s algorithm, an algorithm for finding the shortest paths between nodes in a graph. The graph we created in ArcGIS then needed to be manually transferred into excel sheets, one for each level of accessibility (in this project there were only two levels). Each value gets put in twice because each cell has an origin and destination and the paths go two ways. For the cells with the same origin and destination we put 0 and for the cells where the locations do not directly connect we put 100000 so the paths would definitely not be chosen. Then for the spreadsheet for accessible paths, all the paths with stairs became 100000 keeping everything else the same.

Our final goal was to create a GUI, or graphical user interface, to make this project useable. In the GUI we included an image of a map of WashU’s campus, with numbers denoting the different possible starting and ending locations. We also included a helpful list of names associated with some buildings that are commonly used in case the user was not familiar enough to know where they wanted to go from the image itself. The GUI itself was created with Python, using Tkinter to create some of the user aspects. The previously described characteristics were all stationary and the user could not directly interact with it. However underneath those set images were two drop down options containing the users chosen starting and ending points. Underneath were two buttons, one that would generate an accessible fast route, the other creating a route for those able-bodied. Once clicked, the program would then display an image of the map with the most efficient route drawn directly on it. The code written to accomplish this was one where we found the coordinates of each node, connected those values with whatever route Dijkstra’s algorithm described to take, and would then draw lines on the image. We have included a photo below of what the path drawn on image looks like.

Improvement for the Future

If we had another semester to work on this project there are multiple aspects we could improve. First we could make more spreadsheets to incorporate more types of paths that vary based on what is needed to be cut out. Some people can do stairs but no hills or struggle with stairs but can do a few. Another improvement that could be made is incorporating this for the whole campus. As of now we only have from Olin Library to Brookings. If we made it for the whole school it could be more useful. Last, we could make this a mobile app. That way anyone could use it at any time.

Visuals of Project

User Interface.png Example of Path.png

Gantt Chart

Final Gannt Chart.png


Accessibility Map Poster.png

Link to weekly log