California’s outline is easily recognizable to most of its inhabitants. Our eyes have traced it on countless maps since at least our fourth-grade California history class. But how is the state’s geography represented for those who cannot see?
How is the state’s geography represented for those who cannot see?
This Braille map, furnished by map curator Chris Salvano of the California State University, Northridge, Geography Department Map Library, augments the state’s familiar silhouette with Braille identifiers for its geographic distinctions. Though understanding Braille isn’t required in order to grasp this map, it does force us to consider it from a unique perspective.
Fittingly, The Braille Institute of America is located within the state's borders, its headquarters spanning an entire city block at 741 North Vermont Ave. in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1919 by J. Robert Atkinson and has continued to expand ever since – unlike California's boundaries, which have remain fixed.