Mapping Mobility in Stockport
09-23, 10:30–10:50 (Europe/Berlin), Großer Hörsaal

In early 2019, Open Data Manchester teamed up with Stockport council, Disability Stockport
and Age UK Stockport to crowdsource data around mobility and accessibility in the town centre. This talk will cover the mapping methodology, findings, difficulties and solutions, as well as suggesting ways in which we can better map for these communities, making the data collected for OSM more inclusive and accessible for all.

In early 2019, Open Data Manchester partnered with Stockport Council on a project called ‘Mapping Mobility Stockport’, funded through the ODI Geospatial Fund. Working with Age UK and Disability Stockport, the project crowdsourced data about accessibility issues in Stockport, drawing on the lived experiences of people with mobility impairments to supplement data already available to the council.

The municipal environment often includes barriers that exclude people with restricted mobility. These barriers may be the result of natural topography, historic planning, deterioration of the urban environment or planned and unplanned maintenance. Some of the barriers may not be known to the local authority.

People with mobility impairments are on the frontline when it comes to negotiating these obstacles, and often have their own knowledge and strategies in negotiating and circumventing them. This is a resource that could be invaluable in helping others who face similar challenges, as well as helping local authorities identify where interventions need to be made.

One of the aims of Mapping Mobility Stockport was to begin to map and find ways to continue to share these strategies.

Using our Joy Diversion format as a basis, Open Data Manchester co-designed and ran a series of workshops with Age UK and Disability Stockport, which brought together different techniques and mobility strategies contained within the local community to enable people of all abilities to explore and map their environment.

We used large, hi-resolution maps of Stockport to scribble on and sketch out routes, before taking to the streets to document, photograph and map the kind of things that these communities come up against on a daily basis. This information was then added to Stockport Council’s mapping system and Open Street Map, helping create a mobility map of Stockport.

This talk will explore how we collected this data, sharing some of the findings and insights from the project, such as how what is useful for one disability can be problematic for another (such as tactile paving, which is useful for those with visual impairments but can be problematic for a wheelchair user). The talk will also explore the difficulties that arose out of this when categorising and tagging these features, and question whether more needs to be done in terms of mapping the streets and sidewalk.


Creating a mobility map of Stockport town centre

Talk keywords

mobility, accessibility, mapping

See also: slides (23.7 MB)

Sam lives in Manchester, but is originally from London. He’s had nearly 10 years working in various tech for good companies, including Time/Image, which digitised the British Council film archive, and working for Code Club in its early days. He is currently developing the Open Data Manchester programme, delivering workshops, training and running events.