Aggie Accessibility Mapping Challenge

TxGIS Day, 2016

This year we are yet again bringing hands-on GIS data collection to the masses. In collaboration with Texas A&M Disabilities Services, Texas A&M Facilities Coordination, and Texas A&M Transportation Services, we are hosting the Aggie Accessibility Mapping Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to locate, document, and assess features of the Texas A&M campus that make our university grounds and facilities accessible (or inaccessible) to all current and future Aggies and their guests. This event is proudly sponsored by the following organizations:

Throughout the course of the three-day long GIS Day event(s), any GIS Day participant will be able to locate and record accessibility features including curb-cuts, wheelchair ramps, elevators, power-assisted doors, etc., using with their own personal cell phones through the official TxGIS Day iOS and Android apps.

The project team is seeking to gather features of campus that are positive aspects of campus accessibility, as well things which may be barriers to Aggies with mobility, vision, hearing or other limitations such as those using wheelchairs, crutches, baby strollers, canes, or other mobility assistive devices.

If you see something positive, take a picture of it and send it in. Positive things include but are not limited to:

  • Buttons at building entrances to power-assist opening doors (that work)
  • Elevators in buildings
  • Wheelchair ramps to enter buildings
  • Curb cuts to allow people to exit a sidewalk down to street level without having to step down from the curb
  • Bumps (rumble strips) on sidewalks which inform pedestrians with vision impairments that they are leaving a sidewalk and entering a traffic area
  • Chirping traffic signals that inform pedestrians with vision impairments that a walk signal is illuminated and it is safe to cross an intersection

If you see something negative, take a picture of it and send it in. Negative things include but are not limited to:

  • Buttons at building entrances to power-assist opening doors that don't work
  • Stairs to enter buildings
  • Intersections that do not have curb cuts from the sidewalk down to street level
  • Intersections where you cross traffic that do not have rumble strips
  • Traffic signals that do not have a chirping feature


Great prizes will be awarded to first and second place entries!

*  Prizes provided by the TAMU Office of Facilities Coordination and the Friends of the Sterling C. Evans Library


While we encourage everyone to download the app and submit data, only current TAMU graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to win.

Rules, Participation, and Winners

In order for a chance to win, participants will be required to have an active GIS Day account. Using the official TxGIS Day Competitions App, users will report any and all features of the campus that they find which are examples of things which either increase or decrease accessibility on the TAMU campus. Find them on main campus, west campus, riverside campus, anywhere that you think is TAMU land and submit them.

The participant with the highest number of verified submissions at the conclusion of the GIS Day event will be awarded 1st place.

Winners will be awarded with prizes generously provided by Texas A&M Facilities Coordination. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 13 at the Student Awards & Closing Remarks session.

  • First Place: Space Gray iPad mini 4 (128GB, Wi-Fi)

Project Information Sheet

Why Is This Study Being Done?

The purpose of this study is to leverage the data collection abilities of the 2,500+ TAMU faculty, students, staff, and visitors who participate in the TxGIS Day events per year to gather data for increasing the quality and efficiency of services provided by the university to all Aggies and their guests. Each year, the GIS Day planning committee organizes a GIS Mapping Competition where GIS Day participants gather data (GPS, photos, and other attributes) of amenities and services on campus. You are invited to participate in these data collection efforts!

Why Am I Being Asked To Be In This Study?

You are being asked to be in this study because you have a relationship with Texas A&M either as a faculty or staff member, a student, or a visitor.

How Many People Will Be Asked to Be In This Study?

The study organizers hope to engage 2,500 study participants per year for each of the four years of the project. We will contact 50,000 people per year (roughly the number all TAMU students, faculty, and staff) in order to achieve these participant numbers for each year of the project.

What Are The Alternatives To Being In This Study?

The alternative to being in the study is not to participate. Participation in this study is not mandatory, and non-participation will not impact you in any fashion.

What Will I Be Asked To Do In This Study?

You will be asked to walk around the TAMU campus and take pictures of a variety of things. In 2016, you will be asked to locate and take pictures of features which are positive aspects of accessibility (ramps, power-assisted doors, elevators, curb cuts, etc.) as well as features which could negatively impact an individual’s ability to get around campus (broken power-assisted doors, cracked ramps, etc.). In future years, the organizing committee will survey different aspects of the TAMU campus.

Are There Any Risks To Me?

The things that you will be doing are no greater than the risks you would come across in everyday life. While collecting data, you will be submitting your location (actually the location of the thing you are collecting about), which could expose the locations that you collected data at, should these data be stolen. Other risks include a breach of confidentiality should study information about you (name, email, TAMU department, and TAMU classification) be stolen.

Will There Be Any Costs To Me?

Aside from your time, there are no costs for taking part in the study. Your participation can take any amount of time up to seven days (the full length of the week around GIS Day), but we expect that most people will participate for less than two hours.

Will Photos, Video, Or Audio Recordings Be Made Of Me During The Study?

Photos, video, and audio recordings will not be taken of you as part of this study.

Will I Be Paid To Be In This Study?

You will not be paid for being in this study, but there will be an award given to at least one of the participants who will be selected at random from all participants who create accounts. Creating an account is not mandatory. You can participate anonymously without creating an account, but in this case you will not be eligible for winning prizes (since we won’t know how you are!!).

Will Information From This Study Be Kept Private?

The records of this study will be kept private. Any personally identifiable information you submit during the course of creating an account will be removed from the data when it is used in publications or presentations. You may choose to submit data anonymously, in which case no identifiable information will be collected from or about you.

Research records will be stored securely in the College of Geosciences data center located in the basement of the O&M Building, and only Dr. Daniel Goldberg, other members of the project team, and TAMU IT data center staff will have access to the records. Representatives of regulatory agencies such as the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and entities such as the Texas A&M University Human Subjects Protection Program may access your records to make sure the study is being run correctly and that information is collected properly.

What If I change My Mind About Participating?

This research is voluntary and you have the choice whether or not to be in this research study. You may decide to not begin or to stop participating at any time. If you choose not to be in this study or stop being in the study, there will be no effect on your status, grades, employment, or relationship with Texas A&M University, etc. Any new information discovered about the research will be provided to you. This information could affect your willingness to continue your participation.

Whom May I Contact For More Information?

You may contact the Principal Investigator, Daniel Goldberg, PhD, to tell him about a concern or complaint about this research at 979-845-6395 or

For questions about your rights as a research participant; or if you have questions, complaints, or concerns about the research, you may call the Texas A&M University Human Subjects Protection Program office at (979) 458-4067 or

TAMU IRB Approvals