ARIADNE is our innovative interactive map and remarkably clever. It not only features a tactile surface which can be read by touch, but also includes symbols and regions that trigger audio. ARIADNE works for those with good vision, but is also accessible to those who are visually impaired, bringing empowerment and inclusivity.

ARIADNE is unlike any other tactile map we have seen. It’s easy to maintain, low cost to update and uses the same tactile symbols wherever the map is installed, making then consistent from site to site.  This is possible because it’s the audio that gives local site details

Additionally, the audio on ARIADNE is dynamically managed. The map talks to our servers allowing the audio data to be changed, making it possible to give real time information – anything from opening times, temporary closures with alternative arrangements, to live transport information such as bus, rail or other services.

There are many benefits of installing ARIADNE rather than a plain visual map or a traditional relief map. ARIADNE caters for the needs of all, providing dynamic real-time information for everybody. ARIADNE can help: 

  • provide useful information through audio: for example, live updates about public transport 
  • improve people flow in any public area: by providing clear,  signage which is accessible to all. 
  • promote inclusivity: all parties including those with visual impairment have access to complete information including whether facilities are currently available
  • offer retail opportunities: the map could be used to provide information inside a public space, theme parks or even a large store, with the audio providing latest news such as opening hours, special events or even special offers
  • reducing total cost of ownership : short term changes are handled via the audio, where long term changes are required, the printed map surface can be replaced at relatively low cost 


Running an outstretched finger over the surface of the map will trigger audio descriptions of points of interest. A further tap reveals additional content specific to the last icon triggered. Responses are configured for each map according to requirements: the area of the map can be split up into any number of preconfigured zones relating to features on the map, with different responses linked to each zone.

A key benefit is that because local information is provided by audio, the tactile symbol set can be consistent wherever the map is installed. You neither need Braille, nor even a key (although both can be provided). The audio, and design consistency, make learning the system far simpler than any alternative we know of – wherever a user finds an ARIADNE map, it will perform the same way with the same symbols meaning the same things, but with infinite flexibility in providing the subtle, and dynamic, differences, via audio.



Yes. We’ve been through multiple consultation sessions and revised our designs accordingly. The symbols have been refined to be simple enough, and correctly sized, even for people with diabetes (and desensitised finger tips) to discern.

There are several ways that audio changes can be made. Integration with our Display Administration Suite (DAS), which provides audio support for all our display hardware, means that transport data is updated automatically.

The DAS also provides useful tools:

  • there’s an interface to manage pronuciations of difficult place names that Text To Speech (TTS) tends to mess up – you enter text phonetically and you can audition what sounds right.
  • and there are comprehensive messaging functions.

Some changes are  handled by us because they require changing internal settings, but if that’s a problem, talk to us.

The surface is a sheet of polycarbonate with the tactile features printed on to it using a special raised print process. We usually manage any changes to make sure it is done right (it’s all too easy to get it wrong and there are some backroom tasks we have to manage), but we’ll work with your design teams if you prefer. Either way, changing a surface is no great problem and not nearly as expensive as most tactile map technologies. Changing the surface sheet on site is quick and easy.

The background image can be anything you like, it could even be an LCD panel showing video if you want, though of course you’d want it to work with the map, not against it!

Absolutely. You could even design one yourself, though you’d need to work with us to ensure the end result will work with the technology. But size, shape, orientation etc can all be changed to suit your needs – provided that the end result will also suit the needs of the user of course.

You don’t even need a plinth. You could use a much smaller display panel mounted vertically, perhaps to giver local information or a smaller map. It’s very versatile.

Yes. ARIADNE works alongside all our own transport and display hardware which you can read about on other pages, but if you are thinking about adding it to another vendor’s system, it may depend more on their hardware and software than ours – we’ve never failed to work with third party interfaces where the third party interface is up to the task. So exactly how this could work will depend on what the other system is and how the data is made available. But we have the capability, so give us a call.


Nexus Alpha USA supplies real-time information systems for use in public transit. Follow us on social media, or please use the contact form to get in touch.

Nexus Alpha USA
T: +1(727) 286 9909 F: +1(727) 538 4237
A: 4500 140th Avenue North, Suite 101, Clearwater, FL 33762