Principal Investigators

Jon A. Sanford, M.Arch & Subhrajit Guhathakurta, Ph.D.


Gordon Zhang, PhD, Sarah Melgen, MPH


Outdoor environmental barriers, such as uneven sidewalks and missing curb cuts, can significantly impair pedestrian mobility, especially for people with disabilities. To better inform the public of these barriers, we developed the Application for Locational Intelligence and Geospatial Navigation (ALIGN). The mobile device app is designed to enable individuals to avoid these barriers by intelligently identifying routes that are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and abilities. For example, if a wheelchair user specifies a need for curb cuts on sidewalks, the app will guarantee a route with the most curb cuts available.

The ALIGN app is unique in that it uses the following technology:

  • Real time dynamic data collection (traffic, crime, weather, etc) An algorithm that creates routes based on user needs instead of time or distance.
  • A program that identifies barriers that were previously unrecorded (e.g. benches, street lamps, crosswalks, etc.)
  • A user-tested universally designed interface that caters to low vision, low hearing, and low mobility users. 

Available on the Apple App Store.

ALIGN App Screenshots

ALIGN app home page ALIGN app preferences selection screen ALIGN app route selection screen Preview of step-by-step navigation on ALIGN App

ALIGN Video Tutorials


Select Publications

Sanford, J. A., Guhathakurta, S., Melgen, S., Zhang, G. (2018). Utility of a mobile route planning app for people aging with disability. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Universal Accessibility in the Internet of Things and Smart Environments (SMART ACCESSIBILITY 2018), 12-17. 978-1-61208-622-4

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