Sorry to have to post a whole new question, couldn't figure out how to reply to past post (will leave category unchecked in case that made it read-only).
Thanks to ctDave for the clarification that ROL will continue to read all the elements in a pdf if grouped into a figure element.
So just to make sure I totally understand, there is no element that would stop ROL from reading all the little pieces of text on my map?
ctDave also wrote: "To properly tag a PDF such real content requires that it be provided appropriate PDF Tags (elements) that observe the correct tag semantics which are discussed in ISO 32000-1..."
I don't understand this... do you mean I have to go in and tag each individual element in my maps?
What would anyone recommend as the best way to make maps that have been saved as pdfs 508 compliant?
I'd step back and ask the question "Why are all the number/symbol thingies there anyway? What's their purpose?"
If they provide no semantic meaning to an end-user with no disability (vision or otherwise) then one would output a map that did not contain them.
If they actually belong with the "map" and provide meaning/data for understanding/what-not then they support the document semantics.
If a document is to be accessible then document components that support the "meaning" of the document are to be tagged (with the proper PDF tag).
An alernative is to develop an image of the document (map) that is placed in PDF. The Figure element with appropriate alternate text is provided.
The Alt text can be something basic/introductory along with a means of contact to a person who can assist the individual having a disability (say a vision impairment) to understand the document (map).
n.b., this is a standard protocol for any electronic content that has not been delivered Accessible or cannot be delivered Accessible.
It can result in greater overhead so providing "Accessible" is often less costly and of greater efficacy.
In the PDF you could individually select the number/symbol thingies that are deemed to be meaningless blivets and designate each as an Artifact.
(Use TORU's "Background" button). Of course, on a map, number/symbol thingies actually do convey semantic meaning so doing this can trick Full Check but does not result in an Accessible PDF.
Fortunately the ISO Standard for PDF/UA (ISO 14289-1) is in "Final" status is expected to be "on the street" later this year.
This Standard establishes what is an Accessible PDF (i.e. WCAG 2.0 for PDF is ISO 14289-1).