Google Maps Makes Wheelchair-Accessible Locations Easier to Spot

Graphic: GoogleIn honor of International Accessibility Consciousness Day, Google’s including a long-overdue characteristic to its Maps app that places particulars a couple of location’s accessibility services entrance and heart.With the “Accessible Locations” characteristic enabled, enterprise and factors of curiosity with wheelchair-accessible entrances are marked with a wheelchair icon together with details about whether or not accessible seating, restrooms, and parking can be found. Beforehand, all that info was tucked away in a location’s “About” menu, which customers must navigate to for each vacation spot individually. “With this characteristic ‘rollout’, it’s simpler to seek out and contribute wheelchair accessibility info to Google Maps,” Google Maps software program engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn mentioned in an organization weblog publish Thursday. “That advantages everybody, from these of us utilizing wheelchairs and fogeys pushing strollers to older adults with drained legs and other people hauling heavy objects. And on this time of COVID-19, it’s particularly vital to know earlier than you go so that you just received’t be stranded exterior that pharmacy, grocery or restaurant.”To show the characteristic on, customers can head to the app’s “Settings” menu, then navigate to “Accessibility Settings,” and toggle on “Accessible Locations.” Per Thursday’s weblog, it’s first rolling out to customers in Australia, Japan, the UK, and America with help for added nations “on the best way.” At present, Google Maps comprises accessibility info for greater than 15 million locations worldwide. As for the way it amassed this compendium, you possibly can thank good, old school legwork for that. After a name for contributors in 2017, 120 million customers posted updates on Google Maps concerning the presence of wheelchair-accessible services. For reference, any registered unit can log an replace—simply go to the “About” web page in a location’s description and faucet “Describe this place.” As a part of this newest replace, this course of ought to grow to be rather a lot simpler for iOS customers as nicely, Blair-Goldensohn mentioned.An estimated 130 million folks worldwide are wheelchair customers and roughly 30 million Individuals mentioned they’d issue climbing stairs or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches, or walker in response to the final nationwide census.