Google Maps is launching a brand new accessibility function that lets customers discover wheelchair accessible locations with the push of a button.
“Accessible Places” is a function that may be turned on and off within the Google Maps app.
When switched on, accessible locations might be shortly recognized with a wheelchair icon.
Here’s an instance of what the icon seems to be like:
The icon is so unobtrusive that it’s a surprise why Google wouldn’t choose so as to add it to Maps listings by default.
For now not less than, Accessible Place is a function that must be turned on manually.
Being accessible means the placement has a wheelchair accessible entrance. It can also have accessible seating, restrooms, and parking.
If a spot affords a point of accessibility, however not an accessible entrance, that might be indicated in Google Maps as effectively.
As Google states in an announcement, it’s a irritating expertise to reach someplace solely to then discover out it’s not accessible.
“Imagine making plans to go somewhere new, taking the journey to get there and arriving— only to be stuck outside, prevented from sitting with family or being unable to access the restroom.”
Instead, Google says folks ought to be capable of know earlier than they go, which is what the corporate goals to attain with the brand new Accessible Places function.
15 Million Places And Counting
Google Maps presently has wheelchair accessibility info for over 15 million locations worldwide.
The variety of wheelchair accessible locations in Google Maps greater than doubled since 2017, largely due to info despatched in by different Maps customers.
Another supply of wheelchair accessibility info is retailer house owners themselves, who can present the information instantly of their Google My Business itemizing.
As Google factors out, this replace advantages greater than the 130 million wheelchair customers worldwide, together with the over 30 million Americans who’ve problem utilizing stairs.
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“With this feature “rollout”, it’s simpler to seek out and contribute wheelchair accessibility info to Google Maps. That advantages everybody, from these of us utilizing wheelchairs and fogeys pushing strollers to older adults with drained legs and folks hauling heavy gadgets.
And on this time of COVID-19, it’s particularly essential to know earlier than you go so that you just gained’t be stranded exterior that pharmacy, grocery or restaurant.”
Update Available Now
This replace to the Google Maps app is accessible now on Android and iOS.
To use the function after updating your app to the most recent model, go to Settings, choose “Accessibility,” and activate “Accessible Places.”
Also included within the replace for iOS customers is the power to extra simply contribute accessibility info.
Android customers have already had the power to share this info, iOS customers are getting it now for the primary time.
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With that being the case, the variety of wheelchair accessible locations in Google Maps may quickly develop effectively past 15 million.
Google notes that this replace represents a milestone within the firm’s journey to construct a extra accessible Google Maps.
Other current efforts embody app replace to assist folks discover accessible locations, transit routes, and strolling instructions.
The Accessible Places function is now accessible for Google Maps customers in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Support for added international locations is coming at a later date.