Google maps is set to feature a new mode named ‘accessible places’. The feature will primarily show wheelchair accessibility information and will roll out gradually to Android and iOS users.
“When Accessible Places is switched on, a wheelchair icon will indicate an accessible entrance and you’ll be able to see if a place has accessible seating, restrooms or parking,” Google explains in a blog post. “If it’s confirmed that a place does not have an accessible entrance, we’ll show that information on Maps as well.”
Google designed the feature for over 30 million global wheelchair users with the data taken from its local guides volunteers around the world. The guides have been instrumental in doubling the numbers of accessibility listings for various businesses to more than 15 million worldwide, following Google’s call for assistance in 2017.
“Store owners have also helped, using Google My Business to add accessibility information for their business profiles to help users needing stair-free access find them on Google Maps and Search,” Google said.
“To get wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Maps, update your app to the latest version, go to Settings, select “Accessibility,” and turn on “Accessible Places.” The feature is available on both Android and iOS,” Google said.
The company is also making it easier for iOS users to contribute accessibility information, like in the android version of Google Maps.
“This guide has tips for rating accessibility, in case you’re not sure what counts as being ‘accessible.’ We invite everyone to switch on Accessible Places and contribute accessibility information to help people in your community,” Google said.
Local Google Maps guides often receive a couple of questions to give more accurate information regarding places they visit. This information is helping to update millions of travelers and first time visitors to various places so that they know when and where to visit, and how accessible the places are for them.