To commemorate world accessibility awareness day, the search giant is adding a long-overdue feature that allows pedestrians to effectively locate wheelchair-accessible routes
The latest update on Google Maps is aimed at supporting the physically challenged persons who make use of wheelchairs. Although, long-overdue, the new feature called “Accessible Places” will pinpoint “businesses and points of interest with wheelchair icon, alongside detailed info on the availability of facilities such as accessible seating, restrooms, parking space among others”.
If you are familiar with Google Maps, you must have come across related-feature on the app’s “About” menu. Formerly, users have to specifically navigate for each destination individually, however, with the new update, it is much more convenient to search out the wheelchair-accessibility information. Likewise, business owners with wheelchair facilities can easily update necessary information to Google Maps.
Speaking on the rollout of the new feature, Google Maps Technologist, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn writes in a blog post that; “With this feature ‘rollout’, it’s easier to search out and contribute wheelchair accessibility information to Google Maps,”
“That benefits everyone, from those people using wheelchairs and fogeys pushing strollers to older adults with tired legs and folks hauling heavy items. And during this time of COVID-19, it’s especially important to grasp before you go in order that you won’t be stranded outside that pharmacy, grocery, or restaurant.” Blair added in the post.
As for the release of the new feature, Google Map users across Australia, Japan, the uk, and America will be initially graced with the update, while it will spread across other locations in the coming weeks. Although, there is no claim yet as to whether the Africa region will be benefiting from the update.
Over the last couple of years users of Google Map around the globe have updated the map with information containing accessibility information. Since the tech giant incorporated contributors back in 2017, more than 120 million accessibility information regarding wheelchair-accessibility facilities has been added on the platform.
With the new update in place, there is more hope of effective navigation for the estimated 130 million wheelchair users across the globe
To make use of the new feature; got to your map settings and locate the “Accessibility Settings,”. Turn on “Accessible Places” and you are good to go.