Google is doing its best to make Google Maps more useful to the differently abled. In December 2016 Google added a new layer of information designed to make Google Maps more wheelchair-friendly. And now Google is asking us all to help make Maps more accessible. Yes, even you.
Google Maps is one of those apps and services we all take for granted these days. So much so it’s incredible to think that Google Maps didn’t even exist until 2005. Now, many of us use it every time we step outside, especially if we’re embarking on a journey to somewhere unfamiliar.
If Google Maps is useful to the able-bodied, imagine how useful it could be to differently abled individuals. The only problem is actually adding the information pertaining to the accessibility of different locations to Google Maps. Which is why Google is crowdsourcing that particular element.
Turning to Google Maps Users for Help
Google has already added accessibility information to seven million places around the world. However, as outlined on The Keyword blog, Google has now hit an impasse which it needs your help overcoming. And all you need to do is add the accessibility information for places you visit.
If you’re using Google Maps on Android, just open the app, navigate to the main menu, and then tap “Your Contributions”. Next, tap “Uncover missing info” and sort the listings by “Accessibility”. Here you’ll find nearby places whose accessibility information you can fill in.
The options you can mark for each location include “wheelchair-accessible entrances,” “wheelchair-accessible elevators,” “wheelchair-accessible seating,” and “wheelchair-accessible parking”. Essentially, Google wants to be able to inform wheelchair users exactly what to expect.
Only Android users can add this information, with no plans to open it up to users accessing Google Maps via iOS or the web. However, it should be noted that once the information has been added to Google Maps on Android it’s visible to users across all platforms. Which makes sense.
A Little Local Knowledge Can Go a Long Way
Google Maps is already an invaluable source of information. But if everyone contributed just a little of their local knowledge it could be even better. And not just for those of us who don’t have to worry about accessibility issues, but for everyone regardless of their physical condition.
Do you use Google Maps? If so, how often? Have you ever contributed information to Google Maps? Are you in a wheelchair? If so, will you be making use of this new information regarding accessibility in different locations? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Kent Slade via Flickr