Google Maps just launched a new feature called Accessible Places that lets users find wheelchair-accessible places in the Maps app for both Android and iPhone. When turned on, Google Maps will now show you if a place has an accessible entrance as well as accessible parking, seating, restrooms, or elevators. And if a place doesn’t have an accessible entrance or parking, Google will let you know, too.
The new feature which prominently provides wheelchair accessibility information for more than 15 million places worldwide, was built with the help and dedication of more than 120 million Local Guides and others, including business owners, who attended Google’s call for help back in 2017.
You can also help make this information more robust by adding accessible wheelchair locations anywhere in the world or editing a business’ accessibility attributes. Simply go to the “About” section in a location’s description, click on “Describe this place” button at the bottom of the page, and add your two cents. It’s worth noting that both iOS and Android users will have the ability to contribute accessibility information to Google Maps.
In a blog post, Google said that with Accessible Places, it is aiming to help over 100 million wheelchair users worldwide and more than 30 million “Americans who have difficulty using stairs.”
How does it work?
When switched on, a new wheelchair icon in Google Maps will indicate accessible entrances, parking, restrooms, and seating.
This is how it works. First, update your app to the latest version. Then go to Settings, select “Accessibility settings,” and turn on “Accessible Places.”
As mentioned above, the feature is available on both Android and iOS devices.
The new feature is available in the United States, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, but Google says support for additional countries is on the way.
What do you think about Google Maps’ new accessibility information feature? Share your thoughts in the comments below.