Google has announced the deployment of a particularly useful functionality in its web mapping service, which will make it much easier for wheelchair users to see accessibility information.
The new feature is very easy to use. Once the “Accessible Places” option is activated in the mobile application’s settings, Google Maps will display wheelchair icons to indicate locations with disabled access. Clicking on the icon will bring up further information about accessible seating, toilets and parking.
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Google already has information on wheelchair accessibility for more than 15 million locations around the world, mainly thanks to the participation of contributing Internet users, and it is this information that can now be permanently displayed in Maps. It should be noted that anyone can contribute information on disabled access to the service directly from an Android or iOS smartphone.
To take advantage of the new functionality, download the latest version of Google Maps, go to settings, accessibility, and activate “Accessible Places.” The new feature is rolled out for both Android and iOS in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other countries will soon follow.
According to Google, almost 130 million people worldwide rely on wheelchairs to get around.