With the new feature for highlighting accessible locations, Google Maps has become more friendly to people with disabilities than ever before.
Here are a few of examples of what will be shown in the new version:
- Accessible entrances to businesses and points of interest
- Accessible bathrooms
- Automatic doors
- Other features for people with disabilities
For those who use a wheelchair or other conveyances, this will make life much easier.
Google has been collecting locations’ accessibility data for a couple of years.
We first had the chance to get a glimpse of the new feature on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
If you want to give it a try, open up the Maps app on your smartphone and navigate to the ‘Settings’ section.
From there, tap ‘Accessibility settings’ and ‘Accessible places’.
This will turn on the new feature, which you can toggle on or off on demand.
While the feature is active, your Google Maps searches will feature a small icon of a wheelchair to mark the buildings and points of interest as friendly to people with disabilities wherever applicable.
If you want to find out more about the accessibility features pertaining to a specific address, you will be able to do so in the details section.
However, there is a small drawback: although you will be able to see what accessibility features are available at a certain address, you will not be able to drill down their exact location.
This would have made a world of difference when trying to determine the ideal drop-off spot, for example.
The accessibility data is not created automatically and it does not come from blueprints.
Rather, it depends on us, the users, to provide it.
To do so, navigate to ‘About’ in the building’s location and tap ‘Describe this place’.