Google Maps is now Wheelchair-friendly
Google Maps now shows an option if a place is suitable and accessible for the people on wheelchair support.
It is a policy of Google that employees spend 20% of their time in a week on some side project, unrelated to their main jobs, to come up with some innovative idea. Some of the famous applications like Gmail, Google News and AdSense were started as part-time projects initially.
Not many employees work on their 20% time now, but a Product Manager for Google Drive, Rio Akasaka has been working with his team on expanding the Google Maps capabilities for the past year. He wanted to make sure that even those with access needs get benefit from this.
He collected information from ‘Local Guides’ for months. Local Guides is a global community of explorers around the world who share their discoveries, photos and reviews of news places in town, in order to help others find those places. For their services, they get points and other exclusive benefits from Google.
Akaska said that this might seem like a minor change but it will help not only the people in wheelchairs and with disabilities, but also the parents with their children’s prams, people with canes and others. The option ‘Wheelchair accessible entrance’ is available in ‘Amenities’ tab of the app.
Google Maps application is a mapping service provided by Google through satellite imagery. Users can locate any place they want to visit and get directions on the Maps. Also, pictures, reviews, guidelines, time to reach in traffic and information about the opening and closing times is available.
This feature is available only in the United States for now.