Google Maps Increases Visibility of Wheelchair-Friendly Locations

Ruben Fields
May 23, 2020

Google Maps has been offering wheelchair accessible information for years, but it's only now adding the new setting to prioritise seeing this information within the app. This new feature will display wheelchair accessibility information more prominently, with a wheelchair icon appearing where accessible entrances are available, along with information on whether the chosen place has accessible seating, parking and restrooms. From there, you should see a new option called "Accessible Places".

Google has added another new feature to Maps and Search, with key and essential workers now able to search for safe, discounted accommodation in the U.S. and UK.

Google maps is set to feature a new mode named "accessible places". When someone searches for a hotel on Google Search or Google Maps, they will see new tips indicating the properties that have special policies for COVID-19 responders, as well as a new filter to show only those hotels with such policies.

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.

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"That benefits everyone, from those of us using wheelchairs and parents pushing strollers to older adults with exhausted legs and people hauling heavy items".

But to make the feature even better, it's up to business owners to update their listings with accessibility information about wheelchair access, something Google encourages store owners to do. You would also be able to know if a place has a wheelchair accessible bathroom along with other amenities, and what's more is that places that are not wheelchair accessible will be marked as well which is the sort of thing that can really end up improving the lives of those that need wheelchairs in order to get around. Google has a guide on how to update locations with accessibility data at this link.

Accessible places will initially be implemented for Google Maps users in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the US. Google says support for more countries is on the way, but hasn't provide a timeline or any further details.

Google Maps application that runs on an iPhone.

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