Google Expands Wheelchair Access Mapping

Offering prizes and status, Google wants to motivate Maps users to add information about wheelchair accessibility.
September 14, 2017, 9am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Google is looking to expand information about accessibility for the disabled in its maps by recruiting "local guides." As Linda Poon reports for CityLab, "Google Maps already indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible—a result of a personal project by one of its employees—but its latest campaign will crowdsource data from its 30 million Local Guides worldwide."

These guides can upload tips and information relevant to accessibility, such as: "Does the building have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms?" or "Are there wheelchair-accessible elevators?" In exchange, guides will receive prizes like additional storage space.

Access for the disabled it still far from ubiquitous, and specifying it on Google Maps may spur further changes. See recent debate around wheelchair access to transit and ride-hailing services in New York.

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Published on Monday, September 11, 2017 in CityLab
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