Back in December, Google finally added accessibility details to Maps. It was a long awaited addition, but an extremely welcome one for the more than three million people in the U.S. who require wheelchair accessibility. As we noted at the time, however, the available information still left a lot to be desired. Maps has currently collected accessibility the necessary data for virtually seven million places, but even with databases like Wheelmap, there were still some pretty big gaps across the country.
This week, Googles looking to speed the process up a bit by crowdsourcing the dataset. Now Android users to be able to open up Google Maps and enter that info for a locating themselves. The related information is located under the Accessibility tab in Your Contributions. From there, users can add information about whether a place has a wheelchair accessible entrance, elevator, restroom and more.
Once added, that information will be available through Google Maps and search on mobile and the desktop in the Accessibility section of a places description. That datum is viewable on all platforms, though Google apparently doesnt have a timeline for when desktop and iOS users will be able to contribute to the growing database.
As we noted in our earlier post, the information continues to extremely important for people who rely on wheelchairs to get around. Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires access for new buildings, those constructed before its 1993 arent required to adhere to the same standards, meaning access can often be a bit of a crapshoot for older locatings a fact that those of us who dont have the same sort of accessibility issues can too often take for granted.
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