Google Maps Will Now Help You Navigate Wheelchair Accessible Routes

17 March, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Bertha Harmon
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The company this week announced that it will highlight wheelchair accessible routes within the Google Maps app's transit navigation screen. Users can filter transit directions to only include wheelchair-accessible routes by going into the "Options" section where a new "Wheelchair Accessible" route type will appear alongside the options for best route, fewest transfers, and least walking. It will initially be offered in a handful of major cities, including New York, Boston, London, and Tokyo.

Since the feature is only available in those select cities, it's not clear if "wheelchair accessible" routes will also be something that owners of the Google Home voice activated assistant devices will also be able to find by asking "Hey Google, is there a wheelchair accessible route to..."

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All this was made possible by people Google calls "Local Guides", and their job was to scour cities and stations noting where wheelchairs could go.

Then, before selecting a route hit the "Options" menu and change the tick to "Wheelchair accessible" under the preferred route column.

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If you've been wondering why Google Maps asks you about places and their wheelchair access, you finally have an answer.

Google explained in a blog post that much of the data was gathered as part of its Local Guides program. This update makes it easier for those in a wheelchair, on crutches, pushing a baby stroller, or with otherwise limited mobility to ensure their transit route will accommodate their needs. Over 12 million places have been assessed by Local Guides over the course of 200 global meet-ups late a year ago.

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Google has also been updating Street View imagery of transport stations and city centres in order to provide up-to-date preview pictures for disabled users.



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