Of late the design of new buildings has been changing. The old ones are also undergoing a renovation of some sort. A key niche of these buildings are those intended to host public or private offices or amenities such as banks or restaurants. One of the key areas of concern is making the offices accessible to all individuals. More specifically, making them easily accessible by individuals who are enabled different.
Google understands the challenges these group of folks go through and that is why they are incorporating technology to their service, Google Maps, to assist them. Google Maps has received an update that will enable it to start displaying whether a location, such as a building or restaurant is accessible by wheelchair. The feature is not yet available for all locations.
Google Maps is in a position to offer this service as it sources information from its human Local Guides, who answer questions about the places they visit. The Local Guides also indicate things such as average cost and parking.
How to Access the Feature
- Launch Google Maps
- Look for any establishment in Maps
- Head over to the Amenities section
- This is where you will find wheelchair accessibility information
Note that you can also add your own findings on the same section. Apart from that you can opt to be as generous as the Google Local Guides and share with the service information about places you have visited. You simply head to the “Your Contributions” section in Maps’ menu, whether on Web or mobile, and answer questions about places you have been.
An interesting bit is that this new feature was built by Google employees during their ‘free time’. Apparently Google offers its employees ‘20 percent time’ so that they can work on their own projects that might benefit the company. This new Maps feature was as a result of a team of Google employees led by Rio Akasaka, a product manager for Google Drive, taking advantage of the ’20 percent time.’