Google has announced a new, welcome, and undoubtedly long-awaited feature for its Maps app: accessibility information. Companies and sights with barrier-free entrances, bathrooms and other features are now clearly marked as such.
Of course, millions need accommodations such as ramps or automatic doors, from people with reduced mobility to people with prams or other means of transport. Google has been collecting information about the availability of locations for several years. With this new setting, Google is the focus.
The company demonstrated the function in a blog post on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. To activate, users can go to the "Settings" section of the Maps app, then "Accessibility Settings" and then "Accessible Places".
As a result, a small wheelchair icon will appear in places that are searched for or tapped if they have accessible facilities. If you look at the details where you can find the address and opening hours, you will see exactly what is available. Unfortunately, the location of these resources is not given (useful if, for example, someone wants to find out where to drop them off), but it is a start to know that there is an accessible entrance or toilet at all.
The information is not automatically created or obtained from blueprints or the like – like so much on Google, it comes from you, the user. Any registered user can determine the availability of accessible facilities by noting things like store pickup or quick service. Simply go to "Info" in the description of a location and click on the "Describe this location" button below.