Google is now taking its talents to ADA accessibility. Google Maps’ latest campaign will crowdsource data from its 30 million Local Guides worldwide, who provide tips and photos about particular businesses and establishments. In exchange for points and prizes, these guides will give much-needed insight to wheelchair users, who prior to this venture, were left in the dark to a building accessibility or lack thereof.
Google Maps currently indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible, but the latest crowdsourcing effort will provide further information, giving clear answers to five key questions most often asked by wheelchair users about a facility:
1. Is there a wheelchair-accessible entrance?
2. Is there a wheelchair-accessible restroom?
3. Is there wheelchair-accessible seating?
4. Is there wheelchair-accessible parking?
5. Is there a wheelchair-accessible elevator?
Other apps have tried to address the issue regarding the lack of information about accessibility in buildings, but given Google’s huge reach and wide data, its role in being the number one navigation app has taken hold in the navigation tech realm.
Google does not yet have a timeline when desktop and iOS users will be able to contribute to the growing database-- but soon enough the information will be able to bridge the information gap for those with disabilities.