Google Maps to add wheelchair feature with help from Local Guides

Local Guides from Google are working to make sure it's easier to get around in a wheelchair. (Mike Doria)

Life is about to get easier for people who rely on wheelchairs to get around.

Google Maps is calling on “Local Guides,” or its community of information sharers for its app to start answering questions regarding businesses and accessibility. The questions, which will appear in the app for the guides, will ask whether a business has a wheelchair accessible entrance, whether seating in a restaurant is accessible and whether the bathroom at a particular place could accommodate a wheelchair.

In order to make the determination whether a business is accessible, the local guides would go through a list. For example, on whether the entrance to a building is wheelchair accessible, it would have to be at least one meter wide and not have stairs. If the entrance had a revolving door, the entrance would not be wheelchair accessible.

Google Maps does allow anyone to become a Local Guide and perks are given for those who actively respond to questions. But, Google wants people who will remain active claiming that if each guide answered three questions a day for two weeks, more than 2 billion bits of new accessibility information would be available for people in wheelchairs

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