Beacon Transcript – Google has announced that it will be introducing new options in its Google Maps as it will now feature ramp-equipped locations.
The giant tech company is constantly changing its services. It is either introducing new or updating current options. However it may be, Google has been keeping track of customer wishes.
As such, its newest Maps update will have a series of new options. One new feature will target ramp-equipped locations.
The highly popular Google Maps should become wheelchair friendly. It should help improve accessibility.
Rio Akasaka went to offer details. He and his team are behind the wheelchair-friendly feature. Akasaka explained that accessibility has a high position at Google.
However, it also has a series of limitations. It is more commonly facilitated by some facts. One such factor is its legal requirements. Other similar regulations are also taken into account.
Still, Akasaka declared himself to be quite passionate about the new project. As such, he and his team pushed forth the ramp-equipped locations project.
Google is well known for its innovative environment. One special feature targets its employees time. Company workers are allowed to spend a time portion on whatever they want.
This ratio accounts for 20 percent of their hours. During this time, they can work on whatever they wish. Such special projects do require permission, according to reports. They have to be announced if they do are unrelated to their usual job specifications.
Rio Akasaka is a Google Drive product manager. The developer chose this period to work on their Maps-related project.
As such, Google Maps will now offer accessibility information. This will become available when looking at a specific location. This will offer information as to its suitability for people with special needs.
This was a longer-term project. It is based on Google’s Local Guides program. Through it, users contribute in assessing locations. Maps users are encouraged to rate their visited locations. They can also leave comments and improve descriptions.
Besides helping improve Google Maps, Local Guides has an added benefit. It also earns user points. These can be used in various Google services.
Users registered as Guides receive a questionnaire. In it, they offer location specific information. In developing the new option, developers introduced accessibility questions.
As they were added to the queries, Google started gathering such data. The company reported having received millions of accessibility answers. Data gathering was initiated earlier this year.
As such, it now feels confident enough to start showcasing its results. Google considers that it now has a large enough database for such an option. The wheelchair accessibility will currently be available only in the United States.
Google expressed its wish to roll it out at a global level. However, it remains to be seen when it will be able to do so.
For the moment, the option will start being displayed in U.S. location. Google Maps 9.34 will bring the increased accessibility details. The change may seem small, but it could have a great impact.
According to Akasaka, it will benefit more than just one category. The accessibility feature will mostly target the wheelchair-bound users.
However, it may prove useful to the general public. People that rely on walking sticks may also benefit. As could parents with prams or baby carriages.
This is just one of the Google Maps latest updates. The app will have a series of new uses. A compass and parking tracker are amongst such newer features.
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