Google Tasks Local Guides to Add Wheelchair Accessibility Details
Google wants to ensure those in wheelchairs have access to the accessibility information they need before visiting places around the world. The search giant is asking its Local Guides, those who contribute information about places on Google Makes, to make an effort to answer questions about wheelchair accessibility. "If each of our tens of millions of Local Guides answers three of these questions every day for two weeks, we can gather nearly two billion answers to help people who rely on this information every day," explained Google. Local Guides use Google Maps on their mobile devices to add photos of locations as well as answer simple yes/no questions. Google hopes Local Guides will provide the missing information about wheelchair access a bit more aggressively in order to fill out its database. Participation in Local Guides is free and voluntary.
Google Brings Q&A Feature to Maps and Search
Google today said it is adding a question-and-answer tool to Google Maps and Google Search for Android devices. Users need only search for and open business listings within Maps or Search to see the Q&A feature, which taps into data provided by Google Local Guides and others.
Google Maps Transit Navigation Adds Wheelchair-Compatible Routes
Google today updated Google Maps public transit navigation with support for wheelchairs. The company asked its Local Guides to begin adding wheelchair/accessibility data to Maps last fall.
Google to Crowd-Source Accessibility Data for Maps
Google today added a tool to Google Maps that makes it easier for people to add details concerning accessibility. The Google Maps app for Android allows people to add this data via the "Your Contributions" section by tapping "uncover missing info." Sorting options under that heading include accessibility, where people can add details such as whether or not locations have wheelchair-accessible entrances, wheelchair-accessible elevators, wheelchair-accessible seating, and wheelchair-accessible parking.
Google Assistant Gains Local Contractor Smarts
Google says an update to the Google Assistant app for Android and iOS will let people perform searches for more local information, businesses, and service providers. For example, people can say "Ok Google, find me a plumber" to their device, the app will ask some follow-up questions, and then supply a list of local options for plumbers on the smartphone screen.