Google Maps tackles accessibility

Google maps iconGeorge Xinos writes in Sourceable that Google Maps will begin to include information regarding wheelchair accessibility in their USA version – eventually they will go global. Xinos makes the point that, “The power of customer ratings together with the reach of Google Maps … may potentially drive the message that improved accessibility of the built environment as well as services and products could really affect the bottom line. So rather than having decisions regarding accessibility ‘trickle down’ from property investors, property managers, and project managers basing their decisions on minimum legislative requirements, the possibility of reversing the direction of decision making becomes real. That is from the customer to the tenant and so on up the chain of decision makers.” 

screen shot of City of Sydney online access mapThe City of Sydney has developed an excellent online, interactive access map of the central part of the city. It is rather like Google Maps where you can select different overlays, such as parking, toilets, steep inclines and steps. Individuals can see where the best route of travel will be for them. The City of Sydney does not claim this to be perfect, but it is more informative and usable than previous versions. The City welcomes comments on their map.