[community] Google Local Guides and Accessibility Mapping
gmoss at ocadu.ca
Thu Nov 2 22:06:53 UTC 2017
Hello Inclusive Design Community,
I received an email from Google Local Guides recently (as I make occasional contributions) congratulating the group collectively on its work towards improving the accessibility information which is available in Google services. Dependence on biased AI systems, privacy implications and other issues with Google notwithstanding, I thought it was a very interesting and encouraging message. It seems that at the moment they are focused specifically on whether public places and infrastructure are wheelchair accessible.
The email also included a link to a YouTube video about navigating Chicago in a wheelchair, which of course highlighted Google Maps' accessibility information-gathering efforts. The video can be found at this link: https://youtu.be/LYX5Hqucb3g
Here is the text of the message, for those who may be curious:
"You're Helping Millions of People Get Around
Last month, we challenged Local Guides to try answering three accessibility questions a day on Google Maps to help people with mobility issues. Today, we're excited to reveal amazing progress.
* Nearly 7 million Local Guides joined the effort
* You added 51 million accessibility answers to over 12 million places globally
* More than 200 accessibility meet-ups were organized around the world
Watch the video series above to see how your incredible contributions impact real people. There are still many places missing information for people with wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers. Keep sharing to support mobility for all."
I'm not aware of how Google's information compares to other accessibility mapping projects such as Wheelmap.org, but it seems like a positive development. I don't know a whole lot about accessibility mapping in general, and I'd love to get some feedback from all of you about this effort and others.
IDRC, OCAD UNIVERSITY
E gmoss at ocadu.ca<mailto:gmoss at ocadu.ca>
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OUR MANDATE IS NOT SIMPLY TO IMAGINE THE FUTURE,
BUT TO HELP CREATE IT.
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