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 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 News to Highlight Local Sources
Google has updated its Google News product across all platforms with improved visibility of locally-sourced stories. The local source tag in Google News highlights local news outlets that have covered large, national news stories.
Google to Automatically Translate Local Reviews
Google today said travelers will have access to a wider range of local reviews thanks to new translation features. Moving forward, Google said it will automatically translate reviews of restaurants, theaters, and other locations into the language you’ve set on your device.
Google Search App Understands More Natural-Language Questions
Google today said its mobile search app is better able to grasp the meaning of requests thanks to new language-recognition techniques. Google is now breaking down queries into smaller pieces to understand the semantics behind individual phrases so it can assess the intent behind the larger question.