Google Maps helps healthcare workers find hotels

A man in a wheelchair using a smartphone in front of a blue wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt and ripped blue jeans

Google Maps helps healthcare workers find hotels

As healthcare professionals continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic across the USA and much of the world, Google is adding a new Maps feature to help those individuals find special accommodations when they're done their daily shifts.

Google has added another new feature to Maps and Search, with key and essential workers now able to search for safe, discounted accommodation in the U.S. and UK.

The feature will first be rolled out for Google Maps users in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA, with support for additional countries on the way, according to the company.

Blair-Goldensohn said that this has been a "deeply frustrating" experience he has dealt with many times since he became a wheelchair user in 2009.

By enabling the app's Accessible Places feature, users can benefit from increased visibility of businesses and places of interest on the map that are marked as wheelchair-accessible, including whether a location has accessible seating, restroom facilities, or wheelchair-friendly parking.

Available starting from May 21, 2020 and rolling out gradually, the new "Accessible Places" feature will be an option users will be able to turn on, "to have wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in search results and in Google Maps".

"This guide has tips for rating accessibility, in case you're not sure what counts as being 'accessible.' We invite everyone to switch on Accessible Places and contribute accessibility information to help people in your community", Google said. If it is confirmed that a place does not have an accessible entrance, Maps will also show that information. "That benefits everyone, from those of us using wheelchairs and parents pushing strollers, to older adults with exhausted legs and people hauling heavy items".

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