Sunday, February 05, 2017

Route Planning for Wheelchair Users


AccessMap is a new trip planning tool designed specifically for users with limited mobility. If you are a wheelchair user or you have problems with steep hills, raised curbs or bad sidewalk conditions then AccessMap can help provide you with directions that will try to route you around any mobility barriers.

Sidewalks on AccessMap are colored to show the degree of incline. Construction projects which might impact on sidewalk mobility are also marked on the map with small yellow circles. AccessMap therefore provides a great visual guide to sidewalk mobility. However AccessMap also includes a route planning option that can provide you with directions that try to avoid any major mobility problems.

To get directions on AccessMap you simply need to right-click on the map to set your starting point and destination. AccessMap will then suggest a route that avoids major inclines, construction projects and the absence of curb ramps. Any points along the route with potential mobility issues are colored red. You can click on any red warnings on the route to see what the mobility issue is at that location.

Currently AccessMap is only available in Seattle but there are plans to extend coverage to other locations.


Wheelmap is an interactive map dedicated to showing the locations of wheelchair-accessible public venues. Wheelmap uses three colors of markers to indicate the accessibility of venues, a green marker means the venue is wheelchair accessible, orange means it is partially accessible and red means that the venue is not accessible to wheelchair users.

Wheelmap is a crowd-sourced project which means that anybody can add information to the map. The grey markers on the map indicate venues that Wheelmap has no information about. If you have information about the venue's accessibility to wheelchair visitors you can simply click on the marker and select whether it is wheelchair, accessible, partially accessible or not accessible. Wheelmap is also available in a large number of different languages so can be used by people around the world.

In France Accessible.net provides a French Google Map of wheelchair accessible venues. The site's searchable map includes categorized accessible venues, including restaurants, hotels, museums etc. When you select a venue's marker on the map you can click through to view information on wheelchair accessibility and whether the venue provides support for hearing and visually impaired visitors.
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