A group of Google employees spent their ‘20% time’ making Google Maps wheelchair-friendly

 

Google Maps is now wheelchair-friendly.

The wildly popular map app will now tell you whether locations are suitable for people with access needs — and it’s thanks to a group of Googlers who worked on the feature in their “20% time.”

It’s a famous policy of the Californian search giant: Employees can spend 20% of their time working on other projects unrelated to their main jobs. Gmail, AdSense, and Google News all started as 20% projects.

These days, Google employees need to get permission from managers to get this time, and most don’t do it. Google HR boss Lazlo Bock says it has “waxed and waned” over time. But some still do — and Rio Akasaka is one of them.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
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