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  • General info
What is Wheelmap.org?

Wheelmap is a map for finding wheelchair accessible places. The map works similiar to Wikipedia: anyone can contribute and mark public places around the world according to their wheelchair accessibility. The criteria for marking places is based on a simple traffic light system:

 = Green = Fully wheelchair accessible

 = Yellow = Partly wheelchair accessible

 = Red = Not wheelchair accessible

Places that are not yet marked according to their wheelchair accessibility have a grey marker. They can be marked by anybody quickly and easily. The information that is collected in this way is easy to understand, available free of charge and can be shared freely. Wheelmap.org is based on the world map OpenStreetMap and shows 130 different types of places. These place types are illustrated by the icons in the green, yellow, red and grey markers. Have a look a the entire list of icons that are currently shown on Wheelmap.

Wheelmap.org is available as a web application and as an app for iPhoneAndroid und Windows 10.

How does Wheelmap.org work?

The Wheelmap traffic light system is a simple and easy to understand way to rate the accessibility of public places.

The accessibility status:

 = Fully wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: without steps
  • Rooms: can all be reached without steps (e.g. all auditoriums in a cinema)

 = Partially wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: no more than one step which is not higher than 7 cm (3 in) (approx. one hand width)
  • Rooms: the most important rooms can be reached without steps (e.g. certain auditoriums in a cinema)

 = Not wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: has at least one step that is higher than 7 cm (3 in) (approx. one hand width)
  • Rooms: cannot be reached without steps

 = Unknown

  • The wheelchair accessibility of the place is still unknown and needs to be marked

The toilet accessibility status:

The accessibility of a toilet can be marked independently from the accessibility of the place where the toilet is located.

 = Wheelchair accessible toilet

  • Doorway’s inner width is at least 90 cm (35 in)
  • Clear floor space is at least 150 cm × 150 cm (59 x 59 in)
  • Wheelchair-height toilet seat
  • Folding grab rails (or something similar)
  • Wheelchair accessible hand basin

 = No wheelchair accessible toilet

 = Unknown

How can I get involved with Wheelmap.org?

You can help to further complete Wheelmap as a mapper by

– marking the wheelchair accessibility of places and toilets,
– adding new places,
– editing place info (name, address, telephonenumber),
– uploading photos of entrances.

In addition, there are other projects related to Wheelmap in which you can participate. You can organize a mapping event, become a Wheelmap Ambassador or become a partner and organize  your own “MapMyDay”. Everyone can take part – individuals, businesses, organizations etc.

Who owns the map's data?

Wheelmap is based on the free world map OpenStreetMap and all the data is stored there.  The data sets are published under the Open Database License (ODbL) and are available to anyone and can be used free of charge. Sozialhelden e.V. only incorporates this data into the OpenStreetMap.

Who is behind Wheelmap.org?

Wheelmap.org is a project run by the nonprofit organization SOZIALHELDEN e.V. The organization strives to make people aware of problems in society and to motivate them to change their way of thinking. SOZIALHELDEN has been pursuing this mission since 2004.

Some of our other projects include BrokenLifts, a service for indicating malfunctioning elevators in the public transportation system, the mobile ramp Wheelramp (Sozialhelden UG), a bottle receipt donation project Pfandtastisch helfen!Leidmedien.de – Reporting about People with Disabilities, Gesellschaftsbilder.de – a photo database with pictures with new perspectives and “Die Andersmacher” a series of video portraits of role models with a disability. And we always have new ideas!

If you like our work you can support us with your donation here.

How is Wheelmap.org funded?

The project is made possible through prize money, sponsoring and donations as well as a great deal of volunteering from around the world. Our web and app developers keep Wheelmap running and optimize the map within our financial possibilities.

You too can support the Wheelmap with your donation at any time.

  • How to search and what is shown
What do the symbols in the colored markers mean?

The little symbols in the the colored markers represent the types of places that are shown on Wheelmap.org. There are a total of 130 different types of places in the categories Public Transport, Food, Leisure, Bank/Post Office, Shopping, Education, Sports, Tourism, Accomodation, Government, Health and Miscellaneous. With a little practice you will quickly learn to recognize the most important symbols (icons).

The entire list of place (node) types and categories that are currently shown on Wheelmap can be found here.

A place has no color or the wrong color. What can I do?

If a place is not yet marked (is grey), or if you are certain that the color of the marker is incorrect, then you can change the color of the marker at any time yourself with just a few clicks in the browser version of www.wheelmap.org or in the apps for iPhone, Android or Windows Phone (10). You do not even need to be registered to be able to do this.

If a place is not on the map yet, then you can add it yourself. First take a look at our list of node types, to see if the type of place you want to add is even shown on Wheemap. An explanation on how to add a new place can be found here.

Why can't I find some places on Wheelmap.org?

If a public place cannot be found on Wheelmap, then it may be that the place has not yet been entered on the map. Wheelmap is based on the OpenStreetMap, a community project similar to Wikipedia. Only the buildings, streets, parks, subway stations or rivers that have already been entered by users into the OpenStreetMap databank are part of OpenStreetMap and are visible on Wheelmap. Instructions on how you can add new places to Wheelmap yourself can be found here.

Another reason why a place might not appear on Wheelmap is when it is not one of the 130 types of places (nodes) that are currently being shown by Wheelmap.org. This list shows you all of Wheelmap’s place types. New place types are added to the list when it becomes clear that there is a need for them, integrating new types is technically feasible and we have the necessary funds to do so. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Please be patient!

Which places are shown on Wheelmap.org?

Wheelmap is based on the free world map OpenStreetMap and that is where all the possible place (node) types are defined. Of those we have chosen approximately 130 types of public places from different categories (shopping, food, health, recreation etc.) that are relevant for Wheelmap. If a place (node) type is not on Wheelmap, please take a look at the possible OpenStreetMap map features to see if the place type is defined there. If the place (node) type exists on OpenStreetMap and you think such places are relevant for Wheelmap, please send an email with your suggestion to info[at]wheelmap.org. Please note: Wheelmap.org is a map for wheelchair accessible places – streets and routing information is not and will not be shown on the map. Thanks!

The entire list of place (node) types and categories that are currently shown on Wheelmap can be found here.

Where do the grey markers come from?

The grey markers are provided by the free world map OpenStreetMap, whose geodata is the foundation of Wheelmap. A place shows up grey on Wheelmap when its basic information has been entered on OpenStreetMap but the additional information on its accessibility is still missing. You can change this easily with a few clicks. This additional information is then also added to OpenStreetMap and is made available to thousands of users there.

 

How can I find wheelchair accessible toilets on Wheelmap?

You can find wheelchair accessible toilets in the category “Miscellaneous”. If you deselect all the other categories then only the places in the category “Miscellaneous” will be shown.

toiletsThis is the symbol for public toilets that are wheelchair accessible.

In addition to searching for the place type “public toilet” you can also find accessible toilets in restaurants, cafés etc. Wheelmap not only shows the general accessibility of a place but also of the toilet on its premises. This means that every place on Wheelmap has two ratings which can be marked independently from each other.

Using the WC filter you can limit the selection of places shown so that (for example) only those places will show up that have an accessible toilet.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.59.31

The Wheelmap criteria for a wheelchair accessible toilet:

  • Doorway’s inner width is minimally 90 cm (35 in)
  • Clear floor space is at least 150 cm × 150 cm (59 x 59 in)
  • Wheelchair-height toilet seat
  • Folding grab rails (or something similar)
  • Wheelchair accessible hand basin
  • Marking places and adding new places
How do I mark a place?

It is really easy to mark places on the map.

  • Use the “Search” function on the map to look for the name of the place or its address as well as the city where it is located.
  • Or navigate to the location on the map where the place is by changing the zoom level and using the mouse or by manually moving the map segment to the desired location. (Note: some places will only be visible on the map when you have reached the highest zoom level using +)
  • Click on the place.
  • Mark the accessibility of the place and of the toilet on its premises by clicking on the respective button. That’s all!

You can learn more about the Wheelmap traffic light system for marking places.

Which criteria need to be considered when marking a place?

Using a traffic light system for rating the accessibility of public places joining the mapping activities on Wheelmap.org is easy. The two main criteria relate to the question if the entrance of a place is accessible without steps and if all rooms in the inside of the place are accessible without steps: 

The wheelchair accessibility status:

 = Wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: stepless

    and:

  • Rooms: all can be reached without steps (e.g. all auditoriums in a cinema)

 = Partially wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: has one step which is no higher than 7 cm (3 in) (appox. one hand width)

    and/ or:

  • Rooms: the most important rooms can be reached without steps (e.g. certain auditoriums in a cinema), but not all

 = Not wheelchair accessible

  • Entrance: has one or more steps higher than 7 cm (3 in) (approx. one hand handwith)

and/ or: 

  • Rooms: cannot be reached without steps

 = Unknown

  • The accessibility of a place is unknown and still needs to be marked

When rating a place you need to consider the following:

Doors

The properties of doors (e.g. swinging door, heavy, difficult to open) are not criteria within the Wheelmap traffic light system. The needs of persons with mobility restrictions are so varied that it is not possible to define a simple uniform criterium in for this. Information on doors can be added as comments in the section with details of a place.

Side doors

When a place has stairs at the main entrance, but has a stepless back or side entrance, that is well marked at the front of the buildingWenn ein Ort zwar eine Stufe am Haupteingang, dafür aber einen ebenerdigen Hintereingang hat, der an der Vorderseite des Gebäudes auch gut sichtbar ausgeschildert ist, kann der Ort (wenn die restlichen Kriterien auch erfüllt sind) grün markiert werden.

ATMs

Both the height of an ATMs as well as its accessibility (stepless access) need to be taken into account. The user who is rating an ATM’s accessibility should ask him or herself: “Can the the operating surface (keys, card slot, etc.) be reached by a person in a wheelchair?”

Bus stops and stations

At bus stops and train stations, only the wheelchair accessibility of the stop or station itself is relevant for the rating, that is if the waiting area can be entered without steps due to a lowered curb e.g. The accessibility of the public transportation vehicles is not rated. The local provider must be consulted with regard to the accessibility of its public transportation vehicles.

Parking

Parking lots and parking garages are rated as to whether or not they are basically wheelchair accessible. In addition to considering if they have a stepless access – in parking garages if they have an elevator for reaching the different levels – the type of surface is also important. If a parking lot has a grass or gravel surface it should be marked as “not wheelchair accessible” (red). Individual, so-called “disabled parking spaces” can not be displayed on Wheelmap at this time due to technical reasons.

Ramps

  • If a mobile ramp is available at a place, and this is clearly communicated with a sign at the entrance, the place can be marked yellow.
  • If a ramp is permanently installed at the entrance to a place, the place can be marked green.
  • If a ramp seems to be too steep or too narrow, this can be noted in the comments section of the place (e.g. “relatively steep ramp”.

The accessibility status of toilets:

Idependently from the accessibility status of the entrance the toilet status of a place can be rated as well:

 = Wheelchair accessible toilet

  • Doorway’s inner width is minimally 90 cm (35 in)
  • Clear floor space is at least 150 cm × 150 cm (59 x 59 in)
  • Wheelchair-height toilet seat
  • Folding grab rails (or something similar)
  • Wheelchair accessible hand basin

 = No wheelchair accessible toilet

 = Unknown

How can I change the marker of a place?

Click on the place, choose the correct color to mark it and click on “Save”. You can do this without registering first! For all other changes, such as adding photos or comments, you must first log in or register.

How can I add a new place to Wheelmap?

In order to add new places you must log in on Wheelmap with an OpenStreetMap account. You can learn more about registering here.

This is how to add a new place

  • Log in on www.wheelmap.org or on the iPhone, Android or WindowsPhone10 app.
  • Go to “Add another place” or the “Plus” button at the top right of the map.
  • Fill out the form (name of the place, place type, address).
  • In order to pinpoint the right location of the place in the street you may have to move the marker manually.
  • Mark the wheelchair accessibilility of the place and of the toilet on the premises. If you want, you can add additional comments about the entrance, a ramp, the width of the door etc.
  • Upload a photo of the entrance of the place (optional).
  • Save.

Note: Because changes have to be synchronised with OpenStreetMap it can take a moment until the place and the newly added information is visible on Wheelmap.

In case you encounter problems send an email to info[at]wheelmap.org.

  • Editing a place’s detailed info
How can I change or add to the detailed info of a place?

If you come across incorrect information about a place, such as a wrong name, address or telephone number, you can correct this info as a registered user. You can also always add additional information such as a short text describing the accessibility of a place.

  • Make sure that you are logged in with your OpenStreetMap. You can find instructions on how to do this under “How do I register with Wheelmap.org?”
  • Click on a place on the map. When the preview screen opens, click on the pencil or edit symbol.
  • Save your changes. It may take a moment before your changes can be seen online.

Unter „Anmerkungen“ kannst du detailliertere Informationen zu dem Ort speichern (etwa „Rampe am Hintereingang“ oder „Tür ziemlich schmal“ etc.). You can add detailed under “comments”

Why should I upload photos of a place? What should the photos show?

Photos of entrances of restaurants, cinemas, stores etc. give people with mobility restrictions the possibility to judge for themselves if a place is accessible for them or not. Even if there is a small step at the entrance, with a photo a wheelchair user can decide if her or she is able to manage that specific step on their own or if assistance is needed.

That is why it is important that the entrance is clearly visible on the photo. The photo should answer these questions: Are there steps at the entrance? Approximately how high is the step? Is the door wide enough?

If possible, the name of the place (if it has a sign) and the house number should be visible.

If you like, you can upload several photos of a place. You can read how here.

How do I upload photos of a place?

Uploading photos with the apps:

  • Click on a place. A preview screen will open.
  • Click on the camera symbol, select the relevant photograph(s) from your smartphone or take a new photo directly.
  • Confirm the selection and upload the photo(s). This may take a moment.

Uploading photos on the Wheelmap.org website:

  • Click on a place to open it. Click on the “Details” button that appears on the next screen.
  • Click on the camera symbol.
  • Select photos from your hard drive.

Please note: The photograph must be in a JPG or PNG format. It should not be larger than 10 MB. If it is larger it will not be uploaded.

How can I delete photos of a place?

You can only delete photos that you yourself have uploaded. Deleting is only possible over your profile on www.wheelmap.org.

  • Open the Wheelmap browser version at www.wheelmap.org/map.
  • Go to “Profile”.
  • Log in on Wheelmap.org with your OpenStreetMap account.
  • In “Photoalbum” you can find all the photos that you have contributed.
  • Click on the „x“ in the right lower corner to delete the photograph.
How can I delete a place or info about a place?

If the information about a place is no longer correct you can change it directly in OpenStreetMap. If for instance a restaurant has gone out of business you can remove its name, category and marking which are saved as “tags” to the place. The “tags” for the street and house number will remain as datasets in the OpenStreetMap. In this way the other details can easily be added again at a later time should the restaurant open again under another name. Please don’t ever delete a place on OpenStreetMap entirely just because a business has closed its doors!

How to edit or delete a place on OpenStreetMap

  1. Go to http://www.openstreetmap.org
  2. Log in with your OpenStreetMap account (the same account with which you log in on Wheelmap.org).
  3. Important: under “Edit” choose the option “Edit with ID (in-browser editor)”.

    If  you want to edit a place:
  4. Click on a “node” (a white drop); the “node” marks a place such as a store, a bar etc.
  5. A sidebar will open where you can see and edit the information about the “node”.
  6. Every piece of information (such as the street, category, opening times etc.) is a “tag”.
  7. Under “All Tags” you can see all the pieces of information, that have been assigned to the “node” or place.
  8. Here you can delete individual “tags” by clicking on the trash can symbol.
  9. If a business has closed its doors permanently you can delete the “tag” “name” and all other information relating to the specific business (such as opening times etc.).
  10. Important: do not delete the address etc. of the place. This information is still relevant!
  11. Click on “Save” in order to save your changes.
  12. You can add comments to explain your changes, such as “permanently closed”. Then the administrators of OpenStreetMap will know why you changed or deleted information about the place. If you want to edit a building:
  13. Click on the red outline of the building (is described as a “way”).
  14. Proceed as in steps 6. to 12.
  15. Important: never delete an entire building from OpenStreetmap if you are not 100% certain that the building has been torn down!

In case you have trouble with this process you can also send us a list with the places and all the information that needs to be changed. We will then take care of making those changes for you.

  • Registering and logging in
How do I register with Wheelmap.org?

In order to be able to use all of the functions of Wheelmap.org you need an OpenStreetMap account. After you have registered with OpenStreetMap (OSM) you can log in on Wheelmap.org and on the apps with your OpenStreetMap account.

Here is how:

  1. Register an account with OSM at https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new or follow the registration process on the log in page of the apps. OSM will then send you a confirmation email.  Activate your account with a click on the link provided.
  2. To log in on Wheelmap: Click on login (in the browser version of Wheelmap) or on your profile (in the apps) and log in to Wheelmap with the username and password of your OSM account. Done!

You did not receive an email with a confirmation link? Make sure your email address is correct and check if the email might have landed in your spam folder.

Why do I need an OpenStreetMap account in order to log in on Wheelmap.org?

Wheelmap is based on OpenStreetMap, a free map of the world that, like Wheelmap, is published under the Open Data License. The grey places on Wheelmap which have not yet been rated according to their accessibility are provided by OpenStreetMap. This means that when you add a new place to Wheelmap or edit the information of a place, you simultaneously add that information to OpenStreetMap also. And you can only do that on OpenStreetMap as a registered user. Because the geodata there is used for many other applications.

You can find out how to register an OpenStreetMap account here so you can log in to Wheelmap.

Why do I need an addtional profile on Wheelmap.org?

In the browser version of Wheelmap.org you have the possibility of creating your own profile with which you can use some additional functions. You can see how many places you have marked, edited and added and how many photos of places you have uploaded. In the photo album you can delete individual photos. In addition, with the button “Widget” you can incorporate a segment of Wheelmap into your own website:

That’s how you can create your profile:

  1. You neither have an OpenStreetMap account nor a Wheelmap account yet? You can register for both at a time. 
  2. You’ve already registered with an OpenStreetMap account but you don’t have a Wheelmap profile yet? Just log in on www.wheelmap.org with your OSM login data by clicking on “Login” on the top right of the website. Then click on the same button that has now switched to “Profile” – enter your e-mail address again here. Afterwards you can add more details to your profile. 

Please note: After registration on OpenStreetMap you’ll receive a confirmation mail with a link that you need to click in order to finalize the registration process. If this e-mail does not appear in your mailbox please check your spam folder and make sure you have not misspelled your address when typing it in.

I forgot my password. Now what?

To be able to log in on Wheelmap.org you need an OpenStreetMap account.

Note: To log in on the smartphone Wheelmap apps you also need a Wheelmap account. You can create one by clicking on “Profile” in the top right corner of the map at www.wheelmap.org.

  1. If you have forgotten the password for your OpenStreetMap account:
    Please go to Forgot password in the OpenStreetMap Wiki.
    There you can ask to be sent a randomly generated password by email.
  2. If you have forgotten your password for your Wheelmap account:
    Please go to Forgot password at Wheelmap.org.
  • Technical & Support
How can I report a double entry or an entry that needs to be deleted?

If you have accidentally entered a place twice on the map, or a place no longer exits, you can just let us know at www.wheelmap.org

Zu löschenden Ort melden_1

  • Open the map at www.wheelmap.org.
  • Click on the place that you want to report.
  • Click on the lightning symbol at the bottom right.
  • Click on the letter symbol.
  • An email with a pre-formulated text, which you need to complete, will open.
  • Click on send. We will process your message as quickly as possible.

 

I successfully added a new place but it is not immediately visible on Wheelmap. Why?

It can take a few minutes until a new place is visible on Wheelmap. This is because the new information is first sent to OpenStreetMap before being relayed back to Wheelmap.

If you had no problems entering the place in the form and you did not receive an error message, please wait and do not enter the place again. Otherwise it can happen that the place appears on the more than once.

My markings and changes have not been implemented. Why?

It can take a few minutes until new marks rating the wheelchair accessibility of places and toilets appear on Wheelmap.org. This is because the information is first sent to OpenStreetMap before it is relayed back to Wheelmap

If you did not receive an error message and you could save the new information without a problem then please wait a while before you edit the information on a place again and again.

Which technical requirements must my device fulfill so I can use the apps?

(Last update: July 2016)

Web app requirements

  • Latest update: May 31, 2016
  • Latest browser version
  • Cookies must be activated in order to be able to use all functions
  • Internet connection

Languages available: German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Klingonian, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Slowenien, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian.

iPhone app requirements

  • Version: 3.0.2
  • Memory: 8.4 MB
  • iOS version: 7.1 or newer
  • Authorization: GPS/ location-based service,  photos/ media/ files
  • Internet connection

Android app requirements

  • Version 3.0.2
  • Memory necessary: 24 MB
  • Android version: 4.0.3 or newer
  • Authorization: GPS/ location-based service, photos/ media/ files
  • Internet connection

WindowsPhone app requirements

  • Memory: 54,96 MB
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Processors supported: x86, x64, ARM
  • Authorization: Location-based service
  • Internet connection

The smartphone apps are available in the following languages: German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dänish, English, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Slowakian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian.

How can I embed a Wheelmap segment showing my city or region on my own website?

On your www.wheelmap.org profile you can choose a segment of Wheelmap.org (“Widget”) which you can then embed in your own website or blog. Here’s how:

  1. Click on “Login” at the right top corner of the browser version or go to http://wheelmap.org/user/sign in.
  2. Log in with your OpenStreetMap account.
  3. Click on “Profile” in the top right corner of the browser version.
  4. Click on “Widget” in the menu at the left of your profile.
  5. Enter the town, city or region you want in the field “map area” and choose the corresponding suggestion that appears in the drop-down list in order to define the center of the map.
  6. Determine the height and width of the map segment.
  7. The preview lets you see what the widget will look like on your website. (Note: zooming in or out in the preview does not change the zoom level in the map segment that will be shown.
  8. Copy the embed code that is generated in the box under the map segment and insert it into your website. All done!