Holger and Raul, who is using a wheelchair, had to ask this question a lot when they wanted to go somewhere. So they build Wheelmap.org, a map to find wheelchair accessible places. Since it’s launch 5 years ago over 500.000 places have been tagged by volunteers all over the world, making it the biggest database of it’s kind. Wheelmap.org is online in 22 languages and also available as iOS and Android apps. Being an OpenStreetMap project all it’s data is available under an open license. Wheelmap.org is run by SOZIALHELDEN, a non-profit based in Berlin which launched many follow-up project since then. One is the service BrokenLifts.org where visitors can see which elevators are currently out of service in the Berlin public transportation system.
Holger is the co-founder of Wheelmap.org and will tell us about the opportunities and challenges they saw when building these projects on top of open data, what things they tried and failed and how he sees projects like these in the long run.
About Holger Dieterich
When Holger is not at SOZIALHELDEN, he is active in the Berlin Startup scene as coach and mentor for entrepreneurs, curator of the StartupDigest and running events like the Lean Startup Meetup and Usabilityfix. He has a degree from the University of the Arts Berlin and worked as product manager before.