More than one billion people turn to Google Maps for essential information about how to get from place to place–especially during the pandemic when safety concerns are top of mind. COVID-19 alerts in transit and COVID-19 Hotspots in driving navigation were all designed to help you stay safe when you’re out and about. Google Maps introducing the COVID layer in Maps, a tool that shows critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.
Google Maps is all set to provide coronavirus outbreak-related information to its users including crowd information, COVID-19 transit warnings, and travel restrictions. The new feature, COVID Layer, will show the number of coronavirus cases in an area that can help the users decide whether to visit the area/ take that route or not.
Rolling out on iOS & Android, with more ways to stay up-to-date coming soon. 👍 pic.twitter.com/iWB02T0aAB
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) September 23, 2020
How Google Maps COVID-19 Hotspots Layer works
When you open Google Maps, tap on the layers button on the top right-hand corner of your screen and click on “COVID-19 info”. You’ll then see a seven-day average of new COVID cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map you’re looking at, and a label that indicates whether the cases are trending up or down. Color coding also helps you easily distinguish the density of new cases in an area. Trending case data is visible at the country level for all 220 countries and territories that Google Maps supports, along with state or province, county, and city-level data where available.
“This week, we’re introducing the COVID layer in Maps, a tool that shows critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do,” Sujoy Banerjee, Product Manager, Google Maps said in a blog.
Explaining the sources of information that would be considered to formulate the layer, Google said that the data for the layer has been derived from multiple authoritative sources, John Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia.
“These sources get data from public health organizations like the World Health Organization, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals. Many of these sources already power COVID case information in Search, and we’re now expanding this data to Google Maps,” the blog read.