Google Map’s new COVID-19 feature ensures safer travels

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise globally, the tech giant Google has introduced a new feature in its Maps to help navigate safely.

The latest feature addition to Google Maps is the ‘COVID layer’ that will show the users critical information related to the pandemic like the number of active cases, daily statistics in the areas where people plan to travel in 220 countries.

COVID layer on Google Maps

As the pandemic shows no signs of being curbed, Google will kick off its new feature worldwide in its latest update this week on both Android and iOS systems.

Functioning of ‘COVID layer’

After opening the Google Maps, the users can see this data by tapping on the layers button on the top right-hand corner of the screen and then clicking on the COVID-19 info. The user can see a seven-day average of new pandemic cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map selected and a label that shows if the number of active cases is trending up or down.

Google will also add a color-coded feature that will aid the users to identify the intensity of the number of new cases in a particular area. Trending case data can be seen at the country level for all 220 nations and territories in which Google Maps is supported. Further, data from the state or province, county and city level will also be provided wherever it is available.

Data featured regarding the pandemic in Google Maps is collected from various sources including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times and Wikipedia, who get data from authentic organizations like the WHO, government health ministries and hospitals at the state and local levels.

As per reports, more than one billion people rely upon Google Maps to ease their travel especially during the pandemic time when safety concerns are high. Google authorities also stressed that the existing features including popular times, live busyness, COVID-19 alerts and checkpoints while in navigation were all designed with people’s safety in mind.