Useful Covid-19 tracking data in your area. Google Maps will from this week being to show how prevalent coronavirus is in geographic areas
Google is to offer people the ability to see how prevalent Coronavirus is in geographic areas, as the world faces the prospect of a second wave of the pandemic.
Starting this week, the Google Maps app will begin using a colour-coded update, to display how many Covid-19 infections have been reported in that area.
Google said that this update is intended to help people make informed decisions about where to go and explore.
Google announced the update in a blog posting on the matter.
“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,” wrote the firm. “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.”
Google said when a user open Google Maps, tap on the layers button on the top right hand corner of the screen and click on ‘Covid-19 info’. The user will then be presented with a seven-day average of new Covid cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map they looking at, and a label that indicates whether the cases are trending up or down.
Google said that colour coding also helps users 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,” it said.
Google said it obtains the Covid layer comes from multiple authoritative sources, including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia.
These sources get data from public health organisations like the World Health Organisation, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals.
“While getting around is more complicated these days, our hope is that these Google Maps features will help you get where you need to be as safely and efficiently as possible,” Google concluded. “The Covid layer starts rolling out worldwide on Android and iOS this week.”
The search engine over the years has been adding to the features of the Google Maps service.
In May 2019 for example, Google brought its speed camera warning alert to its Google Maps offering.