With the continued spread of coronavirus in many countries, coupled with the way it is affecting lives and economies, Google has announced that it will release an update to its Google maps app.
The update will bring a new COVID-19 layer to Google Maps services, and this will help users better understand the number of cases in a given location.
As many countries are beginning to open their borders to international visitors, and investors, Google Maps’ new update will help people get essential information about how much Covid-19 have hit the geographical location they are headed.
After updating the app, areas of the map will be color-coded based on rate of cases. A label will also show if cases are going up or down.
According to a blog post by Sujoy Banerjee – Google Maps Project Manager – the new layer is designed to help people “make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.”
Google also claimed that the app will show a seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map being looked at.
The data that would be used in this trend will, according to Google, be sourced from several authoritative sources, including: Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia.
The sources used by Google Maps in turn, gets their data from public health organizations like the World Health Organization, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals, Google adds.
To use the newly added Covid-19 trend feature, Google Maps users would have to click on the layered button on the top right corner of the screen (two boxes placed on each other) and click on “COVID-19 info”
The feature will roll out on Android and iOS this week, and will be made available to all 220 countries that Google Maps works in.
This update is one of the series of updates Google is adding to the Google Maps app. Earlier this year, Google released an update that changed Google Maps app icon.
Also, the company rolled out a colorful and more detailed redesign that aims to help people distinguish different types of terrain, more easily.