- Google Maps has announced a new mapping layer that allows users to see color-coded regions by number of COVID-19 cases per person.
- This feature is intended to help users “make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do”.
- The COVID-19 layer will be available to iOS and Android users starting this week.
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Google launched a new rollout on Wednesday that allows app users to view relative COVID-19 case numbers as a layer in Google Maps. The layer color-codes the area with a 7-day average of the number of new cases per 100,000 people, showing whether the cases are up or down.
The goal of this new feature is to enable users to “make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.” In a blog post on Wednesday.
This move is not Google’s first effort to release life-size features within the COVID-19 pandemic. In June Google has released many featuresIncludes transit alerts that ping users if the government mandates impact services or if there are mask requirements on board. Google has also introduced driving warnings to notify users about COVID-19 checkpoints while traveling. For those who want to avoid train congestion, Google has also made it easier to access live data about station businesses.
Competitors such as Bing and Apple have also been working on pandemic-oriented mapping tools. Bing runs Live COVID-19 Tracker Global Case Data And in April, both Google and its competitor Apple added the COVID-19 test site to their map platform. Apple also began providing aggregated mobility data in April to help governments and health authorities make policies.
In addition to Google Maps country-level data for 220 countries and territories, there are also state, county, and city levels for which data are available. According to a Google statement, Google is procuring COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins, The New York Times, and Wikipedia.
The COVID layer will be open to iOS and Android users starting this week. The user Activate the COVID-19 layer Open Google Maps on your mobile phone, tap the layer button and select COVID-19 information.
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