Google Maps adds a function on COVID-19 alert

Google Maps is the most used mobile navigation service. More than a billion people around the world use it to find their way in the cities they live in, as well as those they visit. This popular app has added a feature due to the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent sprouts.

Among recent updates, Google Maps included a new map display layer. It shows real-time COVID-19 outbreaks in a specific country, city, or province. This way, users can see how the number of new cases evolves in a region. 

How to activate the COVID-19 layer

As explained by Google, if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the area where you live, the Google Maps service can provide you with key information about the affected places. You can activate the COVID-19 layer in the application by following these simple steps:

  • Open Google Maps on your mobile device.
  • Select the ‘Layers’ icon located at the top of the screen.
  • Choose COVID-19.

In the COVID-19 layer, you will see an average of 7 days of new cases per 100,000 population. The application will also show by color if the cases have decreased or increased. These are the scales:

  • Dark red: more than 40 cases.
  • Red: 30 to 40 cases
  • Dark orange: 20 to 30 cases
  • Orange: 10 to 20 cases
  • Yellow: 1 to 10 cases
  • Grey: less than 1 case

What sources does Google Maps use for COVID-19 outbreak information?

The new Google Maps feature takes the information it shows about COVID-19 outbreaks in different regions from sources such as The New York Times, Johns Hopkins University, Wikipedia, and India’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Therefore, these are reliable sources. 

Alerts on important information 

In addition to providing information on new outbreaks of COVID-19, Google Maps also provides traffic or transportation alerts. In some regions or countries, when a user searches for public transportation directions, perhaps for a trip, the service will send alerts if it finds information about COVID-19-related restrictions that affect their route.

The information comes from local, state, and federal agencies. These transit alerts are available in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Spain, Belgium, France, UK, Netherlands, Australia, India, and Thailand. 

 Pandemic-Related Features

Google wants to ensure the reliability and quality of the information it displays both in its Maps service and in its search engine. Therefore, it has created a feature that allows users and business owners to make updates regarding current business conditions.

Is your business open or closed? Have your business hours changed? To edit the information, users who want to contribute only need to search for a place on the map, select it and check the option ‘Suggest an edition’ They can update the company’s information so that when other users search for the business, they get accurate information.