Google Maps' new COVID-19 feature makes travelling safer amid coronavirus pandemic
Google Maps' new COVID-19 feature makes travelling safer amid coronavirus pandemic
Photo: Pexels

Amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, Google on Tuesday said it is adding a special COVID-19 layer to its Google Maps to keep travellers updated with all-time COVID-19 cases in an area, the average trend in the last seven days, and the number of deaths.

"We’re rolling out two new improvements in the coming weeks. The updated COVID layer on Android and iOS will soon show more information, including all-time detected cases in an area, along with quick links to COVID resources from local authorities. This is especially handy if you’re heading out of town and need to get up to speed about the local guidelines, testing sites and restrictions in another city," Google said in a blog post.

Google Maps will also help commuters with live crowdedness information in public transport. "On Android and iOS globally, you’ll start seeing how crowded your bus, train, or subway line is right now based on real-time feedback from Google Maps users around the world (wherever data is available)," Google added.

Additionally, Google is adding a feature for users to see the live status of takeout and delivery orders in India, United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. "Now, you can know when to pick up your food, or when you can expect it to arrive at your doorstep. You can also see expected wait times and delivery fees, and easily reorder your favorites right from the Google Maps app. And when it’s safe to head to restaurants, you’ll soon be able to quickly see the status of your reservation in 70 countries around the world," the blog read.

How to turn on the COVID-19 layer?

1. Open Google Maps

2. Tap on the 'Layers' option at the top

The COVID-19 layer displays the seven-day average for the number of new cases per 100,000 people. It also indicates whether cases are increasing or decreasing.

What does the layer’s colours indicate?

Grey: Less than 1 case

Yellow: 1-10 cases

Orange: 10-20 cases

Dark orange: 20-30 cases

Red: 30-40 cases

Dark red: 40+ cases

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