With rise in coronavirus cases, technology giant Google on Wednesday announced a new feature for Google Maps. The new feature will be known as 'COVID layer', which will show critical information about Covid-19 cases in an area people plan to visit in 220 countries.
Taking to Twitter, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote: "This week, we’re introducing the COVID layer in @GoogleMaps, 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."
The Covid layer in Google Maps will start rolling out worldwide on Android and iOS this week. Data featured in the Covid layer comes from multiple authoritative sources, including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia who, in turn, get data from public health organisations like the World Health Organisation, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals.
How Google Maps 'Covid layer' function will work?
The technology giant in its blogpost has said that the users can see the data in Google Maps after opening it and tapping on the layers button on the top right hand corner of the screen and clicking on the “covid-19 info".
"You’ll then see a seven-day average of new COVID cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map you’re looking at, and a label that indicates whether the cases are trending up or down," Google said in its blogpost.
Google will also add colour coding feature which will help the users to 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. 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.