Google Maps’ latest update shows if an area is experiencing a coronavirus outbreak or not.
The “COVID Layer” in Maps shows how many new confirmed coronavirus cases there have been the last seven days in a specific region using color-coding, with red representing a spike in cases. The tool shows the average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people and works in 220 countries and territories.
You can even see a specific state or province, county, and city-level data where available. To use the new feature, you’ll tap the layers icon, which looks like layered squares and is located underneath the search bar and business suggestions off to the right. Then you can click on “COVID-19 info” to see the data in your area.
Google said it worked with Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia to source the data. The new tool will be available to Android and iOS devices beginning this week.
The tool is meant to help people make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do based on spikes in areas they plan on traveling to.
Google Maps has introduced a slew of coronavirus tips and features over the past few months, including a coronavirus warning when searching for doctors or medical facilities and a notification that reminds you to wear a face mask before leaving your house.
Google Maps updated its Support Page for local business owners in March, encouraging them to update their current hours since the coronavirus outbreak has caused many businesses to either close or reduce their operating hours. Google also lets businesses create a post about how and if they are affected by the coronavirus, and what precautions the business is taking.
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