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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.

If your area is affected by COVID-19, you can use Google Maps to obtain relevant information on impacted places. 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. 

Get around safely with these new Google Maps features

Getting from A to B can be more complicated these days. Because of COVID-19, it’s increasingly important to know how crowded a train station might be at a particular time or whether the bus is running on a limited schedule. Having this information before and during your trip is critical for both essential workers who need to safely navigate to work and will become more important for everyone as countries around the world begin to reopen. 

In the latest release of Google Maps on Android and iOS, they’re introducing features to help you easily find important information if you need to venture out, whether it’s by car or public transportation. 

Get alerts about important information

When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we’ll show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation. Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the U.S. where we have information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon.

Avoiding crowds on public transport with Google Maps

Avoiding crowds on public transport with Google Maps

To stay safe in the COVID-19 era, it’s more important than ever to know how crowded public transport might be or if a trip could be impacted by checkpoints or ever-changing travel restrictions. This is why Google Maps is launching a string of helpful new features that could assist people when they feel the need to venture out.

Google has tied up with local transit agencies to tell commuters if their trip is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions. When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Google Maps will show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation. Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the U.S. The tech giant expects to add more countries to this list soon. 

In Canada, Mexico, and the US, Google will also notify drivers about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along their routes, especially at the national borders.

For those navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the US, Google will display an alert reminding users to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away.

 

Google is continuing to build more helpful new features into Google Maps to assist people trying to navigate around cities that have begun emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. When you look for public transit directions, you’ll now see “relevant alerts” from transit agencies about mandatory precautions you’ll need to take — such as wearing a face covering. And if a public transit line is temporarily suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 response, you’ll hopefully get a heads-up about that, too. See how your community is moving around differently due to COVID-19

 

How to activate the COVID-19 layer

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

 

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.

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