FP TrendingSep 24, 2020 12:17:35 IST
Now you can make a much more informed decision about visiting a certain area using a new layer feature in Google Maps. The latest tool will tell users the number of COVID-19 cases in the area, whether the trend is going up or down and the density of positive cases in the region.
The feature will be accessible through the layer tool called ‘COVID-19 info’. Sujoy Banerjee, Product Manager of Google Maps, wrote in a company blog how the feature will work. Users will need to visit the Layer tab from the top right hand corner of the Google Maps app and click on the ‘COVID-19 info’ option.
The area that is open in the Maps will then get an overlay. It will show users the “seven-day average of new COVID cases per 100,000 people” in the area. A label beside the map will indicate if the cases are trending up or down. The new Maps tool will use colour coding to illustrate the density of new cases in an area. So regions with the maximum number of cases and the maximum threat will be shown in red, thereafter in orange and yellow.
“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,” said the blog. Hence, the feature is available in India and one of the screengrabs shared by the product manager shows a depiction of increasing or decreasing cases across the country.
Google has said that it is getting the data about COVID cases from “multiple authoritative sources, including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia”. As these sources get their data from health bodies like the World Health Organization, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals; the data is expected to be correct. In fact, when you type in for such data from Google Search, you will be getting the information from the same sources.