Google Maps to get COVID layer feature for safer navigation

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New Delhi (NVI): Google has rolled out a new feature which could be one of the most relevant and crucial features of recent times.

To counter COVID-19 pandemic, Google has introduced a new layer for its Maps platform on mobile devices which will now give essential information about the rate of infections.

The new update shows up on Google Maps and can be found by tapping the Layer button which is found under the profile picture.

The feature will be accessible through the layer tool called ‘COVID-19 info’.

The new feature will be made available on Android and iOS starting this week, Google said.

The feature provides a seven-day average data of new coronavirus cases per 1,00,000 people next to an arrow which reveals if they are trending up or down with appropriate coded colours.

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.

In terms of data procurement, Google says, “Data featured in the COVID layer comes from multiple authoritative sources, including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and Wikipedia. These sources get data from public health organizations like the World Health Organization, government health ministries, along with state and local health agencies and hospitals. Many of these sources already power COVID case information in Search, and we’re now expanding this data to Google Maps.”

“While getting around is more complicated these days, our hope is that these Google Maps features will help you get where you need to be as safely and efficiently as possible. The COVID layer starts rolling out worldwide on Android and iOS this week,” it added.