Over one billion users are reliant on the navigation app Google Maps for vital information about transporting from place to place. This is particularly functional when safety concerns are one of our top priorities. In order to help mitigate the prevalence of the pandemic, a "COVID layer" was introduced in Google Maps, a tool that displays critical data regarding COVID-19 cases in an area.

Aid to Planning Before Traveling

This will show people the COVID-19 case rates in local areas in order to aid in planning their journey in advance. This new update will make users aware of how the progression of COVID-19 in the varying locations to plan ahead before traveling.

New Function: Health Protection

Google Maps is a functional tool to avoid roads closed for construction or sticky traffic. Now, the app could also protect your health by displaying the novel coronavirus cases density by location.

According to the the Google Maps help page, if your location is affected by COVID-19, you opt for Google Maps to obtain relevant data on adversely affected places, reported Medical Daily.

Now, you could make more informed decisions before planning where you want to go, reported Syok. Here are the guidelines:

First, open Google Maps, click on the layers button and tap "COVID-19 info." Second, a one-week average of new COVID-19 cases for every hundred thousand people for the region you are searching for will be displayed. A label will say whether the cases are rising up or down. Lastly, color coding in the COVID Layer will help you conveniently specify the density of new cases in a region.

Also Read: How Could COVID-19 Affect Global Road Deaths? 

The web-mapping service provides satellite imagery, street maps, aerial photography, route planning, and interactive panoramic views of streets among others. For this new feature, a user who is curious whether the place he or she will visit is a COVID-19 hotspot should use the app, reported Interaksyon.

Information used in the COVID-19 Layer originates from sources including Johns Hopkins Hospital and the New York Times. Such sources gather data from public health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), government health ministries, state and local health agencies and hospitals so the information is expected to be accurate.

The COVID-19 Layer will be disemminated soon globally. According to Google, while moving from place to place is complicated nowadays, their hope is that these Google Maps features will help people get to places safely and efficiently, reported The National.

It added that the COVID Layer will be distributed globally on Android and iOS this week.

Over the previous few months, this is just one of the several pandemic-related features introduced in Google Maps. Google has been experimenting in the combat against COVID-19.

The tech giant company has yet to provide a fixed date for the Google Map's feature's release and it has only given information about the COVID Layer through taking to Twitter.

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