Watch: Google Maps rolls out new pandemic feature
The new feature is rolling out worldwide this week on both Android and iOS. It will showcase a seven-day average of new infections, along with a label indicating if cases are going up or down.
To see the new information, open up Google Maps and tap on the layers button on the top-right hand corner of the screen. Click on Covid-19 info and it will display the coronavirus layer over the map.
Users will be able to see different colour codes on the map depending on the density of cases. Grey will mean no cases in a particular area, yellow means 1-10 cases per 100,000 residents, orange 10-20, dark orange 20-30, red 30-40 and dark red will indicating more than 40 cases.
This data will be available at country level for all 220 countries and territories across the world which Google Maps supports. The tech giant says it will also be available in state, county and city-level data if available. Google is pulling its data from multiple sources including Johns Hopkins, The New York Times, and Wikipedia.
“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,” said product manager Sujoy Banerjee.
This is the latest Covid-related feature Google has added to Maps in the past few months. In June it added a feature to send alerts to people’s phones to help them avoid overcrowding on public transport. The popular times and live busyness feature is also useful for people planning trips.
Today also marks the day when the UK government finally launches a coronavirus contact tracing app across England and Wales.
"We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus," said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock. "With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology."