Google Rolls Out New COVID-19 Maps Layer

The new feature shows the average number of COVID-19 cases in a given area

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Need to Know 

  • Google Maps is rolling out a new COVID-19 layer that shows the number of cases in a given area.
  • The new feature shows the weekly average of new cases per 100,000 people in the area.
  • The case numbers, along with Google’s other COVID-19 resources, pull data from a number of public health organizations such as international government ministries and the World Health Organization.
  • The new feature will be available on Android and iOS this week. 

Analysis

Google Maps has launched a new feature that informs users of critical information about COVID-19. The new COVID-19 layer shows the number of cases in a given area so users can make an informed decision “about where to go and what to do.”

Now, when a user opens Google Maps and clicks on the “layers” button, they can turn on a COVID-19 layer. This feature shows the seven-day average of new COVID cases per 100,000 people for the area of the map they are looking at. Users can see the number of cases in their own city and zoom out to see their state or province, their country, or any of the 220 countries and territories that Google Maps supports. 

The new feature color-codes locations based on the density of cases in the area (red for high density, orange for medium density, etc.). The layer also indicates if that area’s case numbers are increasing or decreasing that week. 

Google is pulling the data from “multiple authoritative sources” such as John Hopkins University and The New York Times, who get their information from public health organizations like the World Health Organization and each region’s government health ministries. 

Google has also updated its search page with a COVID-19 information hub to include easy access to information such as the nearest testing facility, how to identify symptoms, and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Though it may not become available on desktop, the new Google Maps feature will roll out on both iOS and Android this week. 

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