Google is updating its free mapping service this week with colour-coding that maps out areas infected with COVID-19 cases, the search giant said in a blog post Thursday.
A label will also let users know whether the number of COVID-19 cases in a particular spot is trending up or down, according to Maps product manager Sujoy Banerjee.
The tool is meant to provide “critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do,” Banerjee said.
Data used in the COVID-19 layer comes from sources including Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins hospital, the New York Times, and Wikipedia, which get information from public health organisations such as the World Health Organization and government health ministries, according to Banerjee.
Google Maps already featured pandemic-related tools such as letting users know when public transit was likely to be crowded.
“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,” Banerjee said.