Google Maps is adding information about COVID-19 spread
Published Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:44PM EDT
Google Maps will soon show the number of COVID-19 cases. (Google / CNN)
Google Maps will soon show how prevalent coronavirus is in geographic areas with a new colour-coded update.
Beginning this week, the Maps app will display seven-day averages of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. The chosen areas will show if cases are increasing or decreasing and be shaded with one of six colors to signify how many new cases were reported.
In a blog post. Google said the tool shows "critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do."
Google is pulling data from three sources: Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times, and Wikipedia. They receive their data from the World Health Organization and other public or government health organizations. Information is available for all 220 countries that Google Maps works in.
The feature will soon be available on iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. To use it, open the app, press the layers button (two squares on top of each other) on the top right and press the "COVID-19 Info" button. That will reveal the colour-coded app showing case counts.
This week's update is just the latest for the ever-evolving app. Last month, it rolled out a colourful and more detailed redesign that aims to help people more easily distinguish different types of terrain. Google Maps also placed a greater emphasis on discovery and recommendations, along with a new logo, in a February update to celebrate its 15th birthday.