Google Maps shows Covid-19 hotspots

The search giant said in a blog post Thursday that Google is updating its free map service this week with color coding that maps areas affected by Covid-19 cases.

She said clicking on the new “Covid-19” option in the Layers feature in the upper corner of the screen will boost the maps using the latest 7-day average of cases per 100,000 people in the regions being viewed.

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The poster will also let users know if the number of Covid-19 cases in a particular location is trending up or down, according to map product manager Sujoy Banerjee.

Banerjee said the purpose of the tool is to provide “important information about Covid-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.”

The data used in the Covid layer comes from sources including Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital, the New York Times and Wikipedia, which gets information from public health organizations like the World Health Organization and government health ministries, according to Banerjee.

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The California-based company said this week the Covid layer will roll out worldwide in versions of its mapping app specifically designed for mobile devices supported by Apple or the Android program powered by Google.

Google Maps has already offered tools related to the pandemic such as letting users know when public transportation is likely to be crowded.

“While navigation has become a lot more complicated these days, we hope these Google Maps features will help you get to where you want to be, as safely and efficiently as possible,” Banerjee said.

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