Google Maps shows data on Covid in maps

Information on Covid-19 is the new feature that allows you to immediately identify outbreaks and at-risk locations. Here are the details

More than a billion people use Google Maps routinely to access different types of information related to the territory: from the best route to reach a destination, to finding stores, restaurants and other businesses in a city and for this Maps has introduced several features to give information about the Covid-19 to its users.

The system has been successful even during the Covid-19 emergency: for example, people used it to get quickly and safely to a certain place. Google Maps in fact indicates the time when a local or a supermarket is less crowded and it is therefore easier to maintain the distance. Now the company of Mountain Views has decided to develop a special function to reduce the risks related to Coronavirus, is in fact designed to inform users about the spread of the virus. Soon the navigator will report the areas where there is an outbreak or a high density of infection. For the moment, the function is being rolled out on both Android and iOS in the United States, with time it will gradually arrive on all devices around the world, including Italy.

Covid-19 alerts on Google Maps: how do they work?

The Covid-19 alerts will allow people to move in a more responsible way, choosing better where to go and at what time. To get that information, simply launch the app and look for the new layer called "About Covid-19." To access the layers you have to tap the icon in the upper right corner of the app's main screen, the one that shows the map types: in addition to the default we find satellite, relief, traffic and so on.

Tap the Covid-19 information layer for the first time and Google will immediately send an explanation about the information it will show the user. A pop-up window opens up explaining how the function works: the numbers indicate the new cases per 100,000 people over the last 7 days.

The data sources used by Google to compile the information it offers its users are Johns Hopkins University, Wikipedia, The New York Times, but also local institutional platforms, hospitals and other reliable sources. The data available concerns 220 countries worldwide. The goal is to build a representative and reliable result.

What does the color of the maps indicate?

Clicking on the OK button will take you to the map on Covid. Muovendosi nelle diverse aree, il sistema indica la quantità media dei casi e, tra parentesi, se sono in aumento o diminuzione. Le zone sono poi marcate con diversi colori in base al rischio:

  • Grigio: meno di un caso negli ultimi 7 giorni
  • Giallo: da 1 a 10 casi
  • Arancione: da 10 a 20 casi
  • Arancione scuro: da 20 a 30 casi
  • Rosso: da 30 a 40 casi
  • Rosso scuro: più di 40 casi

Nel suo blog ufficiale Google spiega che la funzione nasce per offrire una panoramica sulla diffusione dei contagi e aiutare le persone a muoversi rimanendo al sicuro, lontane da zone ad alto rischio.

In this way, users will be able to better plan trips, displacements because they will also evaluate this kind of information in a similar way to what we have already seen for the indications on the presence of fires along the way.

Finally, it is possible to use Google Maps also to search for health facilities in the vicinity that perform withdrawals for Covid-19, but this function is active only in some countries of the world.