Google expands the COVID layer of Maps against the pandemic

Google has developed a new set of features that it will add shortly to the Maps COVID layer created in its maps client for iOS and Android. The objective is increase information about the pandemic and anticipate the potential increase in citizen mobility at Christmas holidays. If this is possible, because the second wave is at the top.

The internet giant added in September a specific layer in your geographic information service to facilitate the monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically, visualize the number of confirmed cases and thus the degree of contagion in a given area. Called “COVID-19 information” it can be activated in the layers button located in the upper right corner of the interface.

Google uses information from “multiple authoritative sources,” including what comes in from Johns Hopkins which in turn gets its information (always official) from government agencies, hospitals, and the World Health Organization. The layer offers a color-coded map based on the number of cases per 100,000 people, as well as labels that indicate the trend.

Now, the COVID layer of Maps will be expanded with new information related to a particular area. The app will display the total number of cases and deaths in a given area within 7 days and the trend up and down, and will indicate guidelines, restrictions, and information with links to local government COVID resources.

COVID layer of Maps

A function has also been implemented that will indicate the degree of public transport congestion. It is based on real-time comments from Google Maps users and will be familiar to you as it is similar to the occupancy information that is now displayed in a business or restaurant.

COVID layer of Maps

New features of the Maps COVID layer will be added to the Android and iOS client around the world in the coming weeks. help curb the pandemic and in this case maintain social distancing on short or long-distance trips, thinking about the Christmas season. If this is possible because this Christmas will be very different from previous years.

Any technological measure that helps is welcome because the impression one has is that the pandemic is out of control globally. COVID-19 infections exceed 55 million and the deceased rise above 1.3 million. And this only for confirmed cases; the reality is much worse. The second wave is all high and it doesn’t seem like we’ve learned anything of the first where management failures could be understood before the surprise appearance of the coronavirus.

We have not strengthened the public health services as required, from primary care to ICUs, nor are the necessary tests done, nor do we have enough trackers, while the de-escalation strategy to “save the economy” has been a disaster , since it requires assuming thousands of additional deaths and starting over to the initial situation. Nor have the “Radar Covid” apps worked due to the lack of privacy guarantees and the distrust of the user in the face of general excesses in the processing of personal data.

What are we going to tell you that you don’t know. Only individual responsibility it may soften the situation and vaccines may be on the near horizon, although more premature than ever, but the only hope for overcoming the global health crisis.