- s Google Maps will now alert its users about places that are crowded
- The feature will be available to all Android and iOS users.
- The feature will be rolled out in India, US and UK among others.
As India limps back to normalcy after a 2-month lockdown, Google announces a feature that would help users maintain social distancing. Lockdown has been lifted in several countries including India amid coronavirus pandemic. However, Google through its Google Maps will now alert its users about places that are crowded which would include public transports, medical checkpoints and other important places. This would help people in avoiding crowded places.
"Getting from A to B can be more complicated these days. Because of COVID-19, it's increasingly important to know how crowded a train station might be at a particular time or whether the bus is running on a limited schedule. Having this information before and during your trip is critical for both essential workers who need to safely navigate to work and will become more important for everyone as countries around the world begin to reopen," Ramesh Nagarajan, product management director at Google Maps, said in a blog post.
The feature will be made available to both Android and iOS users. It will be rolled out in countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the US. Nagarajan in the blog mentions that Maps will share relevant information from local transit agencies when users look for directions that are likely to be restricted due to COVID-19.
"When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we'll show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation. Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S. where we have information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon," he said in the blog.
Additionally, Google Maps is also introducing driver alert feature to let users know about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions in the route when crossing a national border. This feature will be first available in Canada, Mexico and the US.
When you are going to a COVID testing centre or navigating to medical facilities, Google Maps will display an alert that would remind the users to verify eligibility and facility guidelines in order to avoid being turned away by the authorities. The data shown by Google Maps are derived from local, state and federal governments and their websites. The company is working with other agencies to provide more accurate and helpful data to Google Maps users.