Sunday, March 7, 2021
Home News Reports Google updates Maps to provide real-time crowd information for public transit amid COVID-19 pandemic

Google updates Maps to provide real-time crowd information for public transit amid COVID-19 pandemic

Google has partnered with the local authorities and updated the features while staying on the right side of the laws

COVID-19 has completely changed the way we think, relate and behave around people. Amid the ongoing pandemic, internet giant Google has come up with a new update in the Maps app that will provide real-time data related to the coronavirus pandemic. A few months ago, entering a crowded metro, local train, or a bus was not a big deal for most people. Though some people are not bothered by the spread of the virus, many want to practice social distancing and other precautions to be safe. Those who have medical issues such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. need to be more cautious.

What’s new with Google Maps?

Google has introduced several features in the latest update that will help in relieving some stress. The latest version of Google Maps on both Android and iOS will help the users to stay informed about possible direct or indirect effects of COVID-19 during your trip. The new updates will be available in many countries, including India, Argentina, Belgium, US, United Kingdom, Australia, Colombia, France, Brazil, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand and Mexico.

In a blog post, Google announced the changes in an elaborate manner. Google has partnered with the local authorities and updated the features while staying on the right side of the laws. Here is a list of all the features that you can use in Google maps while commuting.

Maps will inform you about the checkpoints on your route. It will also notify you about the restrictions you have to follow while staying there. Google will add more locations and information in the coming weeks that will help you plan a safer trip. For example, when you are crossing the borders of Canada/US/ Mexico, the Maps will inform you about the restrictions you have to face, especially if you are from a hot zone or are entering one.

If you try to find medical centers or labs that are providing services related to COVID-19, Maps will alert you to check the facility’s guidelines and verify eligibility. However, these alerts are not available in all locations. Users from Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, the Philippines and the US will get information and restrictions or regulations about the medical facilities. The alerts for testing centers will be available for users in the US.

A blend of crowdedness predictions with new features

Last year Google introduced a feature that tells about the possible crowd in a public transit, aka crowdedness predictions. Google predicts the crowd based on the information users shared in Maps. Google uses non-anonymous data to provide virtually correct information about the crowd. Now users will be able to use this data to decide if they want to go to a crowded place or not.

Back in February, Google Maps introduced new insights like security onboard, accessibility and temperature. They also added a women-centric section in February and now they have rolled these featured for all the users. The experience of the former riders will help users to take a wise decision to save themselves from infection. You can also submit your feedback about the crowd etc. while checking your travel history or during the transit in Maps.

Google has a section for users who use wheelchairs as well. Visiting public places is never an easy task for such users. With new improved features, users who use wheelchairs can see if a particular place is wheelchair friendly or not and it will include information about seating, accessible doors and more.

Using the historical data of other users, you can ensure proper distancing. If the crowd is above average, it will be better not to plan a visit at such a location. One prime example for such a crowd can be Mumbai metros. The users will be able to see if the transit station is crowded in real time. For the next few weeks, Google is planning to strengthen the capabilities of the new features with the help of aggregated and anonymous data.

Privacy concerns

Those who have opted out from Google Maps do not want Google to store their information in any way. However, under these features, Google will aggregate the data marking it as from anonymous source. In the past, Google has been called out for using personal data of the users to show relevant ads based on personal choices. There will be some concerns among users about how Google is going to use this data.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee smiles from above: What BJP means by ‘Aashol Poriborton’ Narendra Modi makes it clear in Kolkata

Prime Minister Modi addressed a massive crowd on Sunday at the historic Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata.

Pakistanis offended after China’s Cultural Counsellor of Chinese embassy in Pakistan tweets asking women to remove hijab to ‘see their eyes’

Zhang Heqing, Chinese official in Pakistan, urged women to remove their hijab so he could see their eyes

PM Modi addresses massive rally at Kolkata’s iconic Brigade ground. Watch

Just hours back, veteran actor Mithun Chakravarty joined the BJP at the Brigade ground where PM Modi will address the rally.

As Mithun Chakravarty joins BJP, memes of his cult film ‘Gunda’ and others flood the internet

Indian Twitterspace and Mithun fans have gone wild sharing his cult dialogues and fight scenes as he joined the BJP ahead of PM Modi's Kolkata rally.

Mithun Chakraborty joins BJP at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata ahead of PM Modi addresses a massive rally

More than 28 Trinamool MLAs who missed out on party tickets are also expected to be present at the PM Modi's rally in Kolkata

Shekhar Gupta admits that he has been scared to criticise Rahul Gandhi and Congress, Congress leaders prove him right

Shekhar Gupta criticised the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi for failing to put enough pressure on the Modi government

Recently Popular

Kiren Rijiju gives befitting reply to ‘befitting reply queen’ Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend, who wanted the law to bend to his whims

Matthias Boe, boyfriend of actress Taapsee Pannu, had appealed to Kiren Rijiju to 'do something' to help the actress.

After IT raids, Taapsee Pannu suffers a meltdown and admits that she was questioned about cash receipts of Rs 5 crores

Taapsee Pannu attempted to take a sly at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for simply clarifying the facts about the raids

‘Does money in Bollywood come from Ganga?’: Shiv Sena mouthpiece claims Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap targeted for supporting ‘farmer protests’

The Saamana editorial asked why only Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap were targeted and not other Bollywood celebrities.

Indian Govt should ask badminton coach and Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend Mathias Boe to quietly do his job or quit

Mathias Boe had tweeted tagging Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking him to do 'something' about the IT raids on his girlfriend Taapsee Pannu

Violence in Bengal, election rigging, misgiving of Congress, Abbas Siddiqui, COVID-19 and China: CPI (M) leader Rabin Deb talks to OpIndia

Rabin Deb, one of the tallest leaders in West Bengal of the CPI (M) talks to OpIndia ahead of the 2021 elections, TMC and BJP

All you need to know about Elon Musk’s Starlink, which has begun pre-booking in India

Currently, Elon Musk's SpaceX, of which Starlink is a venture, has already sent 1000 such satellites to the Earth's orbit. In the future, the company plans to expand the number to a network of 12,000 satellites.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us