(Pocket-lint) - Google Maps is an absolutely key tool for countless people when it comes to planning their travel and working out the best way to navigate around, regardless of what country they live in.
However, given the still very much ongoing global health situation, travelling is no longer a simple process of working out how to get from A to B - there are also manifold concerns about infection risks to be considered.
Google looks like it's at least working on a system that could help people work out where they're comfortable travelling through or indeed to, in the form of a new navigation layer that shows you the rate of infection in an area.
The information comes through experienced tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who put up a series of images on Twitter recently to demonstrate how the feature will look.
Google Maps is working on COVID-19 map— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 4, 2020
(idk if it’s new) pic.twitter.com/qqPUfmn5pN
It gives users the option to have an overlay set over a zooomed-out view of, in this case the US but in the screenshots below European countries as well, showing how many new cases are being reported daily per 10,000 people in that area.
Another look at Google Maps’ COVID-19 map, showing the data available outside of the US pic.twitter.com/fudkCfbuPg— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 4, 2020
That's a useful way to get a sense for how present the infection still is, and whether it's growing. Of course, how useful it is might depend on how granular Google's data can go, and how local an area can be isolated and provide information for the overlay.