Google Maps' most exciting trick now offers much needed functionality to deal with coronavirus


Google has dramatically improved the way it displays site attendance information in Google Maps to provide more accurate congestion data.
Google Maps will let users know how busy a place is likely to be, by displaying the information prominently on the map and in the directions panel.
Activity information will also be included in the Live View AR experience, providing instant information about stores and restaurants that should help with social distancing precautions.

From the first months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Google brought several new features to its most important products to help people cope with these difficult times. Google has rolled out information on COVID-19 resources, has given COVID-19 coverage a prominent place in News and YouTube, and has regularly updated Google Maps with features to help people navigate. in the pandemic. Google Maps allowed store owners to update their listings with accurate information during lockdowns and offered warnings when users started searching for doctors. The app also began to highlight restaurants that delivered food at the time. Google also used location information to show whether communities were complying with lockdown measures. Most recently, he added a new layer to Maps that offers at-a-glance information about a region's infectivity rate and trend so people can change travel plans in real time.

That brings us to what could be one of the most significant coronavirus-related changes Google has made to Maps. And one of the best things about that is that it will work in Google's most exciting Google Maps trick so far, Live View.

Only announced last year, Live View is an augmented reality (AR) layer that displays map information over live images from the phone's camera capture. This is the future of Maps navigation that will likely be available on AR devices soon. Google updated Live View just a few weeks ago, bringing more information about Maps' AR mode to help you navigate your surroundings better. One of the most exciting new features in Live View is boating experiences that include a combination of transit methods. The live view will now show you which direction you will take after exiting the metro or bus to your next connection.

Google said Thursday it is making a huge change in the way it displays activity information in Google Maps to help users looking to avoid gatherings and practice social distancing as much as possible. Google Maps will now display a location's occupancy level in real time, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether to visit a store or postpone your trip.

google maps live view busyness live 2 - Google Maps' most exciting trick now offers much needed functionality to deal with coronavirusGoogle Maps will display location information directly on the map. Image source: Google

People are looking for activity data more than ever. Google has extended the functionality to cover outdoor areas as well, including beaches and parks. Essential places like grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats and pharmacies are also better covered than before. Google says it is on track to increase global coverage fivefold compared to June 2020.

google maps live view busyness live 1 - Google Maps' most exciting trick now offers much needed functionality to deal with coronavirusGoogle Maps will display location information in the directions panel. Image source: Google

The attendance information will be available directly on the map when navigating in an area. This will surface when setting directions to warn people about to leave that their destination might be too crowded.

Google enlisted the help of its assistant to update business activity information. Duplex calling technology has enabled Google to call places and verify information on Maps and in search. The use of conversational technology probably helps Google to improve Duplex as well.

google maps live view busyness live 4 - Google Maps' most exciting trick now offers much needed functionality to deal with coronavirusThe Google Maps store listings for stores will include all of the COVID-19 precautions a business uses. Image source: Google

Using information generated by Duplex, Google has made more than 3 million updates since April, “including updated business hours, delivery and pickup options, and stores information. inventory for in-demand products such as face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizer. ” These updates were then viewed over 20 billion times.

google maps live view busyness live 3 - Google Maps' most exciting trick now offers much needed functionality to deal with coronavirusThe Google Maps Live View demo displays real-time information on business occupancy. Image source: Google

The information is now available in Maps and Search. You'll be able to see exactly what kind of health precautions a business has in place, including mask requirements, use of plexiglass, and temperature controls.

This information is useful when planning a trip on Android, iPhone, and desktop computer from home. But the same information will be available in Live View AR mode and should help you with those spontaneous decisions to visit a place you haven't spotted from home. Live View will show occupancy information on the map when you pan the camera. You can then decide whether you should enter a store or a restaurant or wait a little longer.

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Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he even knew it he was sharing his take on tech with readers around the world. Whenever he doesn't write about gadgets, he miserably fails to walk away from them, though he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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