As you open Google Maps today and try to check what the traffic will be like on your route, you'll probably notice a new highlight tip that points to a fresh and perfect addition for our modern lives: a COVID-19 layer. So whether you're about to travel to a new country or are simply driving to the next county, you can always see how things are looking up.
The layer is easy to spot and activate. Each time you turn it on, a pop-up explains that the numbers indicate a 7-day average of new cases per 100,000 people. Sources are mentioned and a separate Google Support page provides further info.
Depending on where you live, you may need to zoom out to trigger the COVID layer, since the data's granularity isn't the same in all countries. In Lebanon, for example, it's country-wide. The same is true for France, but not for Spain. You can see the stark difference in the leftmost screenshot below. Where in France there's a single number for the entire country, the numbers are shown by region in Spain.
In the US, the data is much more granular and goes down to the county level, even though there are more general per-state numbers too.
This new layer seems to be rolling out widely to Maps users. We see it on the latest v10.51.1 (APK Mirror), which rolled out last week. If it's not yet visible for you, try closing the app and opening it again — that triggered it on several of our devices.
- Anthony Maki