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Google Maps is adapting to post-COVID society so you can too

Google has added a number of useful Google Maps features which will aid travellers and commuters adapting to life in post-coronavirus society.

In a blog post on Monday, the company announced as series of measures for the iOS and Android app that’ll provide information prevalent to your destination or current location.

Google gets things started with the public transit updates that will show “relevant alerts from local transit agencies.” These will inform people whether local authorities are mandating masks, for example.

If you’re planning to drive across national borders, the app will alert you whether you’ll need to contend with COVID-19 checkpoints (starting in Canada, Mexico and the US).

In some countries Google Maps is adding testing centre alerts that will remind travellers to verify their eligibility, while listing facility guidelines to ensure they aren’t turned away.

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Google writes: “We’re showing these alerts where we’ve received authoritative data from local, state and federal governments or from their websites, and are actively working with other agencies around the world to bring even more of this helpful data to users in Google Maps.”

The company is also listing some of its other recently-added tools that could help those using public transport to maintain social distancing. For example, the Maps app is able to predict just how busy that morning train is likely to be with the feature “powered by tens of millions of contributions from past riders.”

The post says Google is making it easier for travellers to contribute their own experiences. Also starting from today, Google says it’ll be able to see when train and bus stations are likely to be more or less busy.

The company adds: “Simply search for a station in Google Maps or tap on the station on the map to see the departure board and busyness data, where available. Rolling out over the next several weeks, these capabilities are powered by aggregated and anonymized data from users who have opted in to Google Location History, a Google account-level setting that is off by default.”

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