Google on Monday announced a new feature on its map to aid the people and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Maps now show food and night shelters in 30 Indian cities. The feature is aimed at serving the working migrants looking for relief centre.
Google is working closely with state and central government authorities to surface the locations of these relief centres. “As the COVID-19 situation develops, we are making a concerted effort to build solutions that help people during these times of need,” Anal Ghosh, Senior Programme Manager, Google India, said in a statement.
“Highlighting the locations of food and night shelters on Google Maps is a step to make this information easily available to the users in need, and ensure they can avail the food and shelter services being provided by the government authorities,” Ghosh added.
These features can be used by simply searching for ‘Food shelters in ’ or ‘Night shelters in ’. This can be done on Google Assistant or Maps. This feature will be available in Hindi soon. Incoming days, it will become even easier to access this feature, with features like quick-access shortcuts that will appear beneath the search bar on the Google Maps app. The feature will also expand to more cities.
“With the help of volunteers, NGOs, and traffic authorities, we hope to convey this important information to the affected people, many of whom may not have access to a smartphone or mobile device during this time,” informed Ghosh.
Maps are also offering location data to help public health officials spot increase or decrease of movement across high-level categories of places — such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces and residential areas with their COVID-19 community mobility.