Google Maps will soon tell you how busy stores, parks and restaurants are, amid coronavirus


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — From going to the store, to grabbing a bite to eat, daily activities take a bit more planning these days.

Google is now making it easier for Americans to track important health and safety information during the pandemic.

Google launched its live “busyness” feature in 2016. It allows you to search for a place to see how crowded it is, so you can decide the best days and times to visit.

Google is now expanding its coverage to millions of places around the world and giving it a more prominent place on your map because of the pandemic.

Courtesy: Google

Google typically predicts foot traffic based on historical data, but with social distancing measures, and some businesses closing or reducing their hours, Google found that data isn’t as useful during a pandemic.

Now, it’s adjusting its algorithms and making the live “busyness feature” more accessible.

The information appears on Google Maps without even searching.

We found one Walmart Neighborhood Market marked “as busy as it gets.”

You’ll notice in the video, a Starbucks is marked as “not too busy.” At times, Google can also detect spikes in busyness in real-time.

Users will see it displayed in red as “live” data. You’ll also see more than just businesses.

Courtesy: Google

The expansion includes outdoor areas, like beaches and parks and essential places like pharmacies and gas stations.

The upgraded feature will soon be available to Android, Apple and desktop users worldwide. Google plans to roll it out in the coming weeks.

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