During the COVID-19 pandemic, the precautions you need to take to curb the spread is regularly washing hands, wearing a mask, and maintaining a safe distance from others. Well, Google Maps will help you with one of these by now telling you how busy a place or business is when you go out.
Google calls it busyness updates and has offered the feature for a few years now. It can roughly predict the number of people at a certain location and show whether the place is busier than usual or not. At the ‘Search On 2020’ virtual event, the company announced that it’s expanding the use of this feature to now show real-time updates right on the map and in AR-backed Live View.
Busyness Updates, as Google Calls It
As seen in the screenshot below, you no longer need to tap on the businesses name to see how busy they are at the moment. Google Maps will now directly show whether a said business or location is ‘busier than usual’, ‘as busy as it gets’ or ‘not busy’ right in the map view. These busyness indicators are displayed under the business name.
So, if you are planning to step out, you can preemptively know whether your favorite restaurant is crowded or not. You can take appropriote measures to maintain social distancing or reach earlier than usual.
In addition, Google Maps will show real-time busyness indicators when you’re moving towards your destination. You will see a ‘Live’ tag at the very top and it will update in real-time. That’s not all though. The company has also baked this feature in its AR Live View feature.
If you are out and about, you can jump into Live View and point at restautrants and shops to see whether they are open, their hygiene measures, and of course, how busy they are. You can choose to wait out or pick a different store to grab your essential if the store you usually visit is crowded.
Now, when will you be able to try out this feature? The company says that busyness indicators will go live on Google Maps “very soon” and it will be available both on iOS and Android.