The way we approach businesses, stores, restaurants, and services, has drastically changed over the past months. Beyond simple operating hours, which may have been shortened, people are now warier about the busyness of a particular spot, whether the place is packing lots of people or if it’s safe to go there. Having that information before you actually go there has now become more critical than ever before and Google is starting to roll that out to the rest of the world to make sure people get the right info at the right time.
Busyness information has actually been there in Google Maps since 2016 but it has been, as always, limited to a few select countries. Fortunately, Google now saw it fit to actually roll it out to the rest of the world and will soon be available on Google Maps for web browsers, Android, and iOS.
What this means is that the users will be able to see in real-time how busy a place is so that they can make a better and more informed decision. This information will be displayed right on the map or when getting directions even without having to search for a specific place to find out. That information will also be overlaid on stores and locations when using Maps’ Live View.
Sometimes, however, you want to know how a store is dealing with COVID-19 safety measures. In addition to up-to-date operating hours and procedures via Google Duplex, Maps will also start showing whether establishments require reservations, if patrons are required to wear masks, or if the staff themselves are wearing masks.
Google Maps has become an indispensable tool in navigating the world. It may soon become even more critical in helping people navigate a world that is changing faster and has become more unpredictable than ever before.