Google Maps Updated with Another Lifesaving Feature the World Really Needs

Google Maps is a fantastic navigation app, there’s no doubt about this, but in the last couple of years, the Mountain View-based search giant has expanded its feature lineup beyond the standard functionality of directing users towards a defined functionality more conveniently.
Google Maps wildfire information 6 photos
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And this week, the company announced another such feature, this time specifically supposed to keep an eye on the active wildfires in a specific region.

More specifically, Google Maps is being updated with a dedicated fire layer that will show up in the app alongside the existing ones for traffic, satellite, and transit.

Using information from other organizations, such as the National Interagency Fire Center in the United States, Google wants to show the active wildfires in a specific region and also provide users with critical information, including evacuation information.

The new layer will display all kinds of useful data, such as emergency phone numbers and websites, but also how many acres have burned following a wildfire. At the same time, Google Maps will provide access to more resources, including news articles and road closures caused by a specific wildfire in a region.

Users will be allowed to send their reports as well, and therefore contribute to providing more accurate data to other people relying on Google Maps for such information.

At first, this feature will be available on Android devices exclusively, with Google explaining that users of its mobile platform should already see the new feature, while those on iOS and the desktop would get it as soon as this month.

The good news is that Google doesn’t want to limit this new layer to the United States, so the company says it’s already working with organizations in other countries to make it happen. Australia is one of the regions where the fire layer will go live, and Google says it hopes the whole thing will take place in the coming months.


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