It was only yesterday morning I wrote that Google’s always looking to make products more useful and helpful; today they’ve added detailed information about floods, hurricanes and earthquakes to Maps in an effort to help keep users safe.
Detailed by Hannah Stulberg, Google Maps’ Product Manager on the company’s Keyword blog, the updates are new visualisations for Maps that are presented by new SOS cards.
Directional cones will show the predicted path of hurricanes, shake maps will show the affected areas for earthquakes and flood forecasts will show areas predicted to be affected by flooding. Google specifically calls out India for flood forecasts, where they hope to help reduce flood-related fatalities by getting this information to users who’ll need it.
The new visualisations will appear if you’re in an affected area to let you know what’s happening, and the visualisations will let you know where the impact will be felt.
Additionally, Google’s going to navigate you around impacted areas. Street closures can happen suddenly, and Maps users are able to report them and confirm whether they’re still in effect.
Hurricane and Earthquake visualisations are coming to Maps on mobile apps and web in the coming weeks; flood forecasts will come to Android and web in India, starting soon in Patna then to the Ganges and Brahmaputra regions.