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Google Maps updates operational status of businesses during COVID-19 closure

With the number of COVID-19 cases spiking all across the globe, social distancing has become one of the norms to keep safe. Malls, cinema halls, school and offices are closed to avoid mass gatherings. And, to update its users about a business operational status, Google Maps has now come up with a new update making operational information available through the Places API. This new update will provide the latest information about the operational status of a business ranging from food delivery, ride sharing, logistics, etc. The idea behind this new update is to give information about the operational status of a business and enhance customers’ experience. This can also make the difference between a successful journey and a wasted trip–and ultimately, customer satisfaction.

This new update is available in a newly added field “Business Status”. This field has three categories ‘operational’, ‘closed temporarily’ and ‘closed permanently’. In case if operational status of a business is not available than the business status field will remain blank.

How to find business status

Business status can be found through Place Search and Place Details requests. With the Place API, one can search for place information using a variety of categories, including establishments, prominent points of interest, and geographic locations. It can be found either through proximity or a text string Additional information is available via a Place Details query.

Furthermore, if one is searching for a specific place that  business status need to specified in the fields parameter to receive that data back in the response.

In image, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art shows temporarily closes status

While requesting information about a place through Place Details directly or through a Place Autocomplete widget, business status in the fields parameter needs to be included. For businesses that are permanently closed, Place Search and Place Details support a field called “permanently closed”, but it doesn’t distinguish between a business or location that is closed permanently or closed temporarily. An application that relies on the ability to distinguish between those values shouldn’t use it.

Google Maps is also allowing businesses to mark their location as temporarily closed and update hours. The status can be updated through Google My Business so that accurate business info appears in Google Maps, Search and the Places API.  In case if a business is operational, one can display its daily opening hours or indicate whether it is open now or at a specific time. For updating the information, use the field opening hours with Place Details.  

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