Travelers hitting the road during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak are concerned about overcrowding, but TripAdvisor has launched a new platform to help avoid those issues in cities around the United States.
Engineers with TripAdvisor, Slack, Amazon Web Services and nine other technology companies developed the platform, dubbed Crowdfree.me, to help tourists avoid crowds at both businesses and public places, such as parks and beaches.
TripAdvisor spokesperson Brian Hoyt said the technology uses historical traffic data and anonymized cellphone location pings to create a map showing how busy an area is based on the time and the day of the week.
Data is updated once each day and more recent information is weighted higher than older data.
When using the congestion feature, users will be able to click on a location and view how crowded it is via an overlay of a heat map that indicates the density of crowds in public areas through a color-coded system.
The platform also incorporates location safety scores from ViruSafe by Neura, enabling users to identify public spaces and businesses where COVID-19 risk rates are higher. Hoyt confirmed the system does not store personally identifiable information.
Story by Donald Wood, TravelPulse.