It is widely considered that Bing is not nearly as popular a search engine than Google, but the platform has developed something that we think is rather intriguing, and could see more people utilise it for the next few months at least – a coronavirus (COVID-19) tracking global map.
Much like some of the live maps that we’ve written about previously, the Bing offering provides data as to the current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world, along with rankings for all countries and individual statistics. Added to this are links to top search results (via Bing of course) related to COVID-19 for each country.
While this could indeed help people stay up to date in terms of the breaking news, we would have preferred to see links to local health departments and authorities appear too.
Speaking of which, Bing says its data comes from four different sources – the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centre for Disease Control (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Wikipedia. The final one is not exactly an authority, but is likely a resource that many internet users will turn to in order to get more information on COVID-19.
It’s unclear how often this information is updated, but from what we’ve seen the map is updating between every 25 and 30 minutes. That said, some information for specific countries is less up to date than others.
South Africa is accurate with 61 confirmed cases, which was detailed by the president in a press conference less than a day ago, but the Netherlands for example, according to The Verge, features a story from two weeks ago, when the government chose to shutdown schools only yesterday.
Regardless of how accurate the stories are, it looks like the number of cases is, which is perhaps more crucial given this is a tracking tool. We only wish the search-driven elements of this interactive map were a bit better.