Google is introducing new extreme heat warnings in Search that are designed to surface information to help people stay safe during heat waves. The new heat warnings will be rolled out in the coming months.
When people search for information about extreme heat, they now see information about when a heat wave is expected to start and end. The alert also provides tips for staying calm and alerts users to related health issues that they should be aware of. All of this information is prominently displayed in search results. The search giant said it is working with the Global Heat Health Information Network to ensure the information appearing in the alerts is accurate.
“We are launching a new feature to raise awareness about extreme heat to keep people safe, cool and healthy,” Hema Budaraju, Google’s senior product director for health and search, said during a briefing with reporters. “Soon you will see special functions with relevant news, recommended actions and local information during a severe heat wave. The new heat warning is one of many ways we continue to update search to help people find timely, authoritative and actionable information when they need it most.”
Google has been displaying warnings for things like wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and more for several years now. The company notes that the introduction of the heat alert feature comes as search interest in heat waves hit an all-time high globally in June 2022.
The company also said Tree Canopy, a tool that combines AI and aerial imagery to help cities understand their current tree cover and better plan urban forestry initiatives, has expanded from 14 cities to nearly 350 cities worldwide – including Atlanta, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Lisbon , Mexico City, Paris, Sydney and Toronto. Google plans to expand the tool to thousands of other cities this year.
Today’s announcement comes a day after Google said it was introducing new ways for users to verify information on Google Search. The search giant is launching new features called “Perspectives” and “About this author” while also expanding some of its current tools, including “About this result”.
Two weeks ago, Google said it’s making it easier for people to find affordable health centers near them in Search. If a medical clinic offers affordable care, you’ll soon see a label that says “Free or Low Cost Care” below its name in search results.