Online map shows wait times at grocery stores

Open-source tool uses Google data to estimate how long it will take to get into grocery stores in Toronto and around the world


Nobody likes waiting in line at the best of times, and that was before queueing to get into a grocery store became an everyday occurrence due to coronavirus related distancing mesures. If you’ve got errands to run on a short schedule or just want to be able to plan your day, a new open-source tool may be able to help.

The interactive map, created by Florence-based developer Miki Lombardi, displays estimated wait times at grocery stores in your area.

“This project aims to avoid the gatherings of people in various supermarkets and pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lombardi wrote on GitHub, adding he does not intend for the project to be for commercial use.

The map, which works around the world, seems to cover the entire GTA – though data is not available for every store. Pins on the map are colour-coded – from green to red – to show estimated waits from between five to 60 minutes.

Lombardi explains the real-time data comes from Google, using similar data to what’s used for the Traffic function in Google Maps. Data from the past week, including time spent inside a business and estimated waiting times at checkout, are also factored into the estimates.

Check out the map, and if you’re interested in helping Lombardi with on the project, you can reach out via GitHub.

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