Google Maps to display information about the air quality around you

Air quality information

Google Maps has rolled out a new air quality feature in the United States for both Android and iOS users. This new feature shows the air quality layer on Google Maps, allowing users to make more informed decisions before going hiking, camping and other outdoor adventures.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measure of how healthy (or unhealthy) the air is, ie whether it is “good”, “moderate”, “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, “unhealthy”, “very unhealthy” or “Dangerous”. It also provides guidelines for outdoor activities based on the AQI when the information was last updated and links for more information.

“If you’re visiting a new place or planning outdoor activities, it can be helpful to know the air quality, such as if it’s unusually smoggy. View the air quality layer on Google Maps for both Android and iOS so you can make informed decisions about whether it is safe to go hiking or other outdoor adventures,” Can Comertoglu, Product Manager, Google Maps and Nofar Paled Levi, Product Manager, wrote Google Search in a blog post.

According to Google, the air quality layer information comes from trusted government agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency

Google Maps also shows air quality information from PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network that provides users with a more hyper-local picture of conditions. You can also view PurpleAir air quality information on Nest displays and speakers.

To add the air quality layer to your map, tap the button in the top right corner of the Google Maps mobile app screen, then select “Air Quality” under Map Details.

In addition, Google, in partnership with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), has also introduced a wildfire layer in Google Maps. This feature allows you to see more details about active fires in the area you are visiting.

For larger wildfires you can use Search to look up “Wildfires Near Me” and all associated air quality information along with useful information about the fire will be displayed.

In the coming months, Google will also add US smoke data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to its air quality information on Google Search.

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