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Google Maps can now report on air quality

Google Maps can now report on air quality

Google Maps for iOS and Android will now show you the air quality of the area in certain countries.

Tap the little diamond icon in the top right corner of the screen and you’ll find there’s now an option under Map Details to check the air quality of the current area.

This function extracts the Air Quality Index (AQI) data for the map location in question. Zoom out on the map and you’ll see a series of color-coded pins. Tap one and you’ll receive air quality data for the area.

Green means air quality is good, yellow is fair, and orange and darker shades are of variable or poor quality.

It should be noted that this AQI coverage is far from ubiquitous at this point. It doesn’t work here in the UK, for example.

Zooming directly into the world map, we see AQI data available in parts of the United States, India, and southeastern Australia, using data from various local agencies.

In a related blog, Google mentions that it uses PurpleAir for hyperlocal information in the United States. This PurpleAir data can also be verified on Nest displays and speakers.

Presumably, Google will increase this Google Maps air quality coverage over time. Since it appears to be universally available in the app, hopefully it won’t be a lengthy process and Google will be able to connect to local data providers faster.

You may also notice that wildfires have been added as a map detail metric. Unsurprisingly, this is also a US exclusive feature for now.

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