First previewed last year, this feature adds a new map layer that can be accessed by tapping the circular button just underneath the search bar and carousel of suggestions. The green Air Quality icon appears in the bottom-right corner alongside Public transit, COVID-19 info, and Wildfires.
Entering the Air Quality layer will zoom out your current Google Maps view. Pins will appear over the largest locations, and you can tap any color-coded dot to see a specific site. More details appear in the bottom sheet with an easy-to-understand text description.
You’ll see Air Quality Index (AQI), a measure of how healthy (or unhealthy) the air is, along with guidance for outdoor activities, when the information was last updated, and links to learn more.
The full US Air Quality Index from 0 to 400+ also appears, and there’s a link to find out more about where the data is coming from. Swiping up on the sheet will list nearby air quality stations. Stateside, data is coming from the Environmental Protection Agency and PurpleAir, “a low-cost sensor network which gives a more hyperlocal view of conditions.”
Meanwhile, searching for “wildfires near me” on Google can now show “associated air quality information along with useful information about the fire.”
In the coming months, we’re also adding smoke data across the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to our air quality information on Google Search.
More on Google Maps:
- Google Maps Street View gets historical browsing on Android & iOS, Studio tool, compact camera
- Did you know you could change your vehicle in Google Maps to the Street View car? Here’s how
- Google Maps directions lead a group of tourists into a stream, Michael Scott style
- How to find gas prices with Google Maps
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