The new Google Maps AQI feature has arrived
Google has introduced a new tool known as the Google Maps AQI that will help check air quality on Google Maps for Android and iOS devices. The tech giant states that the AQI will help “make more informed decisions about whether it’s safe to go on a hike or other outdoor adventures.”
AQI, which is the acronym for Air Quality Index, is utilized by governmental agencies to educate the public on how polluted a specific area can be. The Google Maps AQI will show information from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as PurpleAir, a sensor network that offers hyper-local air quality data.
The convenient update arrives just in time during Google Maps’ 15th anniversary. Now here’s how to check the air quality on Google Maps in four simple steps:
- Launch Google Maps and either type the address you intend to visit in the search field or click the arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to determine your location.
- To open the layers menu, click the layers button on the upper right corner next to the search bar.
- Tap on “Air Quality” from the list of “Map details”.
- The Google Maps AQI will then appear, providing the most recent information about the weather in the area that was searched.
Looking up air quality on Google Maps is currently only available in the United States. This service may eventually go global, and thanks to data provided by regional partners, smartphone users around the world will soon be able to check the local air quality in their area.
Thanks to their partnership with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), Google Maps is also releasing additional data about ongoing wildfires in the U.S. Users may now search “wildfires near me” in Google Search to get both air quality and other helpful information about the fire. In the upcoming months, Google Maps will also incorporate smoke data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).