Google Maps has introduced a new feature, which will let you see the air quality of a place. You can check out the air quality layer on Google Maps for both Android and iOS.
The feature is currently limited to Google Maps users in the United Stated and the company has not yet revealed whether it will be available for other markets as well.
The feature will help you make more informed decisions about whether it’s safe to go on a hike or other outdoor adventures. 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.
According to Google, the air quality layer shows trusted data from government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. In addition to governmental agencies, the air quality information will also be shown from PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network which gives a more hyperlocal view of conditions.
How to use Google Maps air quality Feature
To add the air quality layer to your map, simply tap on the button in the top right corner of your screen, then select Air Quality under Map details.
You can also view air quality information from PurpleAir on Nest displays and speakers. The broad coverage of PurpleAir sensors means significantly more people in the U.S. will be able to access vital air quality information directly from their Nest devices.
In addition to showing air quality related information, Google will also show details regarding raging wildfires in an area on Google Maps. “Before you head out, turn on the wildfire layer in Google Maps to see more details about active fires in the area thanks to our partnership with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
Or, for larger wildfires, you can use Search to look up “wildfires near me”, and we’ll surface associated air quality information along with useful information about the fire,” Google said in a blog post.