Google Maps for Android, iOS now shows air quality (AQI)

Like on Nest Hubs and soon the Pixel’s At a Glance widget, Google Maps now surfaces air quality index (AQI) data on Android and iOS.

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.”

Air quality in Google Maps for Android and iOS is widely rolled out in the United States today.

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 US from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to our air quality information on Google Search.

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