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Google Maps can now report air quality

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

Tap on 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 feature pulls up air quality index (AQI) data for the map location in question. Zoom out of the map and you’ll see a series of colour-coded pins. Tap on one of those, and you’ll be given air quality data for the area.

Green means that the air quality is good, yellow is fair, and orange and darker shades are varying grades of poor.

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

Zooming right out to the world map, we’re seeing AQI data available in parts of the US, India, and south east Australia, utilising data from various local bodies.

In a related blog, Google mentions that it’s utilising PurpleAir for more hyper-local information over in the US. This PurpleAir data can also be checked on Nest displays and speakers.

Presumably Google will be increasing this Google Maps air quality coverage over time. Given that it appears to be available in the app universally, we’d hope that this isn’t going to be a lengthy process, and that Google can hook in more local data suppliers reasonably swiftly.

You might also notice that Wildfires has been added as a map details metric. Unsurprisingly, this too is a US-only feature right now.

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