Google Maps latest update now shows air quality around users – Technology News, Firstpost



The latest update that Google has rolled out to Google Maps is now helping users get a breath of fresh air. The latest update introduces a new data layer that shows users the latest AQI or Air Quality Index rating of an area.

The update has been made to both the iOS and Android versions. The new update also allows users to get an idea of ​​what the air in an area will look like: whether it’s smoggy, smoky, otherwise bad, or just plain great.

The new AQI layer also comes with a guide to suitable outdoor activities and in a more detailed preview it will also show which outdoor activities should be avoided. The new API on Google Maps also shows when the information was last updated.

Currently, the feature is only available in the United States and certain parts of Canada. The data comes from government agencies, primarily the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency. Maps also show air quality information from PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network that can give you a hyper-local picture of conditions.

To enable this air quality layer on your map, you need to tap the button in the top right corner of your phone’s screen and then select Air Quality under Map Details. PurpleAir’s information is also available on Google Nest displays and Google’s smart speakers.

The new update also has a wildfire layer available in the US as wildfire season approaches. The United States, especially California, has had a terrible history of wildfires.

This wildfire layer update allows users to see details about active fires in the area, thanks to Google’s partnership with the United States National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC. For major wildfires, you can also just search for “wildfires near me” and the associated details will turn up, along with air quality information. “In the coming months,” Google Search will also add smoke data in the US from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These updates will soon be rolled out in other areas, depending on how sensitive certain areas are to extreme pollution and wildfires.

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