Google Maps has added new features for the United States in its Android and iOS apps. The company will allow people to see the air quality of any place in the USA and keep people updated with active wildfires.
Both Air Quality Index (AQI) and Wildfires are added to the Google Maps app as layers similar to traffic, public transit, 3D, etc. “We collaborate closely with partners in the weather and air quality space to surface helpful and authoritative information when you need it most,” said Google in a blog post.
The Air Quality data in Google Maps will be reliable and sourced from government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. For hyperlocal details of air quality, Google will rely on PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network which has broad coverage.
For Wildfire conditions, Google is partnering with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). The Wildfire layer and its details will be available on Google Maps and can also be checked on Google Search by typing “wildfires near me”.
“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. In the coming months, we’re also adding smoke data across the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to our air quality information on Google Search,” added Google.
The map layers can be accessed by tapping the circular button on the right side below the search bar. The air quality layer will show coloured dots in various locations. Red is for very unhealthy, yellow and orange are for unhealthy, and green is for healthy air quality.