Google Maps now has an Air Quality Index layer

The world’s most-used mobile navigation app has broadened its layers to offer localised readings for pollutants including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter PM2.5

Google Maps has expanded on its benchmark-setting offering, allowing users to search for air quality measurements in their area, with support for both Android and iOS platforms. 

person standing near bare tree

PM2.5, NOx, CO2 and pollen counts are included in the readings, which are now available for any location across the United States. Other countries are expected to be added in the coming months, mirroring the recent rollout of another climate related Google Maps feature, which gives up-to-date information on the location of wildfires. 

The fact tech giant Google has added these elements is indicative of acknowledgement that the climate crisis, and its impacts, are becoming an everyday threat to human health, among other things. Earlier this year, a new report was published showing that fires on the Pacific U.S. coast were becoming so prevalent and ferocious the emissions were impacting pollution levels and air quality across the entire North American continent

Those looking to test the new Air Pollution Index within Google Maps can do from anywhere in the world, but will need to set their location by dropping a pin somewhere in the U.S., then hitting the top-right button that resembles a stack of layers, and selecting Air Quality. The same steps should be followed for Wildfires. It’s also possible to search for ‘Air Quality in [location]’ via the mobile Google app or web browser search engine.



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