Google Maps now has a ton of additional information than just being a navigation tool. You can look up reviews for businesses like restaurants, and grocery stores, and even rate them on your own. The company is constantly pushing out features and updates making google maps more convenient to use.
Earlier this month Google added a new (AQI) Air Quality layer to the app. You’ll now see the Air quality index, a measurement of how healthy the air around you is on Google maps. According to a post from Google, it will also provide you with guidance for other activities.
What is the Google Maps AQI layer about?
Knowing the mediocre air quality outside you’d definitely benefit from such information. Google’s AQI information will help you decide whether you should leave your home or stay indoors. Since some people might find it difficult to get the AQI data manually from the web, Google has built it directly into maps.
According to Google, the data comes from trusted government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. They’re also showing air quality information from PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network that gives a more hyperlocal view of conditions.
Here’s how you can view information on the Air Quality layer in Google Maps on iOS and Android:
- Firstly, tap on the layer button that is on the top-right corner of the app (just below the search bar ).
- Next, Find the Air Quality button in the “Map details” section of the options.
- Tap on the Air Quality button and then X out of the menu for the map to be updated.
You can check the AQI all across the United States, even down to specific neighborhoods. Google Maps also tells you when the AQI was last updated and as earlier mentioned offers guidance for outdoor activities.
Google’s different Layers:
Google dedicated a section of the blog post to remind us of the wildfire layer. “As wildfire season approaches, these Google features can help you safely navigate wildfires.” said the post.
With areas of importance distributed throughout the map, the Wildfire layer works similarly to the Air Quality layer. You can go ahead and tap on a Fire to access the most up-to-date information from the National Interagency Fire Center, as well as useful links like road closure data, and top stories from local publications.
If you are worried about wildfire, you can also check out the Risk factor tool. It tells you how likely is your house to be caught in a wildfire or flood. What do you feel about the Google Maps AQI layer? comment below.