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Google Maps will now show your area’s air quality on Android and iOS

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Highlights:

  • Google Maps will now show air quality for Android and iOS users.
  • Air quality has become a serious issue across many parts of India.
  • This information comes from trusted government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency in the US.

Google Maps tells you directions, helps you navigate around the city by giving you real-time traffic updates, and even shows you public transport in the area. And now, Maps is getting another much-needed feature that tells you about the air quality in the city, or other parts of the country. The air quality index or AQI is the measuring standard for air quality, and Maps is giving you details about the AQI levels in your city. Maps already give you a host of features, and adding air quality felt inevitable. The option is available for both iOS and Android phone users.

Google, earlier this month, released a major update that brought a host of new features such as flashlight reminders, an updated sound amplifier app, and Real Tone Filters to its Pixel smartphones. Air quality has become a serious issue across many parts of India, especially during the latter part of the year when the air quality deteriorates badly in the country. The company is sourcing the data from the National AQI reader provided by the Central Pollution Control Board or CPCB.

Google Maps air quality feature

Google says that this information comes from trusted government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency in the US and that it is aimed at helping users make more informed decisions about whether it’s safe to go on a hike or other outdoor adventures. In addition to governmental agencies, Google will also show air quality information from PurpleAir, which is a low-cost sensor network that gives a more hyperlocal view of conditions.

The feature gives you AQI levels from 0 to 500 which is measure in green color to dark red, which shows the severity of the pollution in the air. Currently, you can only see the AQI readings, along with the quality of the air giving you advice on whether you should risk stepping out or avoid it. It is likely that Maps will add human inputs to the Air quality feature so that people can crowd-source AQI data in areas where the data is not available to the national body.

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