Google Maps Now Has an Air Quality Index Layer

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

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

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

The fact that tech giant Google added these elements is indicative of the recognition that the climate crisis and its impacts are becoming a daily threat to human health, among other things. Earlier this year, a new report was released showing that fires on the Pacific coast of the United States were becoming so widespread and fierce that emissions were impacting pollution levels and air quality across the whole of the North American continent;.

Those looking to test out the new air pollution index in Google Maps can do so from anywhere in the world, but will need to set their location by dropping a pin somewhere in the US and then tapping the top right button that looks like a stack of layers and selecting Air Quality. The same steps should be followed for wildfires. It is also possible to search for ‘Air quality in [location]’ via the Google mobile app or web browser search engine.

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