Google Maps will tell you where to go to breathe clean air

Google Maps is starting to integrate an air quality index, in order to have the information at your fingertips on the Android or iOS application. And knowing where to go to breathe fresh air.

You only want to know one thing: where to go to breathe fresh air and clear your lungs? Good news: Google Maps is adding a new view to its mapping and GPS guidance tool: that of air quality. For the beginnings of this new service, it is initially the United States which will be entitled to it. Other countries will be served later.

Air quality in Google Maps

Air quality is a major public health issue, particularly in urban centres, where the population is most concentrated (but pollution also affects the countryside). Globally, unclean air is believed to reduce the average life expectancy of individuals by three years and to be linked to 8.8 million deaths each year.

Google’s blog post, published on June 8, is silent on the timeline for rolling out this new visualization elsewhere in the world. Last spring, when this service was presented, the Mountain View firm wrote that ” the air quality overlay will be launched in Australia, India and the United States, with more countries to come. »

Google Air Quality Maps
The layer is simple to understand. // Source: Google

In the American case, Google draws data from government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, but also from PurpleAir, a low-cost sensor network that gives a more local view of conditions. These data are synthesized in an index with an understandable color code, and additional information if necessary.

Pending deployment in France, there are already several online services for knowing the quality of the air around your home, which can be useful in the event of a pollution peak, for example. Services like Airparif and Air Quality Now are a few examples. There are also mobile applications, such as IQAir AirVisual, or global air quality maps.

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