Google Search rolls out air quality reports in United States
Google has been testing air quality reports in web search and other products for a while now. Even though the company seemingly hasn’t made an official announcement, air quality reports are now available in Google Search in the United States.
As spotted by 9to5Google, searching for “air quality” followed by a city or other location now shows a map with pins at locations where an air quality sensor is located. Below the map is a list of all surrounding air sensors and their Air Quality Index (AQI).
Google’s air quality information is based on two sources, AirNow and PurpleAir. AirNow is operated jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, and various tribal, state, and local air quality agencies. PurpleAir collects data from a “community of citizen scientists” across the world, using the air sensors developed and sold by the company.
Google first rolled out air quality results in India, back in November, but the company was also testing them on U.S. smart displays as early as October.
It’s unclear when the functionality will appear in other Google products with weather reports, like the Google Weather app/interface, the Weather tile on Wear OS, the ‘At a Glance’ Google widget, and other services. Air quality reports are becoming increasingly more important in the United States, where climate change is contributing to longer and harsher wildfire seasons, which often cause smoke and other particles to move across the country.
Google Search has rolled out other new features over the past few months, such as an option to quickly delete the last 15 minutes of search history, and listings for appointment times at select medical clinics. Google has also been tweaking Search’s algorithms to highlight higher-quality product reviews.