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How to Check Air Quality Index and Wildfires on Google Maps

by Ravi Teja KNTS
How to Check Air Quality Index and Wildfires on Google Maps

Along with details like traffic, directions, street view, and 3D Maps, Google Maps also displays air quality index and active wildfires. At the time of writing this article, you can only check the air quality index in the United States, India, and Australia. Whereas wildfire data is supported in many other countries. However, both the features are available in all the countries to explore even if Google Maps cannot fetch relevant data for that specific country. Here’s how you can check air quality index and wildfires data on Google Maps.

How to Check Air Quality Index on Google Maps

You can check Air Quality Index in the US, India, and Australia only. This feature should be available in all the countries though, we feel. So you can check for yourself if Google started supporting your country or not. Note that the air quality index is only available only on Google Maps mobile apps, and not the web app.

1. Open the Google Maps app on your Android/iOS device. The option is not available on the desktop web version yet.

2. Tap on the Layers icon below the search in the top right corner.

3. In the menu that opens, tap on the Air Quality icon at the bottom right corner.

Air Quality option on Google Maps

4. This should zoom you out on Google Maps and display air quality index data on the map for broad areas.

5. In order to view the air quality index of your locality, zoom in or pan to find bubbles with numbers surrounding them. The lower the index value, the better the air quality in your area.

Checking Air Quality on Google Maps mobile

6. Tapping on any bubble will open a small menu below with more info such as the impact on the people living there, quality rating, and is it healthy or unhealthy. The color-coded bar chart gives a fairly good idea once you begin to check other areas that you know to have lower or higher air pollution.

Info on Air Quality of a specific area on Google Maps

7. Understanding the air quality info shown by Google Maps is extremely easy. Tap on the bubble to know if the air quality in that area is good, moderate or bad.

Health data and AQI on Google Maps

8. Apart from that, you can also verify when the data was last updated, where the data is coming from, and also how much effect it is going to have on the people living there. Again, simply tap on the bubble and expand the menu that appears at the bottom to view this.

Air Quality update in Google Maps

How to Check Wildfires on Google Maps

Along with the Air Quality Index, you can also see Wildfires data on Google Maps’ Android, iOS, and also web apps. It also supports more countries including several European countries.

On Google Maps Smartphone App

1. To check wildfires, open the Google Maps mobile app.

2. Tap on the Layers option at the top right corner and select the Wildfires layer from the menu.

Wildfires option on Google Maps

3. Now you should see wildfires that are currently active in that area. Tap on the wildfire icon to view more details.

Checking out Wildfires on Google Maps

4. Tap on See the latest updates to quickly open Google Search with details like news, videos, and more.

See latest updates about Wildfires on Google Maps

5. A handy feature is the ability to Report road closure directly from Wildfires’s info page.

Blocking roads for wildfire data on Google Maps

6. Google Maps will send a notification when it detects you are near an active wildfire.

Wildfires notifications on Google Maps

On Google Maps Desktop Web App

1. Open the Google Maps website on the browser and click on the layers icon at the bottom left corner.

Layers option in Google Maps Desktop Web app

2. Then select the More option to view more Layers.

More Layers options in Google Maps Desktop Web app

3. In the menu that opens, click on the Wildfires tile.

Wildfires options in Google Maps Web app

4. Now you can check all the active wildfires around the world.

Checking Wildfires on Google Maps

5. Clicking on them will open a side panel where you can see more info about the wildfire.

Wildfire data on Google Maps

6. Just like on the mobile app, you can also see the latest updates and block road options in the sidebar.


Where Google Collects Air Quality Index Information From?

The quality of the source is more important for info like the air quality index and wildfires. Google Maps fetches this data from various government agencies, environmental protection agencies, PurpleAir, AirNow, National AQI of India, and EPA Victoria for Australia.

Where Google Collects Wildfire Infomation From?

Google partnered with National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the US, and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) for countries like Australia.

Air Quality and Wildfires on Google Maps

It’s good that we can view such important info in an app that we already use and love. But, the air quality index is just a recent entry and still needs to support many other countries and must be available on the web app just like the wildfires feature. Is your smartphone slow or old? Learn how Google Maps Go, a lighter version of Google Maps can help.

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