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Introducing the Air Quality API: Promoting resilience to a changing climate
A heat map of air quality data across the US and showing specific data for a city in Texas.
Ran Korber
Product Management Director, Google Maps Platform
Emil Fisher
Research & Development Director, Google Maps Platform
Aug 28, 2023
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Editor’s Note: This post is part of our Next '23 series sharing the latest Google Maps Platform news from the global exhibition of inspiration, innovation, and education. To learn more about our new products, join the What's New with Google Maps Platform session tomorrow from 11- 11:45 a.m. PDT.


According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is one of the greatest environmental risks to health. With the changing climate and increase in wildfires around the world, the quality of the air we breathe will likely continue to worsen. Today we announced the general availability of our Air Quality API, as part of a new suite of environment APIs available from Google Maps Platform. The Air Quality API gives you access to robust and reliable air quality data, lets you visualize pollution via heatmaps, and lets you share in-depth pollutant details and recommendations. Empower people to avoid air pollution exposure and risks while improving business outcomes like user engagement and brand loyalty.  Create new revenue streams by adding air quality information as a premium feature. Or help increase sales by proving product value.

How the Air Quality API works

Air quality is highly dynamic, and it’s often a challenge to track with traditional reporting methods due to limitations such as delays in reporting and lack of coverage between stations.To account for the dynamic nature of air pollution, we combine information from multiple data sources, which include government monitoring stations, sensors, models, meteorological data, satellites, land cover, and live traffic information. This approach means we’re able to collect information even when one source becomes unavailable. 

We validate and organize several terabytes of data each hour resulting in air quality information that is reliable and specific to the user’s location. This means that businesses can be the go-to for health-related decision making for minimizing exposure to air pollution–even when it comes to the hyperlocal questions such as which park to go to, whether to walk or drive to the office, and if they're likely to need their asthma inhaler.

Deliver air quality information that empowers users to take action

Our air quality data includes current and historical air quality, calculated in almost half a billion locations globally, covering 100 countries up to a 500 meter (or 1650 feet) resolution. As air quality is often measured on different scales around the world, we provide a universal air quality index to easily make global comparisons; additionally, over 70 local indexes are also included. And you can provide this granularity all over the globe and, in many countries, in your user's local index for familiarity or as a universal index to easily compare to other locations.

With these features you can empower people to monitor the surrounding air quality and make more informed decisions, with information such as: when it’s safe to exercise/have leisure time outside; what’s the best route for a hike, bike, or drive; when to activate air purifiers and stay indoors; and when vulnerable groups should take preventative action to improve symptom management

How air quality data can improve user experience

With the Air Quality API you can become a dependable source of key insights to inform healthier daily decision making in a way that also supports business growth. Tailored reporting and dynamic environmental visualizations are highly engaging, as they help people ‘see’ and understand the air around them, and take action accordingly. 

Smart home brands can leverage air quality forecasts and insights to better manage wellness in indoor spaces, providing more value to their users through digital solutions that don’t require new hardware investment. This also applies to smart environment management systems in workplaces, classrooms, hospitals, and various other public and commercial buildings.

Healthcare companies can leverage air quality and other environmental data to inform research ventures and treatment plans to better engage patients and empower them in their own care to achieve improved health outcomes.

Smart mobility and automotive brands can enhance environmental protection during daily journeys with cleaner route planning and insights on the go that automate in-cabin air treatment systems or prompt motorists to turn on their AC or close the windows to minimize exposure to harmful air quality conditions on the road.

Getting started 

Whether your business is looking for a way to build brand loyalty and trust, increase engagement and product value, or become a catalyst for a more informed community, the Air Quality API supports a variety of use cases with health related benefits for your customers.

With the potential to significantly impact peoples’ lives, we’re excited to see the innovations created by integrating air quality data into various business models. To get started, check out our Air Quality webpage and documentation. To learn more about our new suite of Environment APIs, join the What's New with Google Maps Platform session tomorrow from 11-11:45 a.m. PDT.

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