Google Cloud has launched the Air Quality API, which allows users to access updated air quality data every hour in over 100 countries worldwide. The data for some locations can provide accurate results within a range of 500 meters, and historical hourly data is available for the past 30 days.
According to Google, air pollution has become a serious issue, and checking air quality has become as important as checking weather forecasts. Therefore, the Air Quality API has been developed to make it easier for app developers or hardware manufacturers to access and use the data without having to invest in additional air quality sensors. They can simply retrieve the data from the API instead.
Google has provided examples of how the API can be used, such as smart home devices that can predict and adjust their operations based on air quality, in-car information systems that display air quality information for the destination, and recommendations for drivers to close windows, use sunroof shades, or avoid certain routes.
Google states that the air quality data comes from various sources around the world, covering nearly 500 million locations. Although each country may have different air quality measurement indexes (local index), Google has implemented a universal Air Quality Index (AQI) to compare data globally. In some countries, the data can be detailed enough to show the levels of each type of gas, which can be useful for apps that require further calculations.
The Air Quality API is part of the Google Maps Platform services and is a paid API. The pricing is $5 per 1,000 requests per month, and those interested can try it out on the demo page available on the Google website.