Google has released new data on how the coronavirus pandemic has reduced pedestrian traffic heading to transit centres, retail stores, and public parks in more than 130 countries.
The tech giant is starting to release COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. They provide information in the form of movement reports, the data of which are collected from location data on the user’s mobile phone. Google only shows a decrease and an increase in the number of people who are in certain locations and doesn’t release individual information.
“On Google Maps, we use aggregated and anonymous data to show how full a place is, to help identify what time a place is the most crowded. This kind of data can help medics fight COVID-19,” Google wrote in a recent blog post.
Each report will show the pattern of human movement to certain places. Travel to parks and transportation centres has declined since last month. To maintain user privacy, this information will not indicate a person’s place or location individually.
“This information can help us understand how important it is that people stay at home and what additional steps might be needed to slow down the spread,” Sarah Cody said, the health officer and director for the public health department of the city of Santa Clara.
in Indonesia, for example, in a report dated 29th March, there was a 47% decline in traffic to shops, restaurants, and the like. For public transportation, the decline was at 54%, and the decrease in the movement of users at work was 15%. At the same time, there has been a 15% increase in movement in residential areas.
Image: Android Police