Google Is Monitoring Social Distancing — See How Well Your Neighborhood Is Doing (Video)
The company hopes the data will help local businesses and public transportation.
Google is now reinforcing social distancing rules with data that has kept up with our lives in quarantine.
On Friday, the company released anonymized data collected from Google Maps titled, “COVID-19 Mobility Reports.”
The information is available for 131 countries and regions around the world. The project will likely be expanded over the coming weeks to include more regions. Google believes that officials will be able to use the data to provide better recommendations for business hours, delivery services and frequency of public transportation.
“In addition to other resources public health officials might have, we hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” Google wrote in a blogpost announcing the reports. “Ultimately, understanding not only whether people are traveling, but also trends in destinations, can help officials design guidance to protect public health and essential needs of communities.”
Google clarified that “no personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is made available at any point.”
Although the reports will be used by public officials to shape transportation policy, the reports are available for anyone to access. So you can see how your community has been responding to stay-at-home orders.
In New York City, residents of Queens have reported a nearly 70 percent drop in visits to places of retail and recreation. People are also spending 75 percent less time in transit stations and 20 percent more time at home.
The state of Washington has seen a 48 percent decrease in visits to recreation and retail alongside a 56 percent drop in visits to transit stations. In California, residents have visited public parks 38 percent less often than usual and stayed at home 15 percent more often.
In addition to the mobility reports, Google is working with epidemiologists to build a dataset that could better understand and forecast the spread of the pandemic.
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