Australia’s public transport hubs and major retail outlets have seen huge declines in foot traffic, as measured by Google’s mobile data. Transit stations are down 58 per cent while retail and recreation locations are down 45  per cent, according to the data.

By contrast, grocery is only down 19 per cent, while workplaces generally are down 33 per cent.

According to the company, “Google prepared this report to help you and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance related to COVID-19. This report shouldn’t be used for medical diagnostic, prognostic, or treatment purposes. It also isn’t intended to be used for guidance on personal travel plans.”

However, it cautions, “Location accuracy and the understanding of categorized places vary from region to region, so we don’t recommend using this data to compare changes between countries, or between regions with different characteristics (e.g. rural versus urban areas).”

On the COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports page, it notes, “As global communities respond to COVID-19, we’ve heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights we use in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19. These Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

Google says it public health officials have told it that the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights it uses in products like  Google Maps can help with critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

“These Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.”

The Australian figures are remarkably consistent around the country.

Google was also careful to stress that the reports were created in a way that adhered, “to our stringent privacy protocols and protecting people’s privacy.”

“Insights in these reports are created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default. People who have Location History turned on can choose to turn it off at any time from their Google Account and can always delete Location History data directly from their Timeline.”

LinkedIn
Previous post

Use Your Personas to Identify Your Brand’s COVID-19 Action and Content

Next post

Industrial use cases are driving IoT growth