On Sunday, March 29, Google released a series of reports which it collectively christened the COVID-19 Community Mobility Report.
Apparently, Google had been selectively collecting non-intrusive location data on smartphones to help public health officials understand how people’s movements have changed in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The reports show how visits and length of stay at different places have changed compared to a baseline. Google calculated these changes using the same kind of aggregated and anonymised data used to show popular times for places in Google Maps.
“As global communities respond to COVID-19, we’ve heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymised insights we use in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19,” Google wrote in a blog post.
According to the company, the Community Mobility Report aims 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.
Several African countries have adopted various measures aimed at restricting movement since COVID-19 cases began to spike in Africa. At the moment, there are lockdown, stay-at-home orders, and curfews in place in various countries. And as Googles COVID-19 Mobility Report shows, movement patterns have changed.
Here’s a look at the infographics highlighting how the African community is moving differently due to COVID-19:
PS: The data generally reflects the increased desertion of public spaces as people camp indoors at private residences.