Google launches new site that tracks social distancing activity via location data

by Bryan Brammer · Apr 3rd, 2020 10:12 am

Google launched a new website on Thursday that uses location data collected from users of its products to show how well communities all over the world are practicing social distancing.

The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports website charts "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 data on the website will track mobility changes over several weeks as well as shorter windows of 48 to 72 hours.

Google said the information would be collected in aggregate and will only report percentages rather than specific numbers associated with the category of locations.

The goal of the new website is to "highlight potential surges in attendance" in order to alert public health departments of the "next potential COVID-19 hotspot," according to CNBC.


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