Google Releases User Location Data Showing Affects of Social Distancing

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(WDEF) – Google has started releasing mobility reports using location data to show how people are responding to social distancing and shelter in place orders. The releases are an effort to help public officials measure the effectiveness of recent orders.

The data is compiled for 131 countries and regions to highlight movement trends over time. The data also breaks down into counties within the United States. The reports can be found at https://www.google.com/covid19/mobility/

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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee cited cellphone movement through GPS technology in his reasoning to issue a Stay-At-Home order for the state.

The information is gathered from Google Maps or the search giant’s other services, but no personal details, such as an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is disclosed. Google plans to update the reports regularly, with a lag of two to three days.

Here is a glimpse at Tennessee’s stats followed by Hamilton County.




The reports chart whether more or less people are flowing into shops, parks, grocery stores, pharmacies, subway stations and offices. The company said it has heard from health officials who say the readings could be helpful for making critical decisions on how to fight the virus.

For example, “persistent visits to transportation hubs might indicate the need to add additional buses or trains in order to allow people who need to travel room to spread out for social distancing,” Google said.