Google shows how confinement has changed the routines of citizens of countries Covid-19
The company releases a series of reports that reflect trends in travel to places such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and work and residence places in recent weeks.The only displacement that the Spanish do now more than before the declaration of the state of alarm is the one that occurs in the residential areas. This is revealed by the mobility trends published by Google to collaborate with health authorities and researchers in the containment of the coronavirus. At the other end of the scale, there are sharp declines in activities such as visiting supermarkets, pharmacies, parks or workplaces.
The objective of these reports, prepared by the Mountain View giant for 131 countries, is to contribute to a better understanding of the response that the social distancing measures implemented are having in response to the spread of the virus. “They use aggregated and anonymized data to monitor movement trends over time and geographies across different broad categories,” explains Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of Google Maps, in a post by the company, whose plan is to continue expanding the number of countries and regions. included in the study .
The data collected in the reports comes from users who keep Google’s location history activated on their phones, thus leaving their accounts disabled. In this sense, they clarify that the calculations come from a sample of users: “As with all samples, this may or may not represent the exact behavior of a larger population Covid-19.”
Regarding the scope of the information shared, the company ensures that all published analyzes have been prepared in compliance with strict privacy protocols. “At no time will personally identifiable information be offered, such as locations, contacts and movements of an individual,” they explain.
For now, the information of each country is offered in documents in PDF format – not reusable – that the company has posted on the project website, dubbed COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports . “These are unprecedented times and we will continue to evaluate these reports as we receive feedback from health authorities, civil society groups, local governments and the community at large,” Fitzpatrick concludes.
In the case of Spain, the breakdown of the different categories of travel studied by Google for each autonomous community is also included. Madrid registers, for example, a 94% drop in trips to shops and entertainment venues that, with small variations, is practically extensible to the rest of the regions. In the commute to work section, there are greater differences, with decreases of up to 66% for the Canary Islands or the Valencian Community, which, in the case of Galicia, remain at 59%.
In relation to other countries, the figures for Spain bear great similarity to those for Italy – in both, trips to shops and entertainment venues fell by 94% – but greater differences were registered with respect to countries in which the impact of the Covid-19 has followed other deadlines. In the United Kingdom, this variation is 85%. And the increase in displacements in places of residence remains somewhat shy at 15%, compared to the 24% and 22% registered by Italy and Spain, respectively.
These studies share, due to their focus on the displacement of citizens, certain similarities with the initiative of mobile tracking launched by the Government in recent days, but they use different sources. The project managed by the National Statistics Institute (INE) will obtain its data on the movements of the antennas of the devices, from which the position of the owners of the telephones will be derived. Telephone companies will also anonymize this data before making it accessible to the Government.