18 Aug 2022

Revealed: Kilkenny people ARE staying at home - Google location data shows 82% drop in visits to shops and recreation places

Keep it up Kilkenny!

Revelaed: Kilkenny people ARE staying at home - Google location data shows 82% drop in visits to shops and recreation places

Well done Kilkenny - according to newly revealed data people are staying at home and heeding the advice to 'flatten the curve' and stop the spread of coronavirus.

Google Maps has released data from smart phone location services that show a massive drop in visits to places like shops, parks and other recreation spaces in Kilkenny.

The data is usually used to show when businesses or other places are busy. Google say that information is now useful to the health authorities in countries dealing with the coronavirus and has made the data available.

As can be seen from the graphs below, in the last few weeks there has been a dramatic drop in footfall to retail and recreation locations - 82%.

With advice to get out for some exercise once a day, within 2km of your home, the drop in numbers attending parks is not as marked but still very high. Reflecting that people are not travelling to beauty spots or places like the Castle Park.

There can be seen a 47% drop in people attending work places as the 'work from home' directive kicked in, earlier this month.

The smallest drop is for people going to grocery shops and pharmacies. With a 37% drop it shows that while people are still shopping for essentials, it is likely that shopping trips are more planned and there is less 'popping to the shops' for one or two 'top up' items to the weekly shop.

Google say that all this data is anonymized. 

"In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are—helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat Covid-19.

"We’re publishing an early release of our Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports to provide insights into what has changed in response to work from home, shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of this pandemic.

"The reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-to-72 hours prior. While we display a percentage point increase or decrease in visits, we do not share the absolute number of visits. To protect people’s privacy, no personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is made available at any point."

The data currently covers 131 countries, and Google say they are working to add more countries to that list "to ensure these reports remain helpful to public health officials across the globe looking to protect people from the spread of Covid-19."

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