Saturday, April 18, 2020

Where People Still Meet

For the last five weeks all my grocery shopping has taken place at 6 am. According to Google this is the time of day when my local supermarket is the least crowded. Google's 'Popular Times' chart (which appears when you search for a venue) shows the average popularity of a venue for every hour of the week. This popularity is determined using aggregated and anonymized data from mobile phone users who have opted in to Google Location History.

Advan Research are using a similar methodology in their latest interactive map. Advan's Global Hot Spots Map shows locations across the world where people are still meeting for prolonged periods of time. The map uses anonymized mobile phone data to highlight the non-residential locations around the globe where people are still congregating for more than 15 minutes at a time.

My limited search of the map shows that many of the hot-spots on the map are stores. This in itself could be useful if you want to identify and avoid the most busy stores. It would be quite useful, however, to also have an option to filter out stores on the map. This might help users and local authorities to identify locations where people are still gathering (outside of grocery shopping).

1 comment:

martin burroughs said...

Had a look at this locally (UK), and it seems dubious. Several very large supermarkets don't show up, while some unexpected locations with no features do show up. Something may be awry with the algorithm.