Apple expanded its Mobility Trends Reports data set this week to include hundreds of new cities and sub-regions, allowing researchers to better study the effects of COVID-19 on personal and public transportation.
Oklahoma is a new addition to Apple’s Mobility Trends Reports project.
In total, the mobility trend reports now cover some 800 countries, regions, cities and subregions, including the 50 states, as well as major metropolitan areas and population centers around the world.
According to Asymco Horace Dediu, which has closely followed the evolution of the tool, Apple added this week about 580 sub-regions to its list of supported locales. The new category further strengthens Apple’s entire data set to provide a top-down view of driving, walking and public transit trends around the world.
Launched in April, Mobility Trends Reports illustrates the impact of COVID-19 on regular travel by aggregating and mapping Apple Maps routing requests.
The reports allow researchers and other interested parties to consult the monthly changes collected since January 13, 2020, which serves as a reference for the tool. Most locations offer data on driving route requests, while others integrate walking route requests. Transit data is provided in major cities and countries.
In its early days, Apple said the graphics “provide useful informationon to local governments and health authorities” affected by the coronavirus pandemic, “and could also be used as the foundation for new public policy by showing the change in the volume of people driving, walking, or taking public transit in their communities. “All data is anonymized and Apple noted that it does not keep a” profile “of users’ movements or searches.
Mobility trend reports are one of many initiatives Apple has taken to help track and mitigate viruses in these unprecedented times. The company is working with Google on a cross-platform exposure notification system that should soon be rolled out to users. Other projects include a COVID-19 screening application, the surfacing of COVID-19 test sites in Maps, the design and manufacture of protective masks for health workers and donations of N95 masks.