We all know Google tracks our movements; for most of us it's 24/7, as apps like Google Maps run in the backgrounds of our phones.
So it's nice to find out a little of what they know, thanks to the Global COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports.
The report that dropped this week won't come as much of a surprise - we're all staying home a lot more and avoiding places like parks, restaurants and supermarkets (except in the Wingecarribee, where we're flocking to the latter).
But it's sort of fascinating looking at the numbers and comparing local government areas (LGAs).
According to Google, these reports aim "to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19."
The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.
You can look at the information state by state, and LGA by LGA.
They compare current movement to a baseline, which is the median value, for the corresponding day of the week, during the five week period January 3-February 6, 2020.
NSW as a whole has the most comprehensive results, as the data sample is so much larger.
The results from the start of August are as follows:
- Retail and recreation -47% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places such as restaurants, cafés, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries and cinemas.)
- Supermarket and pharmacy -13% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places such as supermarkets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops and pharmacies.)
- Parks -24% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places like national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens.)
- Public transport -72% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places that are public transport hubs, such as underground, bus and train stations.)
- Workplaces -47% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places of work.)
- Residential +22% compared to baseline. (Mobility trends for places of residence.)
Drilling down a little deeper, let's look at how the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands compare.
There are only three categories as smaller populations mean data doesn't meet quality and privacy thresholds for every day in the chart.
Wingecarribee Shire Council
- Retail and recreation -43% compared to baseline.
- Supermarket and pharmacy +22% compared to baseline.
- Parks -39% compared to baseline.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council
- Retail and recreation -49% compared to baseline.
- Supermarket and pharmacy -1% compared to baseline.
- Parks -48% compared to baseline.
So the big stand out is that the Wingecarribee have gone mad for supermarkets and pharmacies, unlike the population of the state as a whole, who are 13 per cent less likely to visit this month.
But Goulburn Mulwaree is only one per cent less likely to be at the supermarket. Not as dramatic as their neighbours up the Hume, but still a statistical anomaly compared to NSW in general.
The only other LGAs with such a passionate embrace of supermarkets at the moment are Bathurst (+20 per cent) and Camden (+34 per cent), with most other populations shunning the aisles.
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