This shows the location data of phones that were on a Florida beach during Spring Break. It then shows where those phones traveled.
First thing you should note is the importance of social distancing. The second is how much data your phone gives off. pic.twitter.com/iokUX3qjeB
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) March 26, 2020
A heat map highlighting cellphone location data within the U.S. is providing a frightening insight into the movements of humans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The data, collected by location technology company X-Mode, was recently plugged into the geospatial data visualization platform known as Tectonix as part of an effort to track the coronavirus across the globe.
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In just one example of the project’s findings, cellphones on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during spring break were selected and tracked. When the festivities ended, the cellphones were seen sprawling out across the Eastern half of the country, potentially bringing cases of the highly contagious virus with them.
X-Mode states that the data used is “anonymized,” meaning a cellphone’s location is not linked to its user’s identity. Tectonix took that raw data and honed in specifically on devices moving between 3 and 10 miles per hour in an attempt to pinpoint cellphone owners believed to be walking or traveling with bikes or scooters.
Aside from Florida, the project has also released its analysis of New York City, which is currently the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. Just like Florida, the data on New York, specifically Manhattan, shows widespread movement throughout the month of March.
Following New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s issuance of a stay-at-home order last week, cellphones in the area were seen moving across not only the entire country but throughout the world.