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COVID-19 Mobility Monitoring Project: Using mobile phones’ location data to measure effects of Italy’s lockdown on human mobility

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Summary

The COVID-19 Mobility Monitoring Project demonstrated in near-real-time how lockdown policies have affected human mobility behaviour in Italy, using aggregated location data from mobile phones. During the February 18 - March 10 period, the project showed the fluctuations in traffic flows between national provinces, the average distance users travelled, and the overlaps of people present in public places. The data are collected from anonymised users who have opted into the GDPR-compliant privacy framework.

Results

The project found significant declines in movement between provinces and in individual mobility in Italy as the policy restrictions took effect. For instance, the overall average of fluxes between provinces decreased by 50 percent during the observation period. On March 10, approximately 50 percent of all people in Italy did not leave their homes, while in the provinces of Lodi, Piacenza, Fermo, and Vercelli the share stood at 100 percent. Overall, this project underlines how location data obtained from mobile phones can provide valuable, near-real-time insights into human mobility, particularly the effects of disaster response policies. 

 

(Picture: ISI Foundation)

Last modified
19 May 2020