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Apple today announced the release of a new mobility data trends tool using information collected from from Apple Maps, which is designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by providing helpful insights to local governments and health authorities.

applemapsmobilitydatatool.jpg

Apple believes that the data could be used as a foundation for new public policies by showing changes in the volume of people driving, walking, or taking public transit.

The mobility data site uses aggregated data collected from Apple Maps to show mobility trends for major cities and 63 countries or regions. Apple generates the data by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions.

The data sets are compared to reflect a change in the number of people who are driving, walking, or taking public transit, and Apple says that data availability in a particular place is subject to factors like minimum thresholds for direction requests made per day. With the tool, users can search by city, country, or region to see how routing requests have shifted since January 13, 2020, leading up to today. Apple also provides a complete downloadable data set that features daily changes in requests for directions by transportation type for all available countries and cities.

mobilitytrendssfbayarea.jpg

Mobility data sourced from Apple Maps is not associated with a user's Apple ID and Apple does not keep a history of where a user has been. Data collected by Maps, such as search terms, navigation routing, and traffic information is associated with random, rotating identifiers that continually reset, which prevents a profile of movements and searches from being built.

Along with debuting its mobility trends tool, Apple today also highlighted some of the other efforts that it has made in the fight against COVID-19, such as sourcing and donating more than 30 million face masks, and creating and designing face shields.

Apple helped Stanford Medicine build a new app for first responders to screen symptoms, and has added new features to Siri and Maps. Siri Audio Briefs help users receive the latest news and information through the pandemic through short podcasts, and Siri can provide resources if asked questions about coronavirus.

In Maps, Apple is prioritizing grocery, food delivery, and medical services, and Apple has provided learning tools to parents and a selection of curated telehealth apps through the App Store.

Apple has also created a COVID-19 app and website in partnership with the CDC and others to serve as a screening tool, and it is partnering with Google on an initiative that will see the two building a Bluetooth-based privacy-focused platform for tracking COVID-19 exposure.

Article Link: Apple Releases Apple Maps Mobility Data Trends Tool to Help Mitigate COVID-19 Spread
 
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Sir Not Cusa

macrumors newbie
Sep 4, 2017
22
15
This looks kind of interesting. But also looks very imprecise. What specific data, not already provided by e.g. telecom, road tolls, public transport et.c. will this provide to researchers and descicion makers?
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
24,524
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Can someone explain me in what way this data might be useful? Like all I see is that, after lockdowns were enforced, people travel less. Why do I need an app for that and why people can’t come up with this without an app?
It seems like tech companies are obsessed with showing they’re useful and doing something during this crisis. So they’re all standing up websites and apps but it all seems a bit random and not coordinated or fully fleshed out. Even this contact tracing stuff Apple and Google are working on...we don’t know a lot of the details or which governments are going to participate and who ultimately is going to own it and manage it. It’s all kind of a mess right now.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2016
1,187
4,077
Colombia
When did Apple become Google?

They have always been the same in this regard, the only difference is that Apple withdrew from the advertisement business in 2016, but they still collect your data and you still will get all sorts of intrusive ads. It turns out that not everything that happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone. And their tracking practices vary depending on country to country.
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It's not really the same. Google collects complete location histories and ties them to the user account by default, Apple only anonymized routing requests that you explicitly send to them in Apple Maps.

Hahahaha, yeah, right.

By they way, Apple must be doing something special to be able to operate in China when Google cannot (voluntarily).


EDIT: Based on the dislikes of my comment you can have a sense of how innocent the average Apple fan is, our beloved company can do no wrong in their eyes... Deal with it, I am a fan too, but I can recognize their bulls**t.
 
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V_Man

Cancelled
Aug 1, 2013
654
1,122
We totally deserve to lose our privacy and personal freedoms if this is all it takes... We are the most pathetic generation in the history of humanity
Do we really have privacy anymore? NO we don’t.
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It's not really the same. Google collects complete location histories and ties them to the user account by default, Apple only anonymized routing requests that you explicitly send to them in Apple Maps.

yes it is. Even though you don’t want to admit it.
 

Marekul

Suspended
Jan 2, 2018
376
638
This looks kind of interesting. But also looks very imprecise. What specific data, not already provided by e.g. telecom, road tolls, public transport et.c. will this provide to researchers and descicion makers?
It's just a showcase to ease the public into large scale data aggregation. Endgame will be china like social scoring. They already have your score. As soon as they feel large enough portion of public accepts it, they turn it on.
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When did Apple become Google?

They have always been in bed together. 12 billion payment form google this year alone. for majority of IOS search data.
 
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