Apple's data map shows how Australia's movements have changed post-lockdown.
Apple's data map shows how Australia's movements have changed post-lockdown.

Graph shows how Australia has changed

New data has revealed a massive drop in movement since the coronavirus lockdowns took effect in Australia.

Nationally driving has decreased by 47 per cent, walking by 54 per cent, and transit by 78 per cent since the virus reached our shores in March.

Melbourne saw the sharpest drop of all of Australia's capital cities, with driving down 53 per cent, walking down 61 per cent, and transit down 81 per cent.


Sydney saw a slightly smaller impact, with driving down 42 per cent, walking down 58 per cent and transit down 77 per cent.

The data, released by Apple, was gathered by counting the number of routing requests from Apple Maps - the iPhone's default navigation app - and comparing it with past usage to detect the changes.

The data project is ongoing and the information is being updated daily and compared with mid-January, before lockdown measures were put in place.

Apple said the data is aggregated so that individual users are not tracked on their locations.

The company said the purpose of the new website was to help global efforts to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 by giving insights into the movement of people to governments and health authorities.

Hong Kong and Seoul, among the first places hit by the virus after it emerged in mainland China, saw mobility numbers drop by as much as 60 per cent from the second half of January.

In the weeks that followed, the disease marched into Europe and North America, and the Apple data shows the severe impact on movement in those regions.

Rome saw a staggering drop in mobility numbers - more than 90 per cent - starting early March. London followed within a couple of weeks with a plunge in transit figures of nearly 90 per cent.

New York City, the epicentre of the outbreak in the US, saw transit and walking down by more than 80 per cent in March as the crisis worsened.

In Singapore, mobility figures were reduced but not dramatically since January, but following a surge in cases and a lockdown imposed earlier this month, they plunged.

Apple's website follows the launch earlier this month of a similar movement data tool from Google.

Both projects use anonymised data, the firms have said, as rights activists have raised concerns about the privacy and security of users being compromised in anti-coronavirus projects that involve personal information.

Google and Apple have also announced that they are teaming up to help authorities trace contacts between people using Bluetooth technology, and have vowed that privacy and security are "central" to the initiative.

- with AFP

Originally published as Graph shows how Australia has changed

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