COVID-19 Mobility Data Network

In the early stages of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, providers from around the world began to make previously restricted datasets available for researchers and policymakers.

These commercial data, largely collected through interactions with smartphones, showed early promise in elucidating how human mobility affected the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between and within populations. In March, 2020, 100+ scientists from around the world came together form the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network (CMDN) – the precursor to CrisisReady.

The CMDN’s research scientists, epidemiologists and public health responders used mobility data from technology companies to advance analytic methods to inform public health interventions like lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The Network met weekly throughout the pandemic in 2020. Key outputs can be viewed here:


Digital Mobility Data, Physical Distancing, and COVID-19 in Syracuse

August 11, 2020

Syracuse is a modest sized city of just over 140,000 people in upstate New York. It sits within the heart of the Finger Lakes region, not far from Lake Ontario. Although far from the worst hit areas of New York state by COVID-19, Syracuse saw alarming increases in cases and deaths during the initial wave of the pandemic.

TAGS:Mobility Data COVID-19 Case Studies Facebook Syracuse mobility


Mobility Data and the Limits of Data Protection Frameworks

October 7, 2020

The near real-time information about human movement provided by aggregated population mobility data has tremendous potential to help refine interventions when appropriate legal, organizational, and computational safeguards are in place. As the private sector, policymakers, and academia work together to leverage novel sources of data to track the spread of the pandemic, Randall Harp, Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, and Juniper Lovato from the University of Vermont argue that anonymization at the individual level is insufficient– the notion of privacy should extend to communities as well.

TAGS:Mobility Data Data Policy OpenDP COVID-19 Blog UVM data protection privacy


Mobility Data Analysis and Application in the United Kingdom

May 11, 2020

The MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA) at Imperial College London is an international resource and centre of excellence for research and capacity building on the epidemiological analysis and modelling of infectious diseases, and to undertake applied collaborative work with national and international agencies to support policy planning and response operations against infectious disease threats.

TAGS:COVID-19 Blog Imperial United Kingdom Facebook mobility

User Feedback – COVID-19 Mobility Data Network

The COVID-19 Mobility Data Network CMDN – User Feedback Project gained a more in-depth understanding of how researchers and practitioners used, shared, and communicated mobility data with public health and policy decision-makers all over the world.

Three case studies (United States, Thailand, and Chile) show how data teams created dashboards for policy makers, navigated responsible data sharing challenges, and worked directly with national ministers to provide evidence for policy planning.

Over 70 individuals from teams all over the world were contacted and interviewed. Six thematic briefs listed below detail the revealing insights about the power of collaborative networks, opportunities and challenges of co-designing how best to align purpose and reveal meaning from mobility data. The briefs also highlight the importance of data translators, dynamic iterative conversations and the process of transforming data to practice.

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