Visualising mobility in T&T

Above: Residential presence in T&T according to Google’s Mobility Tracker. Graphing and design by Ian Reid.

Every mobile phone has the ability to track its user’s location data. Google has set up a specific resource showing the percentage change for check ins via a mobile device. This “Community Mobility Report” gives us an insight into how things changed from February to April 23rd, 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic. The report by country is here . I decided to visualise the Trinidad & Tobago data and give it more context.

In this case what was very interesting to me, was the huge spike in “Park visits” during the Carnival season. This would probably be the last time we would see a spike like this for a long time to come. Also interesting the drop in “workplace” visits for the same period. Then there is the panic buying on the 30th of March when the lockdown was announced.

Movement to groceries and pharmacies.

I’d like to call this “the Toilet Paper Panic of 2020”. The visits to groceries spiked and then went flat for generally the rest of the period until the 14th when the Government announced the closure of restaurants. Grocery visits were on a downward trend until the restaurants were closed and then it went up again. School visits are not tracked by Google it seems, but some schools would be classified as “workplaces” This also saw a sudden fall and then remained steady as essential services were normalised during the initial lockdown.

Overall the government’s call to say home has worked, but it hasn’t been a total lockdown. People are still visiting essential services like the groceries and the Hardware stores etc. Residential data maintained the average for the period which is also encouraging.

It would be interesting to see how this graph changes for May after lockdown restrictions are relaxed. Exactly what will be relaxed first is anyone’s guess. However I do believe that relaxation on Hardware stores opening hours and limited restaurant openings will happen. We flattened the curve, somewhat, according to Google. Stay Safe and Stay Home.

Several vectors are charted here.
Ian Reid

Ian Reid runs his own brand consultancy With over 20 years in the marketing and advertising business, he specialises in using data and design to build companies digital real estate and help increase their profitability.

His passion is making the web an easier, more fun place to navigate and technology more accessible to children with special needs. He believes technology is essential for helping those who are on the Autism Spectrum communicate and find opportunities in life.”