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Facebook Data for Good Mobility Dashboard

Exploring movement trends across states and counties in the time of COVID-19.

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Launched on April 20, 2020, the Facebook Data for Good Mobility Dashboard is the result of a collaboration between Facebook Data for Good and the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network, a voluntary coalition of researchers and non-profits coordinated by Direct Relief and researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. We were brought in to design and build the Dashboard.

The ultimate goal of this project -- which took place over a very short timeframe as the pandemic began racing across the globe -- was to help answer key questions related to COVID-19. How well have physical distancing interventions worked? Where do communities need the most support with their distancing efforts? How and when, and how quickly, should we reopen different cities, states and countries?

To build this dashboard, we started with de-personalized, aggregated county-level mobility data —which Facebook’s Data for Good program makes available for humanitarian purposes—and we paired it with census data that painted a fuller picture of the populations of the states and counties.

We visualized two different measures of mobility: how often people traveled relative to the day of the week, and the percentage of people who “stayed put” over a 24 hour period. We mapped these trends, county by county, allowing comparison of the trendlines over time, at the state and county level. We added points on those trend lines showing various state government interventions: school closures, emergency declarations, and shelter-in-place declarations - showing the impact of these interventions on mobility trends.

The project continues to evolve, with updates posted daily.

California mobility dropped after a shelter-in-place was implemented on March 19.

Puerto Rico saw a decrease in mobility the week of March 15, a few days after the first Covid-19 cases were announced there.