Ostrava, 27th October 2020 – Today, most of us in the Czech Republic own a mobile phone, and there are even more functional SIM cards than residents. Therefore, it is the operational data of mobile operators that is being used at IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center at VSB –Technical University of Ostrava to deal with crisis situations. The data is processed in anonymised form and provide information on population movements during the coronavirus pandemic. The results are made available to the public in the Mobility Atlas with day-to-day level of detail in all regions and cities above 50,000 inhabitants.

Earlier in the spring, the Atlas Mobility project was launched at VSB - Technical University of Ostrava. It is a research project carried out jointly with T-Mobile CR, which focuses on population mobility extracted from anonymised data during the coronavirus pandemic. The outputs from this project were offered by T-Mobile to the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. The Government of the Czech Republic is issuing measures to restrict the movement of residents and thereby has an opportunity to verify their compliance with this data. The research uses only anonymised data, which means that all data is available only in an aggregated form and it is not possible to determine the identity of a specific person from the results or data sets processed. As these are large data sets, high-performance calculations are needed for their extraction and correct interpretation, and this is all done with the help of the supercomputers located at IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center, which is part of VSB –Technical University of Ostrava.

“Based on the data extracted from the mobile network, via the portal of the Mobility Atlas of the Czech Republic we can find out what the mobility of the population was like on a given day compared to a normal day in a similar period. Therefore, for example, we know that on Sunday, 25th October, the population mobility was significantly higher than on other Sundays. The number of people not travelling anywhere has dropped by 66% on average in the Czech Republic, which can also be due to the very nice weather this past weekend," says Miroslava Vozňák, who is behind the Mobility Atlas portal at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava.

Data on the changes in the number of people not travelling anywhere, which is the most revealing data on population mobility changes, is published daily around 4 p.m. and are freely available on the Mobility Atlas website https://atlas-mobility.danse.tech/pro-nev.html. The data is available with day-to-day level of detail in all regions and cities above 50,000 inhabitants.

The methodology for processing this data was created in a research project supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. By consistently applying the same method, a time series has been created in which the population mobility can be monitored, the incremental changes in the monitored indicators can be compared to each other and thus the impacts of the measures can be implemented.