Covid-19 pandemic and activity patterns in Milan. Wi-Fi sensors and location-based data
The recent development of location detection systems allows to monitor, understand and predict the activity patterns of the city users. In this framework, the research focuses on the analysis of a sample of aggregated traffic data, based on the number of mobile devices detected through a network of 55 Wi-Fi Access Points in Milan. Data was collected over 7 months (January to July 2020), allowing for a study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on activity patterns. Data analysis was based on merging: (i) time series analysis of trends, peak hours and mobility profiles; (ii) GIS-based spatial analysis of land data and Public Transport data. Results showed the effectiveness of Wi-Fi location data to monitor and characterize long-term trends about activity patterns in large scale urban scenarios. Results also showed a significant correlation between Wi-Fi data and the density distribution of residential buildings, service and transportation facilities, entertainment, financial amenities, department stores and bike-sharing docking stations. In this context, a Suitability Analysis Index is proposed, aiming at identifying the areas of Milan which could be exploited for more extensive data collection campaigns by means of the installation of additional Wi-Fi sensors. Future work is based on the development of Wi-Fi sensing applications for monitoring mobility data in real time.
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