Baidu uses data to track world’s largest human movement as Lunar New Year begins

The company has created a map monitoring location-based data gathered from smart phones

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 8:42pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 8:47pm

Baidu has launched a heat map of where Chinese travelers are heading to, coming from, and which routes are most popular during the Lunar New Year, the country’s largest national holiday.

The heat map, which went online January 27, was created by data Baidu gathered from smart phones through use of the location-based Baidu Maps mobile app, which has more than 200 million registered users and receives 3.5 million position requests every day.

The heat map updates every four to eight hours, showing the most popular destinations, points of origin, and travel routes.

It also includes a search function so viewers can see statistics from specific cities and time frames.

According to the data revealed by the map, the most popular destination for the Lunar New Year is Beijing, followed by Chongqing. The hub cities in Hunan and Guangxi provinces tie for third.

Beijing is also ranked as the most popular city to leave, followed by Shanghai and Guangzhou. The trip both to and from Chengdu and Beijing take up the top two most widely-travelled routes for Lunar New Year travellers. 

The Lunar New Year is a period of massive-scale travel in China, when many workers either return home to their families or go on vacation.

During the 40-day holiday period - called Spring Festival in Chinese - 3.6 billion passenger trips will be made across all modes of transportation, making the Lunar New Year the largest annual mammalian migration on Earth.

To access and view the heat map, click here

Additional Reporting by Jeremy Blum