Video shows phones at a Florida beach during spring break, and where they all traveled during the coronavirus outbreak

This is just one beach, in one small part of the country.

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA TECTONIX/TWITTER
Photo via Tectonix/Twitter


A new “heat map” using cellphone location data shows the terrifying consequences of Florida’s beaches remaining open during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

As you can see in the video, cellphones on a single beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during spring break were selected and tracked, and then seen sprawling all over the Eastern half of the country, potentially spreading the virus even further. 

The video was created to show human movement during the coronavirus pandemic and uses data collected by a location technology company called X-Mode, which was then put into the Tectonix data visualization platform. 


There’s a few takeaways here. One: This is just one beach, in one small part of the country. The same companies also released a graphic for New York, which is much much worse. Two: Social distancing works and is insanely important. Had these spring breakers, and others across the country, actually cared in the beginning of this outbreak we wouldn’t have to endure countless apology posts. Three: Your cellphone gives off a ton of data, and while this type of data isn’t specifically inked to your identity, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to “re-identify” people to their phones. This is troubling to say the least. 

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.

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