Headline News By Craig Lord 140 Views

Google Maps searches show how Ottawa residents have adapted to pandemic life

Ottawa residents’ interests in cycling, gardening and other outdoor activities spiked in the first eight months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to recently released data from Google Maps.

The search giant’s Maps team released data Tuesday showing year-over-year changes in Ottawa residents’ searches and travel activity from March to October 2020.

Among the starkest drops was a decline in public transit interest, with searches for bus routes and other transit options in Ottawa down 52 per cent from the same period in 2019.

Inputs for walking directions also decreased by 23 per cent during the pandemic, while searches for cycling routes spiked 41 per cent year-over-year, according to the report.

Google Maps data also signalled a rising interest for local shopping across all major cities in Canada.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many Ottawans were also interested in outdoor activities as the weather warmed in May.

That month, searches for home and garden stores in Ottawa jumped 83 per cent year-over-year.