Today, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new interactive map from Facebook to track COVID-19 Symptoms by category. The map, which currently focuses on the U.S., aggregates survey answers to highlight which areas of the country are seeing the most people with matching symptoms.
The map is live now, and you can check it out to see what your area looks like so far. Not every area has enough respondents yet to show data, though. It’s also important to remember that someone can have symptoms matching the virus and not be infected.
In a survey sent out to Facebook users, people asked to self-report if they or anyone in the household have experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19 or the flu. Facebook says it’s conducting the survey with the help of the Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Center, and the company itself doesn’t receive individual survey responses.
Instead, the company builds the map using aggregated survey data. As Zuckerberg explained in a post on Facebook:
Facebook is uniquely suited to run these surveys because we serve a global community of billions of people and can do statistically accurate sampling. We do this in a privacy protective way where only the researchers at Carnegie Mellon see individual survey responses — and Facebook only sees aggregated data.
You can check the results by date, but currently, the most recent data is from April 12th (about eight days old). While the company doesn’t say how many people have taken the survey, it did say over two million filled it out in the first two weeks.