Baidu uses data to visualise Chinese New Year travel movements

China’s largest search engine visualises 3 billion planned trips during Chinese New Year.

 

Baidu, China’s most popular search engine has launched a heat map of travellers going home for Chinese New Year. The map shows where travelers are heading to, coming from and which routes have the most traffic during the country’s largest holiday.

Baidu uses data to visualise Chinese New Year travel movements
Baidu uses data to visualise Chinese New Year travel movements

It’s the largest annual migration in the world, with more than 3 billion planned trips in during the festival.

The Chinese rail ministry setup a website aimed at helping travelers make ‘one-click’ bookings, however the site has crashed several times due to high volumes of traffic. In the week following the launch of the website, site traffic jumped 400 percent and the site received 1.66 million views at once, amassing 1.4 billion hits in a single 24 hour period.

Chinese New Year is always a difficult travel period for both international citizens heading home and domestic travellers. Not only do travellers encounter crowded transport systems, but ticket prices are inflated as well. Transport costs can increase by over 20% during Chinese New Year.

Data collection and data visualisation are not only important for business planning but to public service planning as well. The visualisation provided by Baidu can be used by Chinese governments and airlines as a learning tool for better allocation of travel resources in the future.