It’s a time when most Chinese either return home to their families or go on vacation, and it’s the largest annual mammalian migration on Earth. During the 40-day holiday period – which is called Spring Festival in Chinese - 3.6 billion passenger trips will be made across all modes of transportation (Note: most people only get eight days off).
Baidu gathers data from smartphones with Baidu Maps and other apps using its location-based platform to create the heat map. Baidu Maps alone 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 includes a search function so you can see stats from specific cities and time frames. Here’s a few stats as of press time:
- The most popular destination is Beijing, followed by Chongqing. The hub cities in Hunan and Guangxi provinces tie for third.
- Beijing is also 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 popular routes.
(Editing by Steven Millward)