Japan govt introduces tool to trace footprints of travellers

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The Japanese government released the latest version of its Regional Economy Society Analysing System (RESAS), which enables people to access visualised flows of people, goods and money on the Internet free of charge.
The system uses big data based on cell phone roaming and provides maps and charts on such subjects as the entry and departure of foreign tourists in Japan and the areas they visit. This is expected to help local governments study visitors’ routes and devise tourism policies.
RESAS records, for example, where foreign travellers went before and after a certain location, and ranks those previous and following destinations on a map of Japan. It also displays on a map the domestic airports they used.
The roaming data is provided by domestic cell phone companies and covers the smartphones of about 1 million foreigners who visited Japan between January and June. The data is
updated on a regular basis.
Local governments can utilise RESAS to devise tourism strategies, such as by pinpointing areas that it could be effective to promote. Tour agencies can refer to the data to create tour routes. RESAS also compiles data about regional office concentration by industry, and also the sales of fish catches by municipality.
RESAS visualises the movements of people, trading between companies and other information in the form of charts and maps by analysing big data. The government developed the system and started operating it in April last year. It also shows regional gender and age distributions and forecasts populations. The system is expected to help devise regional policies in various fields in the future, such as infrastructure, medical and welfare projects.

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