In my local community a lot of agents have talked about an update to the MU count. Has anyone heard of when a possible update to that will be made to reflect areas currently? Thanks in advance.
There are a lot of interesting public datasets regarding population distribution -- in the US the census tract data is perhaps the most useful, and it's public domain. Columbia University's CIESIN has global data that aggregates a bunch of different censuses and other estimations. Also, at the time the MU maps were built, Niantic was still a part of Google and may have had access to Google's geo datasets and privately generated population data.
While the MU data hasn't changed, Ingress' sampling algorithms (what portion of the population in an S2 cell is attributed to a field that intersects it) have changed at least a couple times, causing MU values for identical fields to change over time.
It would be good to see an update, though; my home area is very poorly mapped (the MU values have always been ~half the actual population, even when the game launched), and urbanization has caused population shifts to move quite significantly in the last decade. The XM cell-data maps are also amusingly wrong in places -- e.g. the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's eastern span was rebuilt and the old one demolished, but the dense line of XM from all those phones sitting in traffic still follows the path of the old span a hundred meters or so to the south. However, as an independent company that dataset might be substantially harder for Niantic to obtain today than it was at launch.
Probably not, because MU wasn't based on Census numbers.
Interesting to know @XK150 here this whole time that is always what I had heard but had never researched it. Do you know what is it based off of before I dive into my reading on it?
Mind Unit counts either has never been updated or last updated back before Ingress got out of beta in 2013. Would be nice to see an update on this, I know of areas that are now huge residential areas that used to be barren desert and fielding over is still the same amount of measely MU.
It would be nice to to see an update. I think the current distributions of XM particles was from an old cell data map from years ago. I know in my neighborhood there’s there are next to zero XM particles because most of the neighborhood was built after that data collection. I know between my town and the town next to it there are about 10 neighborhoods with no XM particles a no particles. With Ingress that is less of a problem than in the other Niantic games. IT MAKES those areas dead Zones
How about Fish MU. We've been overfishing since the start of Ingress.
I heard (a long time ago) MU was based on 2008 Census figures and is why some newly developed areas have very low MU counts for their current populations. If this is wrong, can you say what the MU numbers are based on?
I would love it if there was an answer to the mystery finally.
as far as i know the census is an American thing, this means it will not be usable for the rest of the globe ;)
@theJB I did find this scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/how-is-the-global-population-counted.html
Would be nice if someone could just answer how it is calculated. I love the mystery as apart of the game though :)
I think we might need to prod Google as it's from S2 - this begs to also ask if that's how XM concentration was figured.
Anything from the upcoming US census won't be available until mid 2021. However, there is a 5 year rolling estimate for population that is completed every summer. As others stated, this is only for the US.
S2 is just a method to divide a spherical object in (near) equal parts. It does not include any kind of data.
It was Niantics decision (and effort) to assign an MU value to each cell. Nothing Google can do anything about.
Las Vegas is a good example of this. A field over more than 15,000 homes, nets 300MU, because when the census was last taken in 2010, that area was open desert.
I know how it's calculated but don't know where the numbers are gathered from. You can determine the values from recording hundreds of fields.
The grid is based on the level 13 cell of the S2 geometry library, There is a maximum of 20 cells per field, so multiple smaller cells are merged into larger cells, hence the larger field but smaller MU artifact we see when a larger field extends into an unpopulated area.
I've managed to make a good mu map of my home city.
MU values were supposedly based on population data provided by Google Maps (which uses a mix of sources including census data or local equivalents, projections and satellite imagery), back when Niantic was a division of Google. Now that they've migrated to OpenStreetMap, that may explain why figures have not been updated with recent census data.