Meetups This Week

There are three very interesting QS meetups occurring this week. Chicago’s event will be fitness focused, with talks on what it’s like to work out with a weight system that changes it’s resistance in real-time based on your performance and effort and learning from DXA body composition data. Shanghai will have a researcher talk from Preston Estep on using genetic data to improve health.

Ashland will have an amazing sharing of progress on current n=1 projects. Projects include exploring deep sleep with Beddit, looking at the difference between breath-based and blood-based ketone readings, and testing the effects of berberine on postprandial glucose rise. The last one is interesting is because it is placebo-controlled and double-blind, which can be difficult to pull off. I would love to hear more about his experiment design.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday, July 20
Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, July 21
Shanghai, China

Sunday, July 26
Ashland, Oregon

Photo from QS Montreal’s meetup last week

What a beautiful venue. If you organize a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them.

QSMontrealJuly
Photo credit: Maxime Chabot

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy this week’s list!

Articles

Big Data for the Spirit by Casey N. Cep. Interesting piece here on SoulPulse, a study using text messages to examine spirituality. Can faith be measured and quantified? These researchers are trying to find out.

Big Data Not Doping: How The U.S. Olympic Women’s Cycling Team Competes On Analytics by Bernard Marr. Nice short article on Sky Christopherson and the personal data-driven training program that resulted in a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics for the Women’s track cycling team.

The Quantified Cow: Wearables Will Monitor Animals As Closely As Humans by Ben Schiller. First we put sensors on ourselves. Then we started putting them on our pets. Now, we’re working on putting them on our cattle. What’s next?

Show&Tell

stepCountingQuantified Self: Step Counting by Chad Lagore. Chad wrote up a great analysis of what he learned from analyzing step data natively tracked through his iPhone. Of course, special kudos to him for using our QS Access app to download his data.

Visualizations

JobsVisualizationWhere Are the Jobs? by Robert Manduca. Robert took data from the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics dataset and visualized each job as a dot on the map. Fascinating to see where different industries cluster around the United States.

OkavengoHRHippoHippo Attack! by Jer Thorp. Ever wonder what happens when you’re attacked by a hippopotamus? Above is the plot of Dr. Steve Boyes’ heart rate during the attack. Make sure to click through for an amazing account of the event.

From the Forum

Resting Heart Rate Tracking
REMzen Sleep Tracking
Basis Peak

This Week on QuantifiedSelf.com

Mark Moschel: Parasites and Gut Repair
Steven Zhang: Concussions, Headaches and the Whole30 Elimination Diet
2014 QS Visualization Gallery: Part 2
QS Radio: Episode #3

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QS Radio: Episode #3

QSradio_iTunes

After a bit of a hiatus, mostly due to our planning and production for the QS15 Conference and Expo, we’re back again with another episode of QS Radio. Join us as we discuss last month’s conference, including the great show&tell talks, breakout sessions, and some of the great exhibitors.


Links:
QS15 Photos
Whatify
Muse
Thync
The BrainStimulator
iBeacon

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2015 QS Visualization Gallery: Part 2

We’re back again with another round of visualizations from our QS15 Conference and Expo attendees. In today’s batch you’ll see a variety of representations of different tracking projects, from tracking biometrics while watching a movie to running distance over nearly 13 years. Enjoy!

interstellar-hr-hrv-gsr-1024x635 Name: Bob Troia
Description: I tracked my heart rate, HRV, and galvanic skin response while watching the movie Interstellar (in IMAX!), then plotted the data to understand how my body reacted during the 3+ hour movie. (Check Bob’s blog post about this data here!)
Tools: Polar H7 chest strap, SweeBeat Life app (iPhone), Basis B1 band, Excel.

 

Sleep for a week Name: Tahl Milburn
Description: This shows sleep over a week. The overall height of the bar is the time in bed. The part above the baseline is actual sleep whereas the part below 0 is restless sleep or awakening during the night. The line above the bars is the goal number of hours. The bar itself is green is all okay, turns yellow if overall duration is short or awakened too much. Red is even worse.
Tools: Google Charts with data from Fitbit.

 

LifeGauge Name: Tahl Milburn
Description: This is a very simple but powerful chart. T his is a “Life Gauge” which show how much of my statistical life has already been used. The ultimate age is based on the consensus estimate from several sources. Note the yellow and red markings indicating that one might be running out of life soon.
Tools: Google Charts for the graph itself. Several sources for computing the ultimate age.

 

BigGraph Name: Julie Price
Description: My running miles per week plus marathons since 2002.
Tools: Tracked running miles using various methods and recorded both on paper and, in the past few years, on a Google sheet. Summarized & graphed in Excel before manually adding in marathons.

 

IMG_8244 Name: Allan Caeg
Description: ”How much did you win today?” is one of the most important questions I ask myself every day. This pre-sleep question constantly gets me to reflect on what I did with my free will, inspiring me to ensure that I’d make the most out of every day.
Tools: Reporter

Stay tuned here for more QS Gallery visualizations in the coming weeks. If you’ve learned something that you are willing to share from seeing your own data in a chart or a graph, please send it along. We’d love to see more!

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Steven Zhang: Concussions, Headaches and the Whole30 Elimination Diet

StevenZhangViz

 

At every conference, a synchronicity will occur where a few talks cover a similar, but previously unexplored topic. At QS15, we were surprised to see an increased discussion of concussions. It’s hard to know whether this is due to random chance or a glimmer of the zeitgeist, but we like to take note of these little waves of how people are finding new ways to understand themselves, or in this case, overcome strife.

Though Steven Zhang had a history of sleepiness and headaches, he never tracked them prior to his concussion. But during his recovery from post-concussion syndrome (which worsened his sleepiness and headaches), he wanted a clear record of his progress. He tracked headaches using the Tap Log android app and tracked his sleep using Sleep As Android, manually logging in and out in the app as he prepared for or woke from sleep. That he naps often and has many unsuccessful attempts to sleep meant that automatic methods for tracking sleep, like wrist-worn activity trackers, were ineffective, an important lesson considering that good sleep data is still sought after by many in the QS community.

Visualizing his data in Tableau, he gained a sense of norms for his headache frequency and nap lengths, allowing him to test the effectiveness of a dietary intervention, the fascinating result of which you can watch in the video of his talk below:

Steven presented this talk last month at the QS Global Conference in San Francisco. To see more great talks like this, you should join us at our Europe Conference on September 18 and 19th in Amsterdam. We have a limited number of early bird tickets available, so make sure that you don’t miss out by registering!

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Mark Moschel: Parasites and Gut Repair

Moschel-Gut-Viz2

While traveling in Ecuador, Mark Moschel ate some ceviche from a street cart that he later found contained a parasite called giardia.

Mark's Enemy Within

Giardia lamblia

Experiencing fatigue, light-headedness, and digestive issues, Mark used the Reporter app to track his symptoms and Ubiome to measure his gut flora to help him understand and combat the parasite.

Though a trying experience, Mark brings levity to his show&talk presented at QS15.

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Meetups This Week

Three Quantified Self meetup groups are getting together this week. Zürich will have two toolmaker talks from Manuel Heuer (dacadoo) and Lea von Bidder (Ava), as well as, hands-on demos of the Muse, Scanadu Scout, Sensoria Smart Socks and the HAPIfork.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Tuesday, July 14
Lansing, Michigan
Zürich, Switzerland

Saturday, July 18
Denton, Texas

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What We Are Reading

Hello again! Here we are with another list of articles, links, and visualizations for you. Enjoy!

QS15 Reactions
We’ve started to see a few great blog posts and articles describing the experience of attending the QS15 Conference and Expo. For the next few weeks we’ll be highlight a few here.

My Data, Your Data, Our Data by Murray Grigo-McMahon
Notes from the 2015 Quantified Self Conference by Arpit Mathur
Quantified Self 2015 by Phoebe V. Moore
QS15: Measurement with Meaning by Ben Bending

Articles

The Future of Food Data: Toward Transparency, Personalized Design, & Re-Thinking the Concept of a ‘Food Label’ by Sam Slover. We highlighted Sam’s work on visualizing his food last year and it nice to see that work is continuing. I’m interested to see where this goes.

An Evening with the Consciousness Hackers by Nellie Bowles. Brain tracking and augmentation is definitely on the rise. Great to see the Consciousness Hacking group get some attention. (We were honored to have Mikey Siegel and Ariel Garten participate at the QS15 Conference and Expo. Look for their talk soon!)

Make people the controllers of their data to help the NHS go digital by Andrew Chitty.

There’s a solution to this too. Make it the default assumption that the patient is the owner or controller of all data relating to them. They can then share this data with whichever parts of the health service they wish.

This might sound slightly outlandish but think about it: we’re increasingly going to see digitized records become the norm, with many of them self-generated by citizens as part of their self-care – which we want to encourage, not only because it engages people with their own care but because it short circuits the technical barriers around information sharing.

What if We Really Set Data Free by Elizabeth Nelson. I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Elizabeth about Quantified Self, data, and data access. Make sure to also check out this great interview with Josh Berson.

The Crying Baby and the Sympathetic Fitbit by Jocelyn Wiener. A great article by a mother with a new baby who learned how sleep tracking can be useful.

My sleep didn’t get any better just because Fitbit started quantifying how crappy it was. But I felt validated, if only by someone with a rechargeable battery for a heart. While I received plenty of clucking sympathy from family and friends, my new device gave me something arguably better: evidence.

Show&Tell
Basis_Sleep Is drunk sleep less restful than sober sleep? How much so? Why or why not? by Justin Lawler. Not sure where I saw this, probably in the #quantifiedself stream on Twitter, but this Quora answer is pretty fantastic. Justin takes the time to explain what he found when he ran a test on how alcohol affected his sleep using his Basis watch.

Quantified home birth by Morris Villarroel. A beautiful post by our friend Morris, who describes his tracking experience during the day his son was born.

Visualizations

New-image-web-FCP Food Chain Project by Itamar Gilboa.

The Israeli-Dutch artist kept a diary of everything he ate and drank for the duration of a year. He meticulously kept track of his daily consumption. Some three years later, the results can be seen in a sculpture installation, the Food Chain Project. His installation, a traveling pop-up supermarket consisting of more than 8,000 white plaster sculptural groceries, physically represents Gilboa’s yearly consumption.

 

2014_running From a Net to a Harpoon: 2014 Annual Review by Michael Anthony. I cannot stress how beautiful this annual review is. Maybe it’s the focus on running that gets to me, but the whole this is worth looking through. You can even go back in time and view Michael’s reports from 20112012, and 2013.

From the Forum
Quantifying Caloric Intake
How to Quantify Myself

This week on QuantifiedSelf.com
2015 QS Visualization Gallery: Part 1
2015 QS Europe Conference: Scholarship Application Now Open

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2015 QS Europe Conference: Scholarship Application Now Open

Today we’re happy to announce that we’re opening up a scholarship application for the 2015 Quantified Self Europe Conference. Since our first conference in 2011 our aim has been to foster an inclusive environment, and with the help and guidance from many attendees we’ve benefited greatly from exposing ourselves to the wide range of ideas about what it means to get “personal meaning from personal data.”

In the last few years we’ve listened to our community, in particular our friends Amelia Greenhall, Maggie Delano, and Beau Gunderson, regarding how we can best make our events meaningful and open for all. In that time we’ve published our anti-harrassment policy for our conferences and implemented a code of conduct designed to make our meetups a more welcoming place. But, we know that publishing codes and policies is only one piece of a bigger effort to make sure that our Quantified Self community continues to grow and welcome those who are typically left on the fringes of technology-related events and conferences. Earlier this year we opened up our first scholarship application for the QS15 Conference and Exposition. We were amazed to receive interest from individuals all over the world who wanted to come learn, participate, and be a part of our community. Due to the generosity of our sponsors and our Friends of QS we were able to welcome over a dozen scholarship attendees, many of whom took part in shaping the program and adding their unique voices to the multi-day event. It was so great to see, and we’re excited to do it again.

The 2015 Quantified Self Europe Conference will be held in Amsterdam on September 18th and 19th at the intimate Casa 400 Hotel. If you identify with a group that has been typically underrepresented and would like to attend the 2015 Quantified Self Europe  Conference and Exposition we want to hear from you. We’ve made a simple application form for you to fill out so you can tell us a little about yourself. We’ll be reviewing applications as they come in. Because the conference is attendee-drive we place an emphasis on those would like to contribute to the program. As you fill out the application, please be as descriptive as possible so we can best understand why you’d like to attend and how you might be able to contribute.

Scholarship Application

Interested in attending the 2015 Quantified Self Europe Conference? Early Bird registration is now open, but tickets are selling fast. Act now to register for only €149!

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2015 QS Visualization Gallery: Part 1

In 2013, just prior to our our Quantified Self Global Conference, we asked conference attendees to send us examples of their own personal data visualizations that they found especially meaningful. We were blown away by what everyone shared with us. From visualizations of blood glucose readings to GPS traces and plots of time tracking and productivity, the range of visualizations was astounding (you can view some of those visualization by searching the blog for the QS Gallery tag).

This year, we sent out the request once again to attendees of our QS15 Conference and Expo. Once again, our inbox immediately started to fill up with images, graphs, and visualizations describing the tracking experiences of our amazing community. Today, we’re excited to start sharing those visualizations with you here.

Beau Name: Beau Gunderson
Description: A homemade polysomnogram with a Zephyr Bioharness as the only data
source.
Tools: IPython, matplotlib, pandas, seaborn, numpy.

 

Seasonal compliance Name: Shannon Conners
Description: This graph shows what initially looks like an interesting trend in my activity data. I seem to be less active during the summer months, but when I pair my activity and wear time for the BodyMedia FIT armband I used to generate the data, the real reason for the drop becomes clear. I’m wearing the armband less in the summer months to avoid upper arm strap tan! I know my own device usage patterns, so when I graphed the two measures together, it was immediately clear to me what was going on. To me, this is a simple example that illustrates one of the big challenges of looking at activity monitor data in the absence of data about device usage. Usage patterns can and do change over time and the reasons for these changes may not be as obvious as the change of the seasons. For example, something as simple as breaking the clip-on case you use to carry the phone that counts your steps could greatly impact how often you carry it, and therefore the quality of the data you collect. Some monitors don’t even record a usage metric with which to compare activity data. I like this graph as a reminder that interesting patterns may in fact be data collection or data quality issues in disguise.
Tools: BodyMedia FIT Core BW, JMP

 

HeadsUp Name:: David Korsunsky
Description: Mashing data from my favorite wearables, my medical records as well as data I track manually into a custom dashboard.
Tools: Heads Up Health is software that can enable anyone to create their own custom configurations.

 

4fcfb36b86f2241013000002_graph Name:: Daniel Reeves
Description: Number of (read) messages in my inbox over time.
Tools: Beeminder’s GmailZero.com

 

QSHRVSeasonalTrend Name:: Jo Beth Dow
Description: Trend analysis of my HRV over a 2.5 year period. Displays a stunning seasonal trend.
Tools: iPhone running SweetBeatLife app to measure clinical grade HRV on a daily basis.

Stay tuned here for more QS Gallery visualizations in the coming weeks. If you’ve learned something that you are willing to share from seeing your own data in a chart or a graph, please send it along. We’d love to see more!

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