Topic Archives: QS Gallery

Visualizing Our Quantified Self

At our 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference we were excited to share a variety of beautiful and insightful data visualizations from our community. In the months leading up to the conference we asked attendees to send in their own personal data visualizations along with a short description. In our 6 years of hosting Quantified Self meetups and events, as well as running this website, our forum, and social channels, we’ve seen the power of data visualization as a story telling medium. We exist in part to help people tell their stories – about the data they collect, the changes they create, and the insights and new knowledge they’re excited to share.

Today we’re sharing a few of our favorite visualizations from past conferences. The images and descriptions below represent a wide a variety of tracking experiences and techniques, and we hope to showcase eve more unique personal data projects at our upcoming QS15 Conference & Exposition.

Tracking Sleep by Anita Lillie

This is concatenation of screenshots from my sleep app. Most sleep apps don’t let you zoom out like this and still see daily/nightly detail, so I just made it myself. I like that it shows how almost-consistent I am with my sleep, and made me ask new questions about the “shape” of a night of sleep for me.



2.5 Years of My Weight by Mette Dyhrberg

I gained a lot of insights from this heat map. The most obvious weight gain was no surprise — that’s when I periodically don’t track. In any case, the big picture patterns are easily identified with a heat map. Realized looking at this heat map that the point of no return was mid-April 2012 — my data shows that was when I switched protein shakes with an egg based breakfast. I have since experimented and seen that protein shake in the morning seems to keep my blood sugar more stable and as a result my weight under control!



One Month of Blood Sugar by Doug Kanter

This is a visualization of one month of my blood sugar readings from October 2012. I see that my control was generally good, with high blood sugars happening most often around midnight (at the top of the circle).



Tracking Productivity by Nick Winter

My percentile feedback graph of my development productivity helps my motivation.



Six Months of My Life by David El Achkar

This is my life during the past six months. Each square = 15 minutes. Each column = 1 day. This picture represents 138 days or 3,000+ activities.



My Thesis Self Portrait by Sara M. Watson

Here’s a period of a few days of webcam images taken using Stan James’ LifeSlice during the final days of editing my thesis on Quantified Self uses of personal data. Serious business!



Sleep and Meaningful Work by Robby Macdonell

In an average work day, I don’t consider communication (email, instant message, etc) to be terribly meaningful work. I’d much rather be working on building software. Getting more sleep the night before increases the amount of meaningful work I’m likely to do in a day.



70 Days of Pulse by Laurie Frick

Pulse rate over 24 hours for 70 days from my Basis watch. Grey=null, blues=85

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QS Gallery: John Caddell

Today’s QS Gallery image comes to use from John Caddell who states,

This is a simple graph showing the trend in the ratio of work accomplishments to setbacks, month over month. According to the book “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, to feel as if you’re making overall progress at work, you need a ratio of 2 or 3 to 1 in accomplishments to setbacks. Less than that will result in a feeling of stagnation or even regression. This chart shows that I keep above that level for the most part, with the exception of July, which was a lousy month for sure. This graph helps me make sense of my feelings about work – am I happy? Headed in the right direction? If the trend shows me dipping below 70% for several months in a row, it’s a sign I need to change up what I’m doing.

This was put together with a web tool that I worked on with my friend Dave Kaylor called 3Minute Journal. It captures a daily text journal entry (answering “what happened today that you’ll remember most?”) and several questions about the entry. One of the questions classifies the entry – two responses are “accomplishment” and “setback” – and these are used for the visualization.

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QS Gallery: David El Achkar

We thought it would be nice to post David’s 138 days of activities visualization here. Make sure to watch his talk from the 2013 QS Global Conference to learn how he created this and what he’s learned from tracking his time.

This is my life during the past six months. Each square = 15 minutes. Each column = 1 day. This picture represents 138 days or 3,000+ activities.
- David El Achkar

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QS Gallery: Nick Winter

Nick Winter is a tracker, self-experimenter, and builder of popular tools (like Quantified Mind). Nick sent us this amazing visualization of his percentile feedback system he uses to keep track of his work efficiency.

My percentile feedback graph of my development productivity helps my motivation
-Nick Winter

Continue reading

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QS Gallery: Doug Kanter

Doug Kanter shared this beautiful and unique visualization of his blood glucose with us. Be sure to take a peak at his other great visualizations and his wonderful talk at the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference.

This is a visualization of one month of my blood sugar readings from October 2012. I see that my control was generally good, with high blood sugars happening most often around midnight (at the top of the circle).
-Doug Kanter

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QS Gallery: Eric Jain

Today’s gallery image comes to us from Eric Jain. Eric is the creator of Zenobase a neat data aggregation and tracking system. He’s also been a great contributor to our community at meetups in Seattle, our conferences, and on the forum.

This map shows my outdoor trips in the Pacific Northwest since 2008. Red is driving, yellow is hiking or paddling. The map doesn’t just help me remember past trips, but also helps me decide what areas to explore next. The tracklogs were recorded with a Garmin GPS device, processed with a simple script and uploaded to Google Fusion Tables with additional meta data stored for each trip in my Zenobase account.

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QS Gallery: Mark Moschel

Today’s gallery image is from the co-organizer of the Chicago QS Meetup group, Mark Moschel. Mark has been experimenting with various methods of self-tracking and has even built a neat SMS-based tracking tool called Ask Me Every. You can read more about his tracking and work at the wonderful Experimentable blog.

This visualization shows 3 months of my happiness data. After reviewing it two years ago, it showed me that I was unhappy when traveling for work and, shortly after, I quit my job.

Be sure to check out the other amazing visualizations in our ongoing QS Gallery. If you have a visualization you’d like to share, just let us know!

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QS Gallery: Aaron Parecki

We thought it fitting to include Aaron Parecki’s great visualization of his GPS tracking logs here in our QS Gallery. If you haven’t already, you can view his great talk here, during which he describes his process.

Five years of my personal GPS logs.

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QS Gallery: Bill Schuller

Today’s QS Gallery entry comes to us from Bill Schuller. Be sure to check out his blog, Data Obsessive, to learn more about this visualization and other interesting self-tracking projects.

A driver made a left turn from a stright-only lane right in front of me as I was proceeding straight through the intersection from my straight or left lane. I have occasionally turned on the accelerometer and gyro logging in FluxStream Capture while I drive. This time around, I have even more data. You can see the massive deceleration and the associated spike in my heart rate and drop in my beat spacing (RR). I haven’t pulled my GPS data yet, but I was able to spot this easily in the FluxStream graph. Those dips in the Acceleration data really stand out. Interestingly, my heart rate also reflects my mood afterward.

Initially relieved that I didn’t get hit this time, then enraged that it had nearly happened again, calming slowly as I composed in my head a letter to the City of Addison imploring them to add more signage at that intersection.

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QS Gallery: Mette Dyhrberg

This great QS visualization comes to us from Mette Dyhrberg, a member of our QS New York community.

I gained a lot of insights from this heat map. The most obvious weight gain was no surprise — that’s when I periodically don’t track. In any case, the big picture patterns are easily identified with a heat map.

Realized looking at this heat map that the point of no return was mid-April 2012 — my data shows that was when I switched protein shakes with an egg based breakfast. I have since experimented and seen that protein shake in the morning seems to keep my blood sugar more stable and as a result my weight under control!

Tools: D3 Calendar View visualization, Withings Wireless Scale.

We invite you to take part in this project as we share our favorite personal data visualizations.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

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