Tag Archives: travel

Jamie Aspinall on Learning From Location Data

Jamie Aspinall was interested in what his location history could tell him. As a Google Location user, his smartphone is constantly pinging his GPS and sending that data back to his Google profile. Using Google Takeout Jamie was able to download the last four years of his location history, which represented about 600,000 data points. In this talk, presented at the London QS meetup group, Jamie describes his process of using a variety of visualizations and analysis techniques to learn about where he goes, what causes differences in his commute times, and other interesting patterns hidden in location data.

You can also view his presentation here.

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Ulrich Atz on Tracking on Paper

“If I look at this, I have these memories, and I remember this was a good year.”

Collect it and forget it. This could be be hidden mantra of many people engaged with self-tracking, myself included. I will readily admit to buying a device or application with the hope that I can collect enough information to generate a grand insight at some mythical point in the future where the intersection of free time, analytical knowledge, and sample size magically coalesce. Ulrich Atz encountered the same problem. He was tracking, but soon lost sight of the purpose. Rather than giving up he started a new tracking project.

Ulrich started by building on the popular habit and tracking theory, Don’t Break the Chain, based on consistency in behaviors you care about. He identified six major categories he wanted to understand and pay attention to: his evening ritual, fitness, nutrition, learning, sleep, and travel. Rather than using an passive tracking system like Foursquare of Sleep Cycle, he decided to keep track of it by writing on a large wall calendar. In this presentation, given at the London QS meetup group, Ulrich describes his methods and what he learned from this year-long process.

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Numbers From Around the Web: Round 7

Where are you? A pretty easy question to answer. But, what about, “Where was I?” Not so easy to answer, especially when we start talking about periods of time more than a few days or weeks. Sure, we all have GPS running on our phones now. We can check in with Foursquare/Facebook/Path etc. to keep a log of locations, but that data is fragmented and only represents certain specific locations. What about paths? What would we learn if we knew more about how we traveled about our world?

Aaron Parecki is one of the founders of Geoloqi, a location-based services platform. He has also been tracking his location every 6 seconds for the last four years and he has created some amazing visualizations to better understand his movement:

You may think this is just a boring old map with some travel data layered on top, but what makes this map special is that there is no underlying geospatial data. The lines you see above are Aaron’s actual travel paths from his GPS data. Using this information you can easily see the well traveled roadways by finding the thicker lines. You can even quickly pick out freeways and interstates due to their high speed.

Here you see Aaron’s data for the last four years (again, there are only the GPS traces). You can see he’s color-coded the data ro represent different years in order to see where he spends his time.

Aaron has a lot more visualizations of his GPS traces, but I’ll leave you with this neat video showing a timelapse of his minute-by-minute movement:

Every few weeks be on the lookout for new posts profiling interesting individuals and their data. If you have an interesting story or link to share leave a comment or contact the author here.

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Student Study on Travel Behavior

This is a guest post from Jerry Jariyasunant:

Hi! I’m a graduate student at UC Berkeley in Systems Engineering and I’m part of a team interested in learning about travel behavior. We’re interested in how people get around and seeing how aware people are about their travel habits compared with their peers, and their impact on the environment.

We’ve designed a system that tracks your transportation habits with your smartphone and gives you feedback about how you travel on a website.

Study details:
If you are interested in participating in our study, are at least 18 years of age, and have a Android phone we would love for you to sign up for our 2 week study!  Email me at berkeley.modechoice@gmail.com and I will send you an invite to the app, and a link to a webpage where you can see your personal transportation stats.  You will be asked to take a quick 5-10 minute before the study starts, and another quick 5-10 minute survey after the 2 week study ends.

Compensation:
If you participate in the study, keep the Android app running for the entire 2 week period, and complete the two surveys, you will be entered into a raffle to donate $2,500 to the charity of your choice!

Once again, please email me at berkeley.modechoice@gmail.com if you would like to participate in the study.  Thank you!

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