Tag Archives: visualization
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
Enjoy this week’s list!
Effect of Self-monitoring and Medication Self-titration on Systolic Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Patients at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease by Richard McManus et al. An interesting research paper here about using self-monitoring to reduce blood pressure. The paper is behind a paywall, but since you’re nice we’ve put a copy here.
Apple Prohibits HealthKit App Developers From Selling Health Data by Mark Sullivan. Some interesting news here from Apple in advance of their new phone and possible device release in a few weeks. I applaud the move, but would like to see more information about data portability in the next release.
Science Advisor, Larry Smarr by 23andMe. Great to hear our friends 23andMe and Larry Smarr are getting together to help work on understanding Inflammatory Bowel Disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis consider joining the study.
Personal Health Data: It’s Amazing Potential and Privacy Perils by Beth Kanter. A lot of people have been talking recently about the privacy implications of using different tracking tools and technologies. In this short post Beth opens up some interesting questions about why we might or might not open up our personal data to others. Make sure to read through for some insightful comments as well.
Let’s Talk About 3 Months of Self-Quantifying by Frank Rousseau. Frank is one of the founders of Cozy Cloud, a personal could service. He’s also designed Kyou a custom tracker system built on top of Cozy. He’s also been using the services to track his life. In this post he explain how tracking his activity, sleep, weight, and other habits led to some interesting insights about his behavior.
The iPhone 5S’ M7 Predictor as a Predictor of Fitbit Steps by Zach Jones. A great post here by Zach as he explores the data taken from his iPhone 5S vs. his Fitbit.
Using Open Data to Predict When You Might Get Your Next Parking Ticket by Ben Wellington. Not strictly a personal data show&tell here, but as someone who suffers from street sweeping parking tickets somewhat frequently I found this post fascinating. Now to see if Los Angeles has open data…
What Time of Day Do People Run? by Robert James Reese, Dan Fuehrer, and Christine Fennessay. Runners World and Runkeeper partnered to understand the running habits of runners around the world. Some interesting insights here!
What Happens When You Graduate and Get a Real Job by Reddit user matei1987. A really neat visualization of min-by-min level Fitbit step data.
Data + Design by Infoactive and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute. A really interesting and unique take on a data visualization book. This CC-licensed, open source, and collaborative project represents the work of many volunteers. I’ve only read through a few chapters, but it seems to be a wonderful resource for anyone working in data visualization.
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Lee Rogers has been collecting data about himself for over three years. The daily checkins, movements, and other activities of his life are capture by automatic and passive systems and tools. What makes Lee a bit different than most is that he’s set up a personal automation system to collect and make sense of all that data. A big part of that system is creating an annual report every year that focuses on his goals and different methods to display and visualize the vast amount of information he’s collecting. In this talk, presented at the Bay Area QS meetup group, Lee explains his data collection and why he values these annual snapshots of his life.
Cors Brinkman is a media artist and student. In June of 2013, he started a project to keep track of himself. He decided to start with LifeSlice, a tool to have your computer keep track of your behavior by taking a picture, screenshot, and location data every hour. After experimenting with that system Cors added in mood tracking to round out his data collection. In this talk, presented at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference, Cors describes his process and some of the interesting ways he visualized and analyzed his thousands of self-portraits.
As much as we talk about self-tracking being about health or fitness. . . I think it’s about identity. I think it’s about us. It’s about seeing something meaningful in who we are.
Laurie Frick is a self-tracker and visual artist. It this unique combination that has led her down a path of learning about herself while using the data she collects to inform her artistic work. What started with time and sleep tracking rapidly expanded to included other types of data. In this short talk, presented at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference, Laurie explains how her past experiences have informed her new way of thinking about data, “Don’t hide. Get more.”
If you’re interested in Laurie’s artistic work I highly recommend spending some time browsing the gallery on her website.
Kiel Gilleade has been interested in measuring and visualizing physiological data for quite a while. In 2011, he presented his BodyBlogger project at the 2011 QS Europe Conference. In that talk he described what he learned from tracking and exploring a year of continuous heart rate data. This year, at the 2014 QS Europe Conference, Kiel returned to talk about a new project, Rhythmanalysis. Rhythmanalysis was a project centered on “visualising the biological rhythms of employees at different workplaces.” In this short talk, Kiel describes his experience working on this project and some of the lessons he learned along the way.
If you’re interested in learning more about this work I highly suggest you visit Kiel’s website where he has additional videos of visualizations he’s been working on that use data collected as part of this project.
Enjoy this week’s list of articles, show&tells, and visualizations!
Strava is Just the Start: The Promise of Open Trail Data. by Mary O’Connor. Data standards might be one of the most boring topics that has a real impact on our daily interactions with data. In this short piece you’ll learn how public transit data standards that help you know when the bus or subway is arriving are influencing a new standard for public trail mapping.
A Stroke Diagnosed With a Selfie by Olga Khazan. A brief piece here tells the story of Stacey Yepes, a woman who used her phone to record the onset of her second stroke.
On Behavior Modification and Agency by Rebecca Pardo. Do our devices change our actions or do we? This nice post by Dr. Pardo is a recommend read for anyone thinking about behavior change in the context of Quantified Self apps and tools.
Making Art out of Everyday Life by Aimme Levitt. If you’re in or around Chicago this summer I highly suggest visiting the Elmhurst Art Museum for the “Lifeloggers: Chronicling the Everyday” exhibit. If you can’t make it, this article about the exhibit will have to suffice.
Visualization of Human Behavior Data: The Quantified Self [pdf] by Alessandro Marcengo and Amon Rapp. This book chapter outlines ideas and insights about self-tracking from a research standpoint. The two authors go on to also describe new methods of visualization and data management they believe could positively impact people using self-tracking tools now and in the future.
The DIY Pancreas by Scott Leibrand and Dana Lewis. This isn’t a single post, but rather a long story about two people working together to use data to help learn about and take control of type 1 diabetes. You can start here to learn why it was necessary to hack a system together in the first place.
Can Heart Rate Variability be Useful in Predicting A CF Exacerbation? bib Julie Desch. This is a pretty early account of what Julie is learning by measuring her HRV, but it will be interesting to follow her story along the way!
Visits. Visits isn’t just a neat visualization. It’s a online platform to explore your location history, trips, and what you’ve done along the way. Currently it works with OpenPaths and Google Location history data as well as geotagged Flickr photos.
Data Visualization Catalogue by Severino Ribecca. If you’re interested in the many different methods of data visualization, this is a good place to start. Severino has created a nice directory here that explains many of the different common visualization methods and the tools you can use to create them. To learn more about this project you can watch his talk at the London QS meetup here.
From the Forum
Zeo Sleep Monitor – Data Viewer Application
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