Tag Archives: visualization

What We Are Reading

Enjoy this week’s list!

Articles
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.

Show&Tell
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…

Visualizations
RWTime
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!

FitbitMin
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.

DataDesign
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.

From the Forum
Good Morning World!
Quantified Chess
New Activity Tracker to Replace BodyMedia?
Indirect Mood Measures
OPI TrueSense for Sleep Tracking

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Lee Rogers: Why Annual Reporting

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.

You can read a transcript of Lee’s excellent talk here and view his 20112012, and 2013 reports on his website.

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Cors Brinkman: Lifelog as Self-Portrait

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.

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Laurie Frick: Experiments in Self-tracking

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.

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What We're Reading

Enjoy this week’s list!

Articles
CGM in the Cloud: Personal Preferences by Kerri Sparling. A great blog post here by Kerri who explains why it’s so important to have access to her blood sugar data. She’s part of a growing community of people with diabetes who are using different methods to broadcast their CGM data into the could.

On Minorities and Outliers: The Case for Making Big Data Small by Brooke Foucault Welles. The rush towards finding the answers in “Big Data” might lead to the continued exclusion of the women, minorities, and the “outliers” of the world. Brooke makes the case here for examining these “small datasets”  to give them the weight they deserve.

“When women and minorities are excluded as subjects of basic social science research, there is a tendency to identify majority experiences as “normal,” and discuss minority experiences in terms of how they deviate from those norms . In doing so, women, minorities, and the statistically underrepresented are problematically written into the margins of social science, discussed only in terms of their differences, or else excluded altogether.”

Here’s Looking at You: How Personal Health Information Is Being Tracked and Used [PDF] by Jane Sarashon-Kahn. In this report, from the California Healthcare Foundation, Jane lays out how our health data is being acquired and used, for commercial and public benefit. I especially liked the emphasis on privacy, or lack there of.

The Making of April Zero by Anand Sharma. Anand details his journey from starting to self-track to creating an amazing website that serves as his personal QS dashboard. One interesting bit is that his tracking activities increased dramatically after Apple’s M7 chip came out with the iPhone 5S and he noticed that his phone’s battery took much less of a hit from running apps that track his activity in the background.

Show&Tells
Tracking Upset and Recovery by Paul LaFontaine. Paul has been using the Heartmath stress monitor to help him record and understand what causes him to get upset (fall out of coherence). In this post, he details how his recovery method has helped him progress, recover, and slightly reduce the number of upsets during his working session. I recommend reading all of Paul’s great posts on this work.

Europe Honeymoon by reddit user Glorypants. This reddit user tracked his European honeymoon with the Moves app and then used our How to Map Your Moves Data post to learn how to make some great maps to share his experience.

Visualizations
Lillian_YIR
This Year in Numbers – 2014 by Lillian Karabaic. A great “year in review” post here that details the tracking Lillian has done from July 2013 to July 2014. I love the mix of hand-drawn and computer-generate visualizations that provide insight into Lillian’s sleep, diet, cycling, mood, and communication data. (Editor’s Note: Lillian sent this link via the comments on Quantifiedself.com. If you have something to share please let us know!)

HelpMeViz
HelpMeViz.com. I wanted to highlight this great website and community project as we have many great visualization and data scientists in our community. On the HelpMeViz website people submit their visualizations for feedback and assistance. I’ve had fun interacting with the growing community and have even learned a few neat tricks in the process.

TravisHodges
The Quantified Self by Travis Hodges. Travis is a portrait photographer based in London. For his newest project he sought out fifteen individuals who are using self-tracking to understand and improve themselves. I especially like the inclusion of the data visualizations coupled with the individual stories from these self-trackers.

TwitterViz
Visualizing Your Twitter Conversations by Jon Bulava. Jon, a Developer Advocate at Twitter, put together a wonderful how-to for getting started on visualizing your friend network on Twitter. (If you’re interested in using the new Twitter Analytics data to better understand your tweeting we suggest Bill Johnson’s great how-to.)

From the Forum
Data Aggregation
Smart Mirror with Health Sensors
Garmin Vivo Activity Tracker – Your Results?
Sleep Tracking for New Parents

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What We Are Reading

We’ve compiled another list of interesting personal data and Quantified Self articles, self-tracking stories, and data visualizations. Enjoy!

Articles

Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks by Adam Kramer, Jamie Guillory, and Jeffrey Hancock. Facebook engaged in a large study to see if emotional states could be transferred/changed via the emotional content of the News Feed. A lot of hubbub recently about this research article related to what it means to knowingly consent to research.

Who Owns Your Personal Data: The Incorporated Woman. Jennifer Morone has added herself to a long list of individuals making a statement against the commercialization of personal data. What started as a design assignment has morphed into a statement against others profiting and controlling personal data. (Immediately remind me of this Kickstarter project.)

Quantified Self and the Ethics of Personal Data by Ian Forrester. Ian does a great job here of exploring current conversations about the variety of ethical questions that come with creating, using, and owning personal data.

Visualizing Algorithms by Mike Bostock. Mike is the creator and steward of the d3.js data visualization library. In this fascinating post, he recounts one of his recent talks about how visualization can be used to understand how algorithms work.

“[...] algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.”

Biometric Shirt for Astronauts Gets Antarctic Tryout by Eliza Strickland. Eliza describes a “try-out” for using self-tracking technology to better understand vital signs and activity during space travel.

Show&Tell

My Solution for Quantified Self: Prompted Data Aggregation by Jonathan Cutrell. Jonathan decided to build his own simple system for self-directed data collection prompts. “While they may be simple data points, and while the questions will repeat, the concept is simple: my computer asks me a question, and tracks my answer for me.”

Quantified Splunk: Tracking My Vital Signs by David Greenwood. David describes how he uses Splunk, a data monitoring and analysis tool, to help him track and make sense of new personal health data he’s collecting. It will be interesting to see what he learns as he starts adding and exploring more of his self-tracking data.

How I Wrote 400K Words in a Year by Jaime Todd Rubin. In March of 2013, Jaime decided he was going to try and write every day. In this post he describes some of the lessons he learned through tracking his writing practice. I was particularly drawn to his methods for tracking all his writing through Google Docs.

Do you have a self-tracking story you want to share? Submit it now!

Visualizations

Withings-via-IFTTTCharting Withings Data Using IFTTT, Google Spreadsheets, and d3.js by Dan Harrington. Dan didn’t like the way Withings presented weight data in it’s visualization. So, he put together a tutorial to show how you can grab your Withings data via IFTTT, import it into a Google Spreadsheet, then visualize it using d3.js, an open-source data visualization library.

 

 

MapRunKeeper1.5 Million Walks, Runs, and Bike Rides by Mapbox and RunKeeper. The Mapbox team worked with Runkeeper to map publicly shared routes. Really interesting to zoom around the world map to see where people who use RunKeeper are exercising.

 

 

Do you have a QS data visualization you want to share? Submit it now!

From the Forum

HealthKit
Lifelogging via Calendar Application
Help Analyzing Text Files?
Breakout: Productivity Tracking

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Kiel Gilleade: Rhythmanalysis

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.

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy this week’s list of articles, show&tells, and visualizations!

Articles
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.

Show&Tell
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!

Visualizations
visitsVisits. 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.

 

 

 

keystrokes

My Working Pulse by Victor Pascual. Victor uses an open-source keylogger to track his computer usage and work habits. This visualization, made with Tableau, shows his keystrokes by day and per month.

 

 

 

vizcat

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

Home Potassium Testing

Jawbone Up – How to Access Intra-day Data

Saga vs. Moves

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What We Are Reading

We’ve compiled quite the variety of articles and links for you. Make sure to check out the show&tell and visualization sections below for some great Quantified Self examples. Enjoy!

Articles & Posts
To lead off today’s list I’m including two great posts from attendees at our recent 2014 QS Europe Conference. You can read more attendee recaps over onour roundup post.

Ten Things I Learned at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference by Bob Troia. Bob takes a look back at the conference and describes his experience.

Quantified Self and Philosophy at #QSEU14 by Kitty Ireland. We hosted over 36 breakout discussion at our recent European Conference. In this post, Kitty describes one of the “standout sessions” that she attended.

Okay, back to list!

Wearable Computers Will Transform Language by Ariel Bleicher. This is a long piece, full of excellent examples of how personal personal computing is becoming, but my favorite leads the article. Wearable computers in 1961. Who knew!

CyclePhilly hopes to record biking patterns to help plan bike lanes by Jim Smiley. A big theme of our discussions at various QS events this year has been around the social and public good the personal data can do. This project, led by Corey Acri and Code for Philly, hopes to better understand where commuters are actually riding their bikes. This also reminded me of a recent data sharing deal between Strava (a GPS activity tracking app) and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

How Much Can We Demand of Consumer Connected Health? by Joseph Kvedar. We’ve mentioned this before on both the QS blog and in the reading list, self-tracking device accuracy is a tricky concept. In this short post Dr. Kvedar describes his experiences and some results using consumer tools in a clinical setting.

In-Depth: How Patient Generated Health Data is Evolving Into one of Healthcare’s Biggest Trends by MobiHealthNews. This is a nice long piece covering many aspects of the growing role of different types of health data in healthcare. I personally enjoyed learning more about the challenge of combining patient reported data with electronic medical records.

Show&Tell
Treadmill Effect of Spaced Repetition Performance by Gwern. In this exhaustive examination, our friend Gwern decided to test whether walking on a treadmill helped his memory. Specifically he randomized if practiced his spaced repetition while walking at his treadmill desk or sitting down and then looked at his grades (flashcards remembered correctly). You’ll have to read it to see what he foun. (Make sure to check out his other experiments as well!)

My Sleep Cycle Experiment and What to Limit Before Bed by Greg Blome. This is a great breakdown of what Greg found out about what affects his sleep by tracking 150 nights of sleep with the Sleep Cycle app.

Learning Ancient Egyptian in an Hour Per Week with Beeminder by Eric Kidd. Here at QS Labs we have a soft spot for spaced repetition (See Gary Wolf’s great primer here). This post details how Eric learned how to read Egyptian hieroglyphs using spaced repetition and Beeminder.

Visualizations
OpenVis Conference. Here you’ll find 18 great presentations by leading data visualization experts. Hard to pick a favorite, but I found Andy Kirks, The Design of Nothing: Null, Zero, Blank to be fascinating.

RunkeeperBreezeBreeze Habits by Runkeeper. The data science team at Runkeeper took a look at 75,000 worldwide Breeze App users to see what countries were getting up earlier, going to sleep later, and getting the most steps. I can’t wait to see more visualizations like this from Runkeeper.

 

 

 

Tableau Quantified Self Viz Contest. We mentioned this is last week’s reading list and the contest has is now over and we get to peruse the great entries. I’m going to include some of my favorites below, but make sure to check out all of them at the link above. You can also view the winners here.

spanglerThe Life of Spangler by Russell Spangler. Russell tracked his time for the month of April and presents the results.

 

 

 

 

rundergroundRunderground by Carl Allchin. Have you ever wondered if it’s faster to run than take the tube in London? Carl has your answer.

 

 

 

 

beatingdiabetesBeating Diabetes by Andre Argenton. Andre accessed the data in his Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and visualized it alongside data from his OmniPod insulin pump.

 

 

 

From The Forum
Measuring Cognitive Perormance

How To Track Smoking

Quantified Self Reading List (books)

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Dawn Nafus on Learning by Building

As both a researcher and participant in her local Portland QS Meetup group, Dawn Nafus has been engaging in a process of understanding how people learn about their lives through personal data. As part of this work Dawn and her colleagues at Intel Research have been working on creating Intel Data Sense. In this short talk, given at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference, Dawn describes what she’s learned through the process of studying the QS community and building this new sense making platform.

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