Workshop: Quantified Self + Viz with Processing (Apr 20, NYC)

Apr 13, 2014 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

2013-Seamless-history-mariuswatz

Viz: Seamless.com takeout order history (timestamp demo)

Workshop: Quantified Self and data visualization with Processing
Date: Saturday, April 12, Williamsburg, NYC
Rescheduled: Sunday, April 20, Williamsburg, NYC

Update: I had to cancel Saturday’s workshop due to a brain-scrambling flu. I’ve rescheduled the workshop for Sunday, April 20th, and there are two spots still open.


This workshop will introduce participants to Quantified Self and personal data tracking, with the aim of creating custom code-driven visualizations.

We will use Processing to parse, analyze and visualize data (CSV, JSON) generated by popular tracking tools, establishing basic principles and useful workflows that can be applied to common QS scenarios.

Continued…

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Code: ULoremIpsum.java (text anonymizer)

Apr 8, 2014 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

New GitHub Gist: ULoremIpsum.java Simple Lorem Ipsum text replacer for Java/Processing. It is useful for anonymizing text content in data sets (email, SMS, direct messages etc.) Upper/lower case is preserved as best as Java String supports (Locale twiddling might be needed in some cases) and will leave all non-letters intact.

The class uses two built-in dictionaries: A list of replacement words and a “whitelist” of words that should be kept as is. For brevity, these are set as inline preset strings here. They can easily be changed in the code or changed to be customizable by adding a mechanism for setting the dictionaries.

Continued…

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A Cornucopia of Quantification: QS apps + tools, Pt.1

Mar 28, 2014 | Code, Geo / locative, Links, Software, Workshops

20140325-Quantified-Self-workshop

Outline for my March 29 Quantified Self workshop (now sold out, the next date will April 12.) Diagrammed with XMind.

For anyone who has been paying attention it will be clear that 2013 was arguably the year that Quantified Self exploded. It could also be argued that the focus on pedometers and personal fitness augmentations represents a sort of “QS Lite”, limiting itself to ideas that can be conveniently explained and marketed in the form of soundbites. Good for business, visionary not so much.

The sheer number of new tracking services and apps that have emerged in the last year is both a blessing and a curse. It’s exciting to see new approaches being explored, even though the vast majority are simply re-hashing the same basic ideas. How many workout apps can the market possibly support? QS might be on the brink of becoming a cash cow, but for now it’s mostly a bubble.

Some newcomers (Moves, Tictrac, Reporter ++) do feel like a real evolution, both in terms of user experience and their underlying design concepts. Data hackers and coders should be happy to note that some developers understand their needs and value their participation. A decent export mechanism (cloud-based or not) and maybe even a GitHub repo with sample code is a good start.

Continued…

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Workshop, NYC: Quantified Self and Data Visualization with Processing

Mar 19, 2014 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

Visualization: Last.fm history

Code: ULastFM_Simple, parses and displays Last.fm CSV data.

Workshop: Quantified Self and data visualization with Processing
Date: Saturday, March 29, Williamsburg, NYC

This workshop is now sold out. I will do another one in just a few weeks – watch this space.

This workshop will introduce participants to Quantified Self and personal data tracking, with the aim of creating custom code-driven visualizations.

We will use Processing to parse, analyze and visualize data (CSV, JSON) generated by popular tracking tools, establishing basic principles and useful workflows that can be applied to common QS scenarios.

Topics

  • Parsing and plotting typical QS data
  • Data structures for personal data
  • Mapping of locative and time-based data
  • Correlating multiple data sources to discover patterns of behavior
  • Useful tracking tools that are both open and code-friendly

Tools

Suitable for: Anyone with a basic knowledge of Processing or common programming languages. Familiarity with common data formats will be helpful, but not required. Ideally, participants should install and research the tracking tools mentioned above before attending.

Previous QS teaching: http://workshop.evolutionzone.com/tag/quantified-self/

Full disclosure: I am currently enjoying one year of complementary Rescue Time Premium access in connection with my teaching efforts. I also just created a Rescue Time affiliate account. RT is not the only time-tracking tool out there, but I’ve used the service for years because it provides open data access combined with just the right level of detail for QS purposes.

If you’re looking for true OCD by-the-second granularity activity tracking, have a look at tools like Manic Time, Selfspy or Slogger.

Continued…

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You Are Big Data: CIID Summer School

Jul 15, 2013 | Open source, Processing / Java, Theory, Workshops

ManicTime

Screenshot: Manic Time, a particularly obsessive time tracking app

The following is a summary of tools and resources for my two week “You Are Big Data” workshop for CIID Summer School in Copenhagen, in which we’ll be dealing with Quantified Self and data sculpture. This is in part a repost of a previous list.

Andy Polaine wrote a post that referenced my previous summary, in which he made some good critical points and provided a link to a tool I was unaware of: Slogger by Brett Terpstra (sadly, I don’t have a MacOS / Linux setup for testing these kinds of apps myself.)

Continued…

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Self-Ethnography lecture & notes

Sep 15, 2010 | AHO, Theory, Workshops

20101013 AHO Infoviz, Self-Ethnography

Lecture notes – Information Visualization & Self-Ethnography course

I have uploaded the introductory lecture from Monday to Scribd, as seen above. The list of suggestions for possible data sources and comments on possible challenges are at the very end of the document. The visualization examples I used in the lecture are listed below.

In the section on self-ethnography I made rather heavy use of Nicholas Felton’s Feltron Report as a valuable reference. Please see his web site for more information on that project, you can even purchase hardcopies of the report for your own pleasure.

Visualization links & examples
Self-Ethnography – tools

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Personal data logging and Information Visualization

Sep 13, 2010 | AHO, Software, Theory, Workshops

RescueTime graphs

Productivity charts generated by RescueTime.com tracker

The next two weeks I am teaching a workshop in Information Visualization and Self-Ethnography for the Interaction Design course at AHO. I’ll be posting links and resources here on the blog in the next few days.

Required Reading

Data collecting tools

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Data, data, data

Apr 11, 2010 | Code, Open source, Theory

Ever since doing Stockspace project it seems I am getting asked to do data-related work. This despite the fact that my personal interests diverge from such masters of insightful infographics as Martin Wattenberg, David McCandless or Jonathan Harris.

Suffice to say that I am more concerned with exploring data structures as spaces than I am with providing new understandings of the information contained within them. Manuel Lima’s Information Visualization Manifesto calls for a seriousness on the topic of data treatments, while my projects remain comfortably frivolous.

Recently I’ve been working on a project that has required researching data sources and adapting them to illustrate a bigger idea, which has led to much Googling in the absence of good data from the client. Sometimes you find the right thing immediately, but sometimes data is hard to find in a format that is freely available and easily parsable. Since I have found some good sources I thought I’d share them here…

Miscellaneous free data

I would be interested in hearing tips about any great data sets out there, particularly interesting time series data.

Miska Knapek recently sent me a link to a source of weather sensor data from Helsinki, including measurements of wind direction at the top of Helsinki’s Olympic Tower in 5-minute intervals. He has already made some wind visualization videos and some fabricated wind data sculptures based on this data.

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