Yesterday my friend Sachin Monga published a really great article on Medium called, 2014: My Year in Review. It was broken down into a few sections that included everything from his favorite blog posts of the year to all of the images he posted on Instagram. He called it “a stream of personal observations, data, and highlights for the year.”
And it put my end of the year blog post to shame.
One section that really stood out for me though was Places & Transit. Using a mobile app called Moves, Sachin extracted an incredible data set for where he physically spent his time and how he got around in 2014. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this app yet – it’s totally in my wheelhouse. But I’m clearly late to the party. Facebook bought them in the first half of last year.
The data set included how many hours he spent at home and at work. His top 3 most visited coffee shops. His top 5 most visited friends. How many nights he stayed in a hotel. His average daily commute time. And his total distance walked and cycled, among many other things. It was fascinating. I love data – especially when it was previously impossible or difficult to collect it.
He was also able to translate his data into a set of beautiful maps, showing where he spent his time and how he got around. Here is his personal map for Toronto. The larger the circle, the more often he was there. Blue lines are cycling. And green lines are walking.
And here’s San Francisco (where he now lives):
After reading his post, I immediately downloaded Moves. And I can’t wait to see how my personal map of Toronto will look like in a few weeks and months. Once I have enough data points, I’ll be sure to share it with you all here.
In the interim, do you have any ideas for what this kind of data might be used for? I can certainly think of many. Let us know in the comment section below.
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