Citizen Science, Personal Sensing with GPS-Equipped iPhone (Among Others)

Posted to Self-surveillance  |  Nathan Yau

With the unveiling of the brand new iPhone 3G, Twitter has been buzzing with excitement. One of the more interesting new iPhone features is built-in GPS. Your iPhone will know when and where it is, opening up tons of possibilities for location-based applications – one of them being personal sensing, or rather, participatory sensing.

Seeing the World in Data

This is what I’ve been heavily involved with lately, working with the UCLA Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. Instead of iPhones, we use Nokia N80s. It’s the idea that individuals can use existing mobile technologies to gather and analyze data about the world around them.

On With the Show

Here’s our super cool, unbelievably awesome video taking a look at the near future of personal data collection with everyday mobile phones:

A little corny, yes, but informative.

How can non-experts make use of such huge amounts of data? I’m glad you asked! Visualization of course. More on this later.

Favorites

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.