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

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.