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

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

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.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.