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365 Days of Delicious Data

№238
~3 minutes
InHealth

    In which we I begin to quantify myself and we take a look at all the places I’ve been in the last year, thanks to the ever-present and watchful eye of Big Brother.

    Last year I installed an inconspicuous little app called Moves. An app that tracks your everyday life and exercise by recording any walking, cycling and running you do.

    The company behind Moves, ProtoGeo Oy, was acquired by Facebook in April 2014 but it appears that the app is still being updated based on the latest available version from the Google Play Store.

    I then promptly forgot all about it.

    For an entire year or so I didn’t give it much thought, glancing at it occasionally as it did its best to encourage me to walk those stupid, but recommended, 10,000 steps.

    Other than that, I ignored it, so there it sat, tracking me as I went on with my life.

    Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
    I am the augmented vitruvian man.

    It wasn’t until wearable trackers started becoming more and more widespread that my thoughts returned to that obnoxious app I had installed the year before.

    Wondering what had become of the data it had collected, I logged into my account and was greeted by a total of 370 days of data.

    But data is only as interesting as one makes it, which is why I plugged all that geographic data into Google and their map API, with a lot of help from Beije, and started looking for interesting ways to display my whereabouts.

    For the sake of this entry thought I decided to cut it down to 365 days. I thought it had a nice ring to it.

    An animated map displaying where I've been during 2014
    To my disappointment, I don’t get around as much as I had hoped.

    Being able to track how and where I’ve been for a whole year was fascinating and I started thinking about what other kinds of data I could gather.

    You can probably see where this is going.

    The Quantified Self

    The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to “quantify” myself. Not to start living healthier or to exercise more—maybe I’ll get to that later—but mostly just to see how healthy I am.

    So, I started reading reviews and researching the different features, looking at Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP3, Garmin Vívosmart and even Microsoft Band—which was only made available in the UK recently.

    After some consideration I decided that the Jawbone UP3, with its advanced sleep tracking and heart monitor, looked the most appealing.

    But the Jawbone UP3 wasn’t available yet—and nobody seemed to know when it would be—so I decided to give the current model, the Jawbone UP24, a try instead.

    It has already begun collecting data for me. And in a few months I should have even more delicious data.

    The next entry comes out in 6 days.

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    My Week With; The Jawbone UP3

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    There are 35 more entries from 2015. See all the entries.