Low Friction
Personal
Data Collection

@aaronpk • aaronparecki.com
Quantified Self • San Francisco • October 2013
Things I track inconsistently

 One photo every day – off and on since 2007
 Bike Rides – Usually rides only > 1 mile – ...
Things I track consistently

 Location: GPS (since 2008) iPhone
 Location: Checkins (since 2009) Foursquare
 Sleep (sin...
Tracking My Location

aaronparecki.com

 One decimal point of precision (about 5km)
 City name
 Local time and timezone
Tracking My Location

Automatic reply to an SMS

 Four decimal points of precision (within a block)
 City name
 Local t...
Tracking My Location

Hardware GPS Logger (2007)

@aaronpk
Tracking My Location

GPS-Enabled Phone (2008-2009)

@aaronpk
Tracking My Location

Geoloqi for iPhone (2010-Present)

@aaronpk
@aaronpk
Tracking My Location

Stored in PostGIS
 Queryable by timestamp or by area
Tracking My Location

Timezone API
Created with github.com/esri/Terraformer

curl http://api.example.com/?lat=45.5118&lng=...
Tracking My Location

SMS Interface
Google Voice
sends me an
email with the SMS

You send
me an SMS

Your
Phone

Google
Vo...
@aaronpk
Tracking My Weight

Publishing My Weight
aaronparecki.com/metrics
Tracking My Weight

Withings Wireless Scale – 2011-Present

@aaronpk
Tracking My Weight

Weight Data Flow
IFTTT sends me
an email with
all the data

Withings API
reports to IFTTT

Withings
Sc...
Tracking My Weight

Withings Wireless Scale

@aaronpk
Tracking My Weight

Withings Wireless Scale
Geoloqi
Acquired

@aaronpk
Tracking My Weight

Publishing My Sleep
aaronparecki.com/metrics

 Local time based on the timezone of my location

 Inc...
Tracking My Weight

Sleep Cycle App
 Place your phone on your bed
 Requires your phone to be
plugged in

@aaronpk
Tracking My Weight

Original Fitbit
 To track sleep, requires you wear it
around your wrist
 I was not able to sustain t...
Tracking My Sleep

Jawbone UP – 2011-Present

 Always on my wrist, so I never forget about it
 Battery lasts 8-10 days

...
Tracking My Sleep

Sleep Logs
 Times are localized
using location data
 Timezone is found
using Terraformer
 Using a re...
Tracking My Sleep

Sleep Logs by City
Tracking My Sleep

Sleep Logs by City
Tracking My Sleep

Sleep Logs

Nov 2011 – September 2013
Tracking My Sleep

Sleep Logs

Nov 2011 – September 2013
Private
Database

@aaronpk

Public

aaronparecki.com
Some patterns are only
visible after looking at a
long-term dataset.

@aaronpk
I set up systems to passively
collect data so that I have
lots to work with later!

@aaronpk
Low Friction:

collect passively
analyze actively

@aaronpk • aaronparecki.com
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Low Friction Personal Data Collection - Quantified Self Global Conference 2013

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Location, sleep and weight are the three things Aaron has managed to track consistently. Combining these data sources helped him learn new things about himself.

Presented at http://quantifiedself.com/conference/San-Francisco-2013/

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Too awkward to plug in every night, extra ritual to learn before going to sleep
  • Too awkward to move to wrist strap, and “sleep” mode was a long press that gives no tactile feedback so you have to look at it to put it in sleep mode
  • I download the data from the Jawbone API, correlate with my location to get the city and timezone to get the local time
  • what causes these patterns?
  • I need to look at more data across other things I track looking for patterns.
  • day-to-day differences are not always visible, I’ve been able to see patterns I wouldn’t have by looking at an extended data set
  • Low Friction Personal Data Collection - Quantified Self Global Conference 2013

    1. 1. Low Friction Personal Data Collection @aaronpk • aaronparecki.com Quantified Self • San Francisco • October 2013
    2. 2. Things I track inconsistently  One photo every day – off and on since 2007  Bike Rides – Usually rides only > 1 mile – Strava  Heart Rate – During bike rides or other activities – Strava  Food I Eat – Aug 19-present – text file on my phone
    3. 3. Things I track consistently  Location: GPS (since 2008) iPhone  Location: Checkins (since 2009) Foursquare  Sleep (since November 2011) Jawbone UP  Weight (since October 2011) Withings Scale @aaronpk
    4. 4. Tracking My Location aaronparecki.com  One decimal point of precision (about 5km)  City name  Local time and timezone
    5. 5. Tracking My Location Automatic reply to an SMS  Four decimal points of precision (within a block)  City name  Local time and timezone
    6. 6. Tracking My Location Hardware GPS Logger (2007) @aaronpk
    7. 7. Tracking My Location GPS-Enabled Phone (2008-2009) @aaronpk
    8. 8. Tracking My Location Geoloqi for iPhone (2010-Present) @aaronpk @aaronpk
    9. 9. Tracking My Location Stored in PostGIS  Queryable by timestamp or by area
    10. 10. Tracking My Location Timezone API Created with github.com/esri/Terraformer curl http://api.example.com/?lat=45.5118&lng=-122.6433 { status: "ok", timezone: "America/Los_Angeles" }
    11. 11. Tracking My Location SMS Interface Google Voice sends me an email with the SMS You send me an SMS Your Phone Google Voice Google Voice sends you an SMS from my phone number A Gmail filter catches it and forwards it to my web server Gmail notification of SMS then sends an email reply to the “from” address of the SMS notification aaronparecki.com My web server retrieves my location data * it would also be simpler to use Twilio for this, but I like that the SMSs are to and from my own number, hence the Google Voice round trip ** if you have an Android, you can just use Tasker
    12. 12. @aaronpk
    13. 13. Tracking My Weight Publishing My Weight aaronparecki.com/metrics
    14. 14. Tracking My Weight Withings Wireless Scale – 2011-Present @aaronpk
    15. 15. Tracking My Weight Weight Data Flow IFTTT sends me an email with all the data Withings API reports to IFTTT Withings Scale IFTTT A Gmail filter catches it and forwards it to my web server and creates a new post Gmail notification aaronparecki.com * the Withings API was too difficult to use directly, so I had to go through IFTTT as a proxy. I would love to find a simple Ruby/Sinatra or PHP app that someone else has written as a template!
    16. 16. Tracking My Weight Withings Wireless Scale @aaronpk
    17. 17. Tracking My Weight Withings Wireless Scale Geoloqi Acquired @aaronpk
    18. 18. Tracking My Weight Publishing My Sleep aaronparecki.com/metrics  Local time based on the timezone of my location  Includes city I slept in from my GPS data
    19. 19. Tracking My Weight Sleep Cycle App  Place your phone on your bed  Requires your phone to be plugged in @aaronpk
    20. 20. Tracking My Weight Original Fitbit  To track sleep, requires you wear it around your wrist  I was not able to sustain this because of the extra effort of using the wrist strap  Long button press to put into “Sleep” mode, gives visual feedback but no vibration (timer starts running) @aaronpk
    21. 21. Tracking My Sleep Jawbone UP – 2011-Present  Always on my wrist, so I never forget about it  Battery lasts 8-10 days  Long button press to put into “Sleep” mode, gives visual and tactile feedback @aaronpk
    22. 22. Tracking My Sleep Sleep Logs  Times are localized using location data  Timezone is found using Terraformer  Using a reverse geocoder to add City, State, Country @aaronpk
    23. 23. Tracking My Sleep Sleep Logs by City
    24. 24. Tracking My Sleep Sleep Logs by City
    25. 25. Tracking My Sleep Sleep Logs Nov 2011 – September 2013
    26. 26. Tracking My Sleep Sleep Logs Nov 2011 – September 2013
    27. 27. Private Database @aaronpk Public aaronparecki.com
    28. 28. Some patterns are only visible after looking at a long-term dataset. @aaronpk
    29. 29. I set up systems to passively collect data so that I have lots to work with later! @aaronpk
    30. 30. Low Friction: collect passively analyze actively @aaronpk • aaronparecki.com

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