Feeling swamped by information from digital devices? The ubiquity of numbers and networks in our lives creates an immense amount of data, which can be hard to keep track of. Here are four ways you can visualize the data in your life.
1. Facebook mapping
Image courtesy of Curiousmatic via Wolfram Alpha.
This tool from Wolfram Alpha, a search engine rival to Google, takes a range of information from your Facebook profile and compiles it into clear, colorful infographics.
It shows you a host of information about you and how you connect with your Facebook friends, including what words you use most frequently, what type of media you post most regularly, the ages and genders of all your friends, and a map showing the connections between all your friends.
Unless you choose to donate your data to Wolfram Alpha for research purpose, or you decide to track your future info, the data is stored on the company’s servers for an hour before identifiable information is deleted, the company’s privacy page says.
Image courtesy of Ron Mader via Flickr.
Curious who you’re actually connected to on LinkedIn? This plugin, similar to Wolfram’s Facebook tool, organizes all your connections into an easy-to-grasp map.
Sorted by color, the map shows you how big your various groups of contacts are and how they’re related. This can help you fill out a gap in your contacts, find a connection that can introduce you to something else, and show how your previous connections developed.
The tool is part of LinkedIn, so you’re not giving up any information that’s not already there.
3. Strava running/cycling tracker
Photo courtesy of Strava via the Apple App Store.
This app uses your device’s GPS to track you while you’re running or cycling, measuring your speed, and distance traveled.
It also shows you calories burned, how long you’ve been running for, and the elevation you’ve climbed, collecting the information into a clear form, with graphs showing your speed and power compared to elevation.
4. Mint Personal Finance
Image courtesy of Yahoo! Inc, via Flickr. Modified by Curiousmatic.
If you trust the company with your account information, the personal finance tool Mint can track your credit and debit card spending over time, showing where you spent your money and what you spent it on.
The tool also allows you to input a budget and spending goals, notifying you when you go over your self-imposed limits.
While it may seem scary to turn your transaction history to a third party, Mint promises 128-bit encryption of your data, as well as “read-only” access, meaning the app can never actually access your money.
If you’re interested in more visualization tools, go to Quantified Self, a community of makers and users of self-tracking tools.
What data visualization tools would you like to see in your life? Tweet @curiousmatic
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