Data visualization using personal data

For the last weeks we have been working with Processing and data visualization. We were supposed to use personal data as input, and I decided to visualize my browser history. For me, this is kind of personal, I rarely let people use my computer or phone.

I did struggle with the code part, it seemed like everyone did, but we got help and the course was more about exploring what the result could be. What possibilities does code have and how does it change the interaction.

I have previously been working with information graphics, and I see some of the same principles in data visualization – but you can allow more data and smaller objects. When using Illustrator you kind of have to make a lot manually – you have to do the calculation and so on.  Also, by using Processing it’s possible to make the data interactive, and the viewer can take an active part in the visualization – by using the cursor and so on.

This is my sketch:

Browser History Sketch

The sketch focuses on time used on different categories, top sites and the path between the different sites.

And this is how far I got with Processing (and even though this is so private for me, I post it on my blog…):
Browser History Processing

From January 14 2015 22:08 to February 02 2015 11:44 I visited 10 756 urls and 381 unique websites. This data visualization only shows the websites that I have visited over 7 times. I have not been using private mode, and when I was browsing, I did not know that it would be used for this task.

By looking at the results from my own data, I could tell what kind of work I was doing and generally what interested me. I actually thought I was more of a hypochondria than the results show. It would be really interesting comparing this to others browser history.

The task also triggered some thoughts about further developments; working with memory and browser history. It’s so hard maneuvering through your own history, trying to remember what you were doing or find things.