Infographic Of The Day: iPhone GPS Data Looks Like Glowing Fireflies

Sit back and enjoy.

Sometimes, we're all in the mood for a thick and meaty infographic. Other times, especially Fridays, we're in the mood for something that's simply gorgeous and excellent, like these visualizations of iPhone-tracking data by Michael Kreil.

Kreil leaned on the same iPhone GPS logs that we've seen in previous infographics. (His particular data set came from 88 iPhones in April, whose owners donated the data.) But Kreil took it a few steps further, to create those lovely little fade-in/fade-out effects.

There's actually some subtle data at work when that happens. On occasion, there were hours-long gaps in the location data: an iPhone might pop up in one place at 12 p.m., but miles away at 2 p.m. So Kreil represented that uncertainty about the precise locations in the intervening period by turning the pinprick data into hazy clouds. It's kind of like some sort of visualization of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: The better you know position, the less you know momentum. The effects also gets particularly lovely over time, as iPhones are turned off at night.

[H/T: Infosthetics]

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2 Comments

  • Corey King

    Simply amazing - my mind is already designing about a trillion possibilities. Thanks for sharing this! 

    One minor point of correction: The article says 88 iPhone users, but the print in the upper left hand corner of the videos says either 881 or 891 users.