The 6th Portland Data Visualization Group – Wed, October 19, 2011 from 6:30–8:30pm at Collective Agency!

It’s time for another Portland Data Visualization Meetup! We’ll have three to four main presentations and networking time. The last one was in February, and we’re overdue for the next one!

We usually have some conversation and networking, so feel free to bring business cards and/or let people know if you’re hiring. We won’t have a food or drink sponsor for this meeting, so feel free to bring your own snacks and things to eat! (if you’d like to sponsor, see the section at the end of this post).

This time, Collective Agency will graciously host us as their cozy coworking space (see below for the address and entrance instructions). For best results, please arrive a little before 6:30 Pm.

Thanks to our Sponsor Second Story!

Fantastic Portland company Second Story will be the sponsor of this month’s Data Viz group! You can check out their amazing work online at

Second Story will be bringing food and drinks for all of you to enjoy. We’ll thank them more on the day of the event!

Speakers for Data Viz #6

1. Dino Citraro of Periscopic will be presenting some new visualization work.

2. Rocket Scientist Nathan Bergey will be talking about his open source tool chain (mostly python and bender) for his recent rocket data viz [video link], and will bring an ISS-Notify (an awesome lamp that blinks when the international space station goes over your current position)!

3. Kevin Lynagh will give a talk on Mike Bostock’s D3 library:, a declarative way to map data to DOM elements, so you can very easily make complex visualizations for the web with what you already know: HTML, SVG, and CSS!

4. Charlie Loyd will give a talk on his self-GPS-tracking.

5. Aaron Parecki will show some data viz from a group in Norway that used Geoloqi to track a high altitude balloon 17km into the air!

Who Should Go?

Portland Data Viz Group is open to everyone interested in or working in the field of data visualization. This means designers, programmers, information architects, data miners, anthropologists, ect. We usually attract around 20-30 people, and you’re welcome to bring guests, food and drinks to the event.

Location and Time

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 6:30–8:30pm. RSVP on Plancast


Collective Agency
322 NW Sixth Ave (between Everett and Flanders)
Suite 200
Portland, Oregon 97209
(Google Map)

Entrance instructions: Buzz “200″ when you arrive. The phone will ring once or twice, then you’ll be buzzed up. Come on in: we’ll be on the second floor. Walk on back to the main loft and you’ll be welcomed in!

Google Group

If you’re interested in getting updates for for future meetings, simply join the the pdx-visualization Google Group! As the name implies, it is a group for Portland-area people interested in languages and techniques for visualization of data.

Location-based Apps with Amber Case and Aaron Parecki

Geoloqi GPS Logs - Portland, ORAaron Parecki and I have been working with a number of local and remote collaborators on an open source location sharing platform called Geoloqi. While we’ve spoken at a lot of conferences about it, most of them have been closed or specific events such as WhereCamp, eComm, or Intel.

If you’re interested in learning what Geoloqi is, we’d love to see you at Kells on November 10, 2010. If you’d like to come along, simply click on the registration button below. We’ll be there to answer any questions, and you’re free to ask questions on this post. If you’d like to sign up to beta test Geoloqi, or use the app when it is ready, you can do so at See you there!

Location-based Apps with Amber Case and Aaron Parecki

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010 – 5:30-8:30pm

Registration required:

1849 Salmon St
Portland, OR United States


Amber Case and her partner Aaron Parecki are the founders of Geoloqi. Geoloqi is a private, real-time mobile and web platform for secure location data, with features such as Geonotes, proximal notification, and sharing real-time GPS maps with friends. Geoloqi has been covered by CNN, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Willamette Week and Oregon Business. It has been presented at eComm, Open Source Bridge, Show and Tell PDX and Research Club under the alias Non-Visual Augmented Reality with SMS and GPS.

What will you learn:

  • Why developers of apps should look at what users want to do now, as well as what users want to do in their future.
  • Why social apps should try to mirror real–world relationships
  • Why sharing should be about who you share with as well as how long you want the information to be available.
  • Why developers should think about making apps “ambient” and require less user interaction.

You Should Follow @Geoloqi on Twitter!

The Fourth Portland Data Visualization Group | Wednesday July 28, 2010: 6:30–9Pm at Webtrends

It’s time for another Portland Data Visualization Meetup! The last one occurred on Thurs, April 29. We’ll have three to four main presentations and networking time. Webtrends will again graciously host us on their top floor.

Michael Paukner - Data Visualization

Current speakers for Data Viz #4:

1. Periscopic will present two pieces of data visualization they’ve done.

The first is Vote Smart – a new visualization & voter’s assistant tool that uses data
from Project Vote Smart, and Open Secrets.  Designed to help you find out
which candidates are most like you. 10 min presentation plus 15-20 minutes for questions.

State of the Polar Bear – visual designs for a project that is still in development.  Half infographic movie, and half exploratory visualization.  Designed to raise awareness about CO2 levels and how that affects polar bears and arctic sea ice.  5-10 min presentation and
10-15 mins for questions.

2. Aaron Parecki and Amber Case will present new data from a project they’ve been working on dealing with GPS and SMS data called They may also present a visualization of wiki commits to over time.

3. A number of Portland Data Viz group members recently attended a Tufte lecture, which most everyone found to be very useful! Joe, a Portland Data Viz member, enjoyed the blot maps presented by Tufte. He will give a very short presentation on them. It will include a guide on how to build your own from US Geographic boundary files, as well as a discussion on Tufte’s criticism of this data visualization method.

Who Should Go?

The event is open to everyone interested in or working in the field of data visualization. This means designers, programmers, information architects, data miners, anthropologists, ect. We’re expecting a similar amount of people to last time (probably around 20-30 people).

Location and Time

July 28th, 2010 | 6:30-9:30PM


851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland OR 97204

RSVP on Yahoo! Upcoming, or view the event on Calagator

Note to newcomers: If you haven’t been to Webtrends before, you might have a difficult time gaining access to the building. Please E-mail me for detailed instructions on how to enter the building, and a phone number you can reach to gain access once inside.

Google Group:

Ed Borasky started a Google group called pdx-visualization. As the name implies, it is a group for Portland-area people interested in languages and techniques for visualization of data.

Innovation in Data Visualization Group on Flickr:

I’ve been collecting interesting data viz photos for a while now and posting them to Flickr. They’re all accessible on my Flickr account in this set. Most pictures contain descriptions and links to the viz sources. If you have any Flickr photos of data viz work you’ve done, or work your find innovative, be sure to add them to the group!

Also check out Aaron Parecki’s GPS Logs and Data Visualizations on Flickr.

Hope to see you all there!



Amber Case, (@caseorganic) is a Cyborg Anthropologist studying the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way we think, act, and understand the world around us. She’s obsessed with compressing the space and time it takes to get data from one place to another, especially when the final destination is the mind.

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Geoloqi and GPS Data Viz at RECESS Gallery – July 14, 2010

Social_Net_Works: A Hybrid Art Show About Networks and Technology

On Wednesday, July 14th, RECESS gallery will have a show called Social_Net_Works. Social_Net_Works will look at projects spanning mediums and approaches that all deal with social networking and technology. Aaron Parecki and I will be showing some of the GPS data we’ve gathered in the past 1-2 years, some of it as a result of an open source mobile GPS tracker we’re building called Geoloqi.

Social_Net_Works at Recess Gallery Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There will be four other artists presenting social network related art. One artist, Alicia Gordon, is presenting a series of photographs staged from “Casual Encounters” ads on Craigslist. Another artist is doing a performance piece “Best Friend for Ten Minutes,” a project stemming from his “Best Friends for a Day” that began as a service offered on the web for strangers to respond to.


Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: RECESS Gallery
Address: 4315 SE Division St., Portland, OR

The Show

We’ll have five pieces up, including four  views of GPS data over time (one being the image of 10 million GPS points presented at Research Club). Each piece will have a 16″ by 20″ printed board explaining each map. The pieces will be a mix of portrait and landscape views. The images will include two years’ worth of Aaron Parecki’s GPS data and six months of my data.

Aaron Parecki’s GPS map: two years of data (color-coded by speed).

Aaron Parecki's GPS Logs from 2008-2010

Amber Case’s GPS map: six months of data (color-coded by time of day).

Amber Case's GPS Logs from January 2010 to June 2010

In addition, there will be a  video of Aaron Parecki’s GPS trails animated over time. It will cycle through a visualization of 10 million GPS points.

Digital Self-Portraits

Tori Abernathy, the show’s organizer, brought up a good points. GPS maps can be used as a sort of self portrait. In a sense, they already are (at least in terms of location). She mentioned The one that Aaron showed with a cluster in the NW of small black lines and with thicker, more colorful, fewer lines in the more far reaching parts of town, really hearkened to neural connections, or the cardiovascular system, or tree branches or something like that to me. Aside from that, she said, they still seemed to reveal a lot about a person. She concluded be mentioning her interest in working with them in a more historical self portrait medium like paint.

Weaving GPS into Fabric

Curiously enough, I was contacted by another artist, one that deals with textiles, a few days later. She said that she loved the idea of GPS portraits and wanted to stitch GPS trails into fabric. It will be curious to send her a couple of GPS images and see what she produces.

Visualizing Ten Million Points of GPS Data

Aaron Parecki's 10 Million GPS Points

This is 10 million GPS points plotted onto a map. It is also a portrait of Aaron Parecki’s life in Portland, Oregon. The dark lines represent slow speeds, and the red lines represent fast speeds. Through this map it is easy to see the relative highways and speeds of traffic present in Portland.

Boost Mobile Phone Running Instamapper GPS

Amber Case’s Boost Mobile Phone running Instamapper, sending data every 30 seconds.

Windows Mobile Phone Running

Aaron Parecki’s Windows Mobile Phone running, updating at 6 second intervals.

Aaron Parecki - Tour of Pittsburgh

Aaron Parecki visited Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with his friend Silas, resulting in the following GPS maps. Silas rented a Zipcar, so they were able to cover a lot of ground.

Tracking in New York

But when Aaron visited Manhattan, the GPS data became sparse. The tall building threw off the GPS and made it difficult to get a fix. Also, the GPS was not able to get a fix while underground. Thus, Aaron’s GPS data looks pretty spotty for Manhattan, with little squiggles popping up just at the points where he went above ground.

GPS in Manhatten Aaron Parecki

Mine were not much better, as you can see below.

Amber Case's GPS Trails in Manhatten

The big splash of gray next to Chelsea represents the period of time sleeping and the day I got sick. Aaron turns his tracker on only when he changes location, while I tend to leave my GPS tracker when I’m not moving. When this happens, the data points continue to pile up, revealing the amount of time I spent in a location.

Caseorganic's GPS Trail During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC.

I took my Boost Mobile Phone to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC and got some pretty good data. I stayed within the same 10-15 block area the entire time. Everything was walking distance, and I used no form of transportation the entire time, from the moment I got to Vancouver at the train station, to the moment I went home.

Using GPS Tracking for Geonotes

In addition to mapping out our paths with GPS-enabled phones, we have the ability to be sent Geonotes. Geonotes are a form of virtual geocaching. One can walk around the city and suddenly get a message that someone left before. They’ve been very fun to receive and write. My favorite one was from Don Park. He left it for me right on the Hawthorne bridge. When I passed over the bridge, I got a text message that told me a bit of trivia about the bridge. He left me another one on Mt. Tabor, telling me where the best berries were. It provided an Easter Egg like feeling of serendipity.

Leave Amber Case (Caseorganic) a Geonote

Leave a Geonote for Amber Case at!

Leave Aaron Parecki (aaronpk) a Geonote!

Leave a Geonote for Aaron Parecki at!

Everyone that runs Geoloqi will be able to send and receive Geonotes. Right now, it’s simply more complicated to do, as we’ve been using Instamapper and to gather GPS data. Geoloqi will enable almost anyone will a mobile device to easily participate in GPS tracking.

Tracking GPS Data with Geoloqi on the iPhone

iPhone 3GS App Running Geoloqi on iOS4

Here you can see the settings screen for Geoloqi on iPhone. The sliders can easily be changed depending on what type of data you want to record. For instance, Aaron Parecki takes data every six seconds, resulting in very high resolution maps. However, this is difficult on his phone battery. When I run Geoloqi, I have it set to update far less, which makes me only have to charge the battery twice per day – once in the afternoon, and again at night. The data is still high enough resolution to see an overall view of where I’ve been, as you can see in the maps of Portland and Eugene above.

Amber Case's Profile on

Tracking Data with Geoloqi

Two months ago, we built a Geoloqi prototype for iPhone iOS4 and installed it on my phone. Suddenly the resolution of the data that I was able to gather greatly increased. As you can see in the map below, the data is much more regular and less jumpy. This was because I was able to send data from the phone to the server at much smaller intervals.

Portland GPS Logs from June 28th-July 6th, 2010

This data was made using the Geoloqi app I have running on my iPhone 3GS. It runs in the background, so I can still do other things on my phone while tracking. As it tends to eat the battery, I have it set on the lowest settings possible. The resolution of data is still very good, as you can see here. The loop near Naito Pkwy is very high resolution, for instance.

GPS Logs from a Weekend Trip to Eugene, Oregon

I also took my phone to Eugene, which has a very different interaction footprint than Portland has. As I don’t live in Eugene, my patterns there were very different than Portland. My Portland footprint looks very much the same over time. I go home, and then to work. If I’m not there, I’m usually at my office in Chinatown. Eugene was a vacation-like trip, so the interactions with the landscape were quite different.

Aaron Parecki's Flight from San Francisco to Long Beach

Aaron runs his GPS tracker while on the plane, too. He has GPS data for all of the flights he’s taken for the last two years. Here’s the GPS trail of a flight from San Francisco to Long Beach.

Show Information: Date, Time and Location

Social_Net_Works at RECESS Gallery

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: RECESS Gallery
Street: 4315 SE Division St.
City/Town: Portland, OR

About RECESS Gallery

RECESS is an artist-run center located in the ground level of the Artistery, in Portland, Oregon. The 2,000-square-foot space is dedicated to nurturing emergent, experimental contemporary practices in a universally accessible environment. With a focus on content-oriented work, RECESS hopes to foster new forms of cultural development, and spark a discourse of change within the art community and the community at large. In conjunction with the Artistery, we’re is not limited to curatorial projects. Public lectures, workshops, shows, and other community-based events are all welcome.

Amber Case and Aaron Parecki Jump for Geoloqi

About Amber Case

Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and interface architect from Portland, Oregon. She studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds. Her main focus is on mobile software, augmented reality and data visualization, as these reduce the amount of time and space it takes for people to connect with information. Case founded out of a frustration with existing social protocols around text messaging and wayfinding. In 2008, Case founded CyborgCamp, an unconference on the future of humans and computers. To attend, visit

You can learn more about Case at, and you can follow her on twitter at @caseorganic.

About Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki is a Portland-based PHP developer and GPS enthusiast. His fascination with GPS began at the age of 6, when he began tracing the routes of family road trips on a map with a highlighter. This interest has grown into groundbreaking new methods of location sharing and data collection.

Two years ago, Parecki began tracking GPS data at six second intervals, netting him a high resolution portrait of his geographical travels. Shortly thereafter, he began to experiment with automatic location check-ins and proximal notification systems. He also began using GPS to control the lights in his house and perform other automated actions.

Parecki founded in an effort to make GPS tracking and advanced co-location protocols available to the general public. You can learn more about Aaron at, and you can follow him on twitter at @aaronpk.

Follow @geoloqi on Twitter!

You Should Follow @Geoloqi on Twitter!

Just click on the friendly dinosaur! His name is Loqi. He’ll tell you when Geoloqi for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm are ready. And if you want to be a beta tester or help us develop it, simply head on over to!

CyborgCamp Seattle is Around the Corner! – Sunday, July 18th, 2010

CyborgCamp Seattle

CyborgCampSeattle will take place on Sunday, July 18, from 10Am to 6Pm at Jigsaw Renaissance (1026 Madison Street) in Seattle, WA. Tickets are $15 and are now available! Get CyborgCamp Seattle 2010 tickets here!

CyborgCamp Seattle Tickets on Sale Now!

A very curious preparty will likely be held the night before. Details will be sent after your ticket is purchased. A max of 50 tickets will be sold – your spot is not guaranteed until you receive and respond to the confirmation e-mail. E-mail will include details for payment and retrieval of ticket.

The $15 covers food during the event. You’d likely spend that much hunting for food in the morning and during lunchtime, so CyborgCamp Seattle is graciously providing that food on-site!

Follow @cyborgcampsea on Twitter for more details!

Conference Venue

The venue for CyborgCamp Seattle will be at Jigsaw Renaissance, located at 1026 Madison Avenue in Seattle’s First Hill. Jigsaw is CyborgCamp’s first sponsor, and has opened up its doors for free to CyborgCamp.

It’s a gorgeous space just now being settled into. It has high ceilings, huge windows, and will comfortably seat CyborgCamp attendees. While parking is sparse, it is free on Sundays and there are parking lots nearby. Within blocks you can find a convenience store, Sugar Bakery, The Hideout, pho, The Corner Cafe, and many other venues.

Wait a Second! What is CyborgCamp?

CyborgCamp is an unconference about the future of the relationship between humans and technology. We’ll discuss topics such as social media, design, code, inventions, web 2.0, twitter, the future of communication, cyborg technology, anthropology, psychology, biohacking, cybernetics and circuity.

CyborgCamp was conceived almost entirely on Twitter and organized via wiki. Much of the buzz was generated through multiple media channels. It’s a BarCamp style event meant for learning and teaching.

Featured CyborgCamp Talks

Ian Hanschen is a cyborg bent on world-domination. He has the jack to prove it. Come hear how he went from single-sided deafness to stereo hearing in the normal hearing range in both ears.  Then hear his plans on world domination! You can see Ian’s work and thoughts at Escape Hatch Labs. We’re excited to have Ian at CyborgCamp Seattle!

Other CyborgCamp Talks

Since CyborgCamp is a hybrid unconference operating under open space technology, there will be few formal speeches. For instance, I’ll be giving an open talk on Cyborg Anthropology, and attendees are more than welcome to hold concurrent sessions during that time. The session will be part presentation, part discussion, and part analysis. Comments, deconstructionist thoughts and debates are welcomed. Help be a part of a new and evolving field of study.

Ready to go? You’d better be! It’s next weekend! Got your tickets yet? There are only 50 available and they’re going fast!

What’s Open Space Technology?

  1. A broad, open invite to everyone to submit ideas and sessions.
  2. Seats for everyone, and multiple rooms for different sessions and types of content.
  3. A bulletin board of topics and items of interest, proposed sessions and ideas posted by participants.
  4. A marketplace with many breakout spaces that participants move freely between, learning and contributing as they discover and absorb new information and ideas.
  5. A breathing pattern of flow, between primary and small-group breakout sessions, providing a relaxing yet engaging self-directed learning environment for attendees.

But I Live in Portland! What about CyborgCamp Portland?

CyborgCamp Portland is still a few months away! You didn’t miss it, we’ve yet to plan it! However, we do have a date and a location: Saturday October 2, 2010 from 9:00am – 6:00pm at Webtrends! If you’d like to sign up as a volunteer or help out, join us at the CyborgCamp Portland 2010 wiki! We’ll have volunteer meetings again in a few weeks.

CyborgCamp Portland Saturday October 2, 2010 from 9:00am – 6:00pm

For now, follow @cyborgcamp on Twitter.

See you in Portland or Seattle!


Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist from Portland, Oregon. She founded CyborgCamp in 2008 and is excited to plan the next Portland event. If you have questions about CyborgCamp or want to start your own, please contact her on Twitter @caseorganic.