2016 in numbers

2016 in numbers – or how to make sense of your personal data

Here is a little disclaimer for this post:

  1. <nerd alert on>
  2. This has become a bit of a long post … don’t say I did not warn you
  3. And I am not a designer – so this is not pixel perfect. But for this purpose it is good enough for me. If you look very carefully you’ll probably spot some pixels that aren’t completely aligned but then I am not a designer. I hacked this together in Google Draw, it’ll have to do. I’ll try to explain how I gathered all the data.

1. Cycling to work

This shows the number of times I have cycled to work this year. In order to automatically track this I created an IFTTT recipe which gets triggered on my phone  when I pass a certain location on my route to work. I can only pass this spot on bicycle and will only pass it when I cycle to the office, so this works fine for me. IFTTT logs this in a Google sheet, so the only thing I need to do at the end of the year is check how often this is logged.

So I cycled to work 105 times this year.

  • (Since I am also tracking when it rains (as you do…)) – I only had to cycle 5 time through rain. This is only 4,7% of the time (quite amazing when you think about it).
  • 105 cycle trips to work have saved me about €220 in gasoline and has also saved me from the stress and frustration of standing in traffic jams during rush hour.
  • It hasn’t saved me from some serious bruises though, as it turned out that taking a turn on a frozen cyclepath makes you fall flat on your face… (be careful cycling in the wintertime is the lesson here).

And finally, here is a graph (click for larger version) showing how much I cycled per month. (from the last 4 years). Seems like I finally figured out this year that I can cycle to work in the fall/winter too. Let’s see if we can tackle the spring too in 2017.

Cycle stats
Cycle stats

2. Films

Clearly if you are a filmfreak like me you need to keep stats on the films you are watching. I have no fully automatic solution for this unfortunately. This is mostly done by manually logging films I have seen (together with my rating) on my IMDB account. Cinema visits need to be logged manually somewhere (Google sheet). So this is all far from waterproof (also think I have seen more films than this but alas) but it’ll have to do.

And those 6 films are the best ones I have seen this year. (Waterboys actually being really good which is pretty unexpected for a Dutch film). And 18 cinema visits is reasonable I think, am sure I missed some there in my stats too though.

3. Coding

Yes I have been a developer in another live but I hadn’t done any programming for ages. Until recently when a freetime project popped up and before I knew I typed 1200 lines of code. I program in PHP – which doesn’t give me any streetcred with real developers I know – but I can make stuff and most of the time it more or less works too (I surprise myself all the time here).

The Github commits are ones I have done for sites at work (don’t tell anyone because I am really not supposed to do this stuff at work but I secretly like it!).

I had never done anything with API’s – and have only scratched on the surface of the endless possibilities they give you but I am addicted now. Api’s are pretty cool. (Wikipedia, IMDB, TheMovieDB, New York Times, Guardian are some of api’s I have been playing with but there is more that needs to be investigated).

4. Music

The music stats are easy. My Spotify account is linked to Last.fm. And Last.fm is brilliant in giving you an overview of all the songs you have played, most played artists etc. They have stats per week, month and year so – easy does it. Last.fm has my music stats since 2006, so there is a lot of interesting data there – here is my compelete 2016 list.

And I had not listened to tv-2 for a couple of years – but surprisingly this year they are back on my playlist and even number one with a huge amount of plays. (How did that happen?)

And here is a Spotify playlist with my top 10:

5. Trips

The stats here are not that interesting. I went on 3 trips this year, fine. But if you really like to dive into where you have been hanging out throughout your year – Google timeline is totally awesome. If I want to see where we have been driving on the 23rd of September during my USA trip – Google can tell me (Somewhere in Yosemite park apparently), and it also shows me the photos I took along the way. I know that some people find this scary (privacy anyone?) but  I have nothing to hide and I love this type of information, I can trace back my whole USA trip route day by day this way. Only thing I needed to do was to bring my iphone. How cool is that?


And then there is all the stuff I have thrown onto social media.

Could not find a smarter way than to just count the number of images I posted this year: 97.

Twitter (1156 Tweets)
Twitter is slightly easier – for this I use Tweetnest, which exports all tweets to my WordPress database. Tweetnest also displays my tweets and number of tweets per month, so add these 12 numbers together and voila. (There might be easier ways to do this perhaps but hey)  And 1156 tweets – wow. That’s 96 tweets a month, and about 3 tweets a day. I guess for me Twitter is far from dead. (I also prefer Twitter over FB).

533 Swarm/Foursquare checkins

Well here I read this interesting article about how you can export your checkins as KML file, import them into google as a Fusion table and voila you have all your checkins plotted on a map.  In this Fusion table you can also see how many checkins you have done in the year and it plots all your checkins on a map which is pretty cool. (The fusion table option is an extra add-on for Google Drive). I checked in at places 533 times. (I mostly tend to do this while on holiday)

Google photos (43043)

I could not figure out how to get the number of uploaded photos in 2016 from Google. So the number shown here is the total number of photos I uploaded to Google photos ever. Quite a number! I love Google photos – I hope it will always be around because it has become my number one place to store all my photos and I can get to them from wherever I am. Also very handy as a way to backup your photos while on the road. And it is free.

Google maps – 417 photos and 283 reviews

I always was a fan of Foursquare (now Swarm) – and still use it. But I also use Google maps a lot, so I have recently started to use this more seriously for reviews and photos of places. There is a minor competition going on with one of my colleagues about who has the most points as a Google local. I am way behind though (and probably never will catch up) but it’s still fun- so this number is likely to be higher next year.

The thing that surprised me the most is the amount of views photos get on Google maps.

And also this difference:

Apparently this sign looks better from the right? Anyway – if you have no idea what to do with your spare time – Google maps is your friend. I posted 417 photos there and 283 reviews.

E-mails (3274 sent!)

I sent 3274 E-mails in 2016:  305 personal ones and 2969 for work.

Knowing that we use Slack for most of our office communication – this is a pretty shocking number. I am not a big fan of typing e-mails but when I look at these stats I can see that I waste way too much time typing them. Let’s see if we can bring that number way down in 2017.

That’s it from the stats department!

<nerd alert off>