Barbara Fillip

Mapping Maven

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60,000 Miles

Some interesting ideas came up while watching the videos.  I plan on trying out the Paper app but for this project I'll use my favorite mapping tool for the mind map and plain pen and paper for the visualizations.

I spent more than 5-10 minutes on the map.  It was onstructed with CmapTools (download free) if anyone is interested.  Technically, it's more a concept map than a mind map.

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Working on the actual drawings, but also thinking about making this map a little more readable (more structure and a few "insights" to make it more useful and more action-oriented).  I also tried to put an image background behind the map but it makes it too "busy".  This is confusing enough for someone not used to complex maps.

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I started with the some pretty complex idea inspired by the fact that by doing the map, I realized that I've driven about 60,000 miles of the same commute for the past 7 years.  That routine has turned into a very predictable driving pattern, which, without being very scientifically driven (or proven), has allowed me to optimize the time it takes to get from home to work and back by being the most advantageous lane at all times while mitigating risks associated with unnecessary lane changes.  Here is the resulting visualization.

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 Next, I was thinking about how my car insurance's Pay-As-You-Drive program has impacted (or not) my driving habits.  Through this program, my driving is monitoring by a small device in the car that tracks certain variables (number of instances of hard braking, instances of fast acceleration, miles driven and night driving).  The three relevant variables are plotted in the visualization below. The key lesson here for me was that with quick feedback on your driving habit, you can adjust and improve your driving to some limited extent.  For example, it's easy to avoid fast accelerations because they're totally under your control  Hard braking is 50% dependent on how other people are driving and therefore not completely avoidable.  

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This was all nice and good but I wanted a real drawing, not yet another graph, so here's my favorite of the three:

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There's room for improvement, but I'm loving the way it forces me to think slightly differently and allows me to gain other insights that I would not have had with my traditional mapping approach.

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