Geocaching dataviz

https://public.tableau.com/views/Geocache_2020_2021/Dashboard?:language=en-GB&publish=yes&:display_count=n&:origin=viz_share_link:showVizHome=no#1

Phew! I haven’t published any personal dataviz since IronViz; don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of ideas, but also plenty of work and a massive imposter syndrom to fight. I work well on deadlines, that’s why I entered the #Ironquest challenge of the month, which is around Viz a Year or Decade. I can’t say that I respected the theme fully, as I took a year going from oct 2020 to oct 2021, but I really wanted to tell a story about geocaching, so here we are.

#1 Getting the data

#Geocaching.com #GSAK

I wanted to automate as much as possible the process to extract my personal tracking data from Geocaching.com but the website doesn’t seem to allow webscraping; after a couple of hours searching, here is the current solution

Log in > Play > Search > Filter your search by ‘found by me’ > Add to a list > Go to your lists > download the GPX

But that’s not all! Then you need to install GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), connect your login, upload your GPX. Why? Because I needed to look into the metadata, including distance from my home (and a bunch of other stats that I ended up keeping private). From there, you can export in an Excel format.

#2 Design

#Figma

This is my first design in Figma and I owe a lot to the datafam for all the tutorials out there, including these videos with Ghafar Shah, and Autumn Battani and Lindsay Betzendahl.

I’ve made some “simple but bold” moves in my dataviz design, including:

1/ a very simple lollipop chart: Ironquest probably deserves a dataviz with more wow effect; I tried for more complex charts (radial), but honestly, I don’t have the energy and I just wanted something that looked child-like because geocaching is a bit like a return to childhood

2/ a logarithmic scale on a bar chart that represents distance and no scale on my bar; 3 reasons to that:

  • the variance between my local hunts (less than 5 km) to my furthest exploration (+2,000 km) was flattening 90% of my datapoints
  • what matters is not so much the distance from home than the variance between the different distances
  • Finally, we are talking self quantified data, not a business dashboard: we can live with a bit of approximation

As for dataviz inspiration, I Googled-images geocaching and search on Dribble and Behance… On the latter, I found Janelle Lim-Ranola‘s Geocaching Android App Redesign ; it inspired me the idea of a dotted line to guide the reader.

Fonts are Futura and Pompiere: Futura, because it’s sleak, legible, and the roundness echoes the bubbles shapes; Pompiere for its playfulness.

That’s all folks, any question or feedback, don’t hesitate!

Anne-Sophie

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