It’s week 2 of #DearData2019, the data postcard project I’m working on with Ann Jackson this year. This time around we tracked transportation; namely the different modes of transport we used during the week. This weeks’ theme was perfectly timed as I had a work trip to Amsterdam scheduled that would cover multiple modes of transport in a single day!

In contrast to week 1, I tracked everything manually by hand this week. I roughly know what modes of transport I use on a regular day which involves travelling to London (mainly walking, train, tube, car) so I could plan my days in a notebook in advance. I would then set timers on my phone when I started and finished each activity and record how long each stage took. If I didn’t end up following the plan (for instance, if I decided to walk instead of taking the tube), it was easy for me to adjust the plan accordingly.

My Postcard

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Dear Data 2019 – Sarah’s week 2 – Transportation (front)
wk2 sb back
Dear Data 2019 – Sarah’s week 2 – Transportation (reverse)

This week I centered everything around a single circle (home) and I really like the way this approach resulted in a petal-like design. Every occasion I left the house is represented by an outward line going away from the circle. The line would continue moving away from the circle until I reached my destination (i.e. work, school, etc). After which, my journey is represented by lines which make their way back to the centre. The exception to this was my trip to Amsterdam which included an overnight stay in a hotel. In hindsight I shouldn’t have begun my journey the following day from home as in reality I was still away from home. This was an oversight on my part.

Modes of transport were represented by different coloured lines and places I visited along the way (often to change transport mode) are represented by symbols. The length of the line represents the length of each journey (in terms of time, not distance) but obviously these aren’t draw to scale. Hopefully you can gain a sense of which journey’s were the longest though.

My Design Inspiration

I must admit, I really struggled for inspiration with my design this week. I promised myself I wouldn’t look at the “Dear Data” book during this project as I didn’t want to be swayed by Giorgia or Stefanie’s designs (not that I can draw anything remotely as well as them). However, this week I took a quick peek and was inspired by Stefanie’s design for week 2 which looks like this:

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Original Dear Data – Stefanie’s week 2 – Transportation (front)
wk 2 stefanie back
Original Dear Data – Stefanie’s week 2 – Transportation (reverse)

I really liked the notion of everything being centered around the home so decided to try a similar approach in my design.

Ann’s Postcard

Ann took a completely different approach to me this week but I really like how her’s turned out. Bear in mind Ann’s daily commute is very different to mine. Ann travels mainly by car and rarely uses public transport. I quickly discovered that Ann travels mostly with her husband too (which I thought was particularly adorable as most of my journeys were either solo or on trains packed with strangers).

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Dear Data 2019 – Ann’s week 2 – Transportation (front)
wk 2 back ann
Dear Data 2019 – Ann’s week 2 – Transportation (reverse)

Similarly, Ann used symbols to represent her destinations but used colour to differentiate them (rather than shape). I really like how Ann included the cardinal direction she took on each route and how varied her routes are. No two days are the same. In fact, in the same week Ann visited what appears to be three different restaurants and four different grocery stores (sometimes she goes to the grocery more than once in the same day).

I really enjoyed this week and I found manual tracking using a notebook and pen surprisingly easy. Unlike last week, I drew my postcard design without a practice run on a separate sheet of paper. I found the process of drawing a draft and then repeating it on the postcard actually made the design process harder so I’m unlikely to try it again. However, I did make slight mistake this week and initially coloured the plane route the wrong colour but I don’t think this is too obvious from looking at the final design.

Read about Ann’s approach to week 2 here.

Thanks for reading.