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New things for 2016

I only remembered the other day that a new year means that I can snapshot the map I keep of where I’ve been in the previous year. I did a similar thing last year and it’s probably interesting to contrast the difference between the two. After numbering about for a bit, I did something like 56,969 miles in 2015, which is 0.1% less than last year (that’s actually remarkable). However, I’ve serious doubts about the accuracy of that number for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, the latest version of Android has a new feature which means that it basically puts itself into low power mode when nothing’s happening. Given that the little app I have is meant to wake up every few minutes, it ends up not waking up so often, and not being as accurate when it does wake up - this leads to data where the frequency is much more sporadic, and the points are a bit less accurate.

Secondly, I think i need to do a bit better at approximatifying the distances. At the moment, I just add up the distance between the recorded points, without taking the uncertainty of those points into consideration. This could mean that the phone could be stationary, but the ‘jitter’ of an uncertain location fix drifting around the actual location essentially presents ‘phantom’ distance covered. Thankfully, there’s a well-known solution to this called Kalman Filtering which basically lets you get a better approximation of distance covered given a series of coordinates with known, varying accuracy. Usefully, I can apply this filter across historical data and come up with a better distance figure for the last few years. Something on the todo list.

Also on the todo list:

  1. Master Dvorak keyboard layout. I’ve used this on my phone for over a year now, and I just switched my office keyboard layout to it. It’s a pretty odd thing to learn, but I like to think of it as a pointless personal challenge.
  2. Drive round Scotland. Because Scotland. And bike/car.
  3. Do something in Scala. I’ve no idea what, but after doing some stuff at work in Scala, I really want to use it again.

Finally, the map. A nice look back on a year which included Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Skiing in France, Munich, Amsterdam and a brilliant road trip through the Alps to Italy and back. Hopefully more travelfun this year.

Where I went in 2015