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Latest insights and trends in Personal Analytics, Operational Intelligence, and Workplace Productivity.

May 15
Off-highway travelling with Analytics

​Last Sunday I planned to make my way from Kraków, Poland to Munich, Germany and I decided to drive by car. You know the standard way – you jump on a nearest highway and let it lead you thru the lands like a flat concrete ribbon from where you were to where you ought to be. I know it, I've done it several times, I do not like it unless I am in a really hurry.

So this time I decided to go in a slow and relaxed way. Just sit, drive, look around, no stress, no planning. No planning? Yes! I decided to rely on my electronic device to lead me to my destination. (Not a complete trust, however, just with a few checks in the course, whether it's not doing something stupid). I made sure that I have the correct countries maps in memory, so I can use them offline and not lose all my roaming transfer limit halfway there. I turned off options: highways, toll ways (express roads in this case), ferries and dirt ways (so I won't find myself in the middle of some potato field) and let it chose my way straight across the middle Europe. It fitted (after a few corrections) the route 100 km shorter but 3 hours longer then highway pass.

The travel was beautiful. I drove a bunch of different roads, sometimes main ones, sometimes small ones, passing many towns of different sizes, chateaus, churches, colorful houses, local monuments; thru flatlands and mountains, bright yellow fields and dark forests.  Sometimes the roads were winding because of steep mountains and sometimes with no apparent reason, crossing the meadows, because someone built it this way. But I didn't care, I had time to go slow (and built in map option to beep-warn me of local speed limits).

I'd say such long travel thru so many roads would not be possible without the computer route guide. There was a crossing or a traffic circle sometimes every 5 or 10 km. I would spend hours looking at the map, retreating from wrong turns, checking the road numbers and finding ways thru cities. Thanks to the GPS guide it was not my problem, it wasn't a problem at all and I could devote all my attention to the landscape. I haven't been looking at the map at all, in fact, I didn't take a paper map with me. I especially liked the lake area I found myself in at the afternoon with lakes, one after one, on both sides of the road. The mountains I passed thru in the evening was also extraordinarily beautiful.

Now I remember all the views and landscapes but I have no idea how exactly I was going or where exactly I have been. As I was not bothering myself with the map, I was not paying attention to the names. And I do not think I should. It was the computer that was responsible for details.


The next day, when I wanted to check what were that lakes and what were that mountains, I just used my computer this time. I opened Omnicontext™ Analytics and took benefit of the fact that, without me even thinking ahead of that need, this software took care about remembering my route. I found a timeline chart of my whole day, showing what hours I was driving, when and where I had breaks, with every little strip clicked showing where I was at that moment. I also have a list of 109 places I passed on my way to check what was my route's details.

Our electronic devices accompany us and help us all the time in everyday life now, so they can also collect all about it, process it and deliver to us the information when we need it. This is what Omnicontext™ Analytics is designed to do.


Adam, this is a good insigh...

Adam, this is a good insight. I do not believe we thought of this scenario for the location metrics, but it does make perfect sense. And where are actually those beautiful lakes, just in case I go the same way by car?
 on 5/18/2015 3:02 PM
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