Lifelogging Data Aggregators

sign

Today there are devices and apps that can record what you eat, what you weigh, how many steps you take, how well you sleep, how far you walk, how much time you spend on Wikipedia, your heart rate, your LDL cholesterol level, and more. It has been called self-tracking, lifelogging, quantified self, behavior monitoring, and probably other things too.

(Some people think it’s new, but it’s not. It’s just easier and cheaper now, so more people are doing it.)

Unfortunately, self-tracking data often gets stored in different places. For example, I use RunKeeper to track my walking and jogging and the data gets stored on RunKeeper’s servers. I also played with RescueTime, which recorded how much time I spent using various software and visiting various websites. That data got stored on RescueTime’s servers.

If I want to see if there’s any relationship between how far I jog and how much time I spend reading news websites, I have to bring the data from RunKeeper and RescueTime into one place (or app).

Some of the devices and apps let you get your data in common file formats, such as CSV files (spreadsheets). Sometimes you have to pay for the “premium” or “pro” account before you can get the data that way. Also, many of the services let other apps access your data using a web API (Application Programmer’s Interface). (You usually have to give those other apps permission to access your data.)

I looked for apps (i.e. software) to aggregate my self-tracking data. As it happens, there are several options. Some open source ones are:

  • ThinkUp – Currently, it only gets your data from the larger social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), but they keep adding more sources. They will offer a hosted version soon. Written in PHP. GPL license.
  • The Locker Project – Being developed by a company named Singly, which offers a hosted version called Singly DataFabric, currently aimed at developers, not consumers. Written in JavaScript on node.js. BSD license. Update: Singly was acquired by Appcelerator in Summer 2013.
  • Manybots – wrote an aggregator written in Ruby, using the Ruby on Rails framework. MIT license. It seems they changed into a different business at some point, but the original code is still up on GitHub.
  • Fluxtream / BodyTrack – A project that came out of Carnegie Mellon and a company named Fluxtream. They seem to be regrouping at the moment, but their code is available on GitHub (here: Fluxtream, BodyTrack). Written in Java.
  • Reportr. Apache 2 license. Written in JavaScript.

You could install one of those on your desktop computer, but there’s no easy desktop installer to download and run. They’re really meant to be run on web servers, along with other required software (e.g. database and web server software).

Proprietary quantified self data aggregator services include:

If I missed one, let me know.

Photo Credit: The photo, titled “Umm…” is by Clearly Ambiguous on Flickr and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

One thought on “Lifelogging Data Aggregators

  1. Dear Troy,As far as I can see you face the problem to keep all your lifelogging data at one place. What if there is a way to keep it together will all your important data (pictures, notes, favorites, etc). We at Pryv made it possible.We are doing a service where your data is keep at one place, private. You even get to choose where it is stored. Pryv is also a more personal way of sharing selected life streams with specific people. You may also share on social media without sacrifying data ownership. You could find out more about PRYV and support us on our crowdfunding campign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pryv-your-life-at-a-glance/x/5289451Evelina

    Like

Comments are closed.