Visualizing Commuting Data

I listen to NPR pretty much every morning. I love getting my news while I drive, saving me from having to read long articles later. This morning there was a bit about commuters and I realized how much I missed taking the train into work every morning. I was able to read my newspaper, listen to music, check my email, catch up on social media sites, enjoy a podcast, etc. So decided to download some census data about commute time by various types of transportation (driving alone, carpooling, public transportation, walking, other, or work from home). Here is what I have created:

The first dashboard initially gives a high level overview of the different types of transportation and which state has the highest percentage of their population using that type. The bar charts below show each state and the percent of their population using the various forms of transportation. In the live version of the dashboard you can sort the columns or you can select a single state and see the distribution.

The second dashboard shows the same high level information at the top, but the map below shows different CBSAs colored by the average time it takes for an individual to get to work. Obviously, the bigger cities have a longer commute time (most likely due to traffic congestion). The size of the circles represent the number of people being considered in each city.

The third dashboard focuses on a single CBSA, selected using a filter on the right. This dashboard shows various ZCTAs (zip code like areas defined by the census bureau) and the number of people in that ZCTA that choose a certain type of mode of transportation, which is also selected using a filter on the right. In this case, you can see which areas tend to have a good number of people using public transportation.

Wedding Hashtag

My partner and I both love our technology. We appreciate social media and plan on incorporating it into our wedding through the use of a hashtag. Our guests will be able to snap a photo, apply filters in Instagram, use our hashtag and it will appear in our wedding feed. Guests can also send that Instagrammed photo to Twitter or directly tweet about our wedding using our hashtag and that will also appear in our feed.

Our plan is have these two feeds (Instagram and Twitter) up during dinner or dancing or something. We hope our guests take part and have fun with it - make it into an interactive event. I wanted our wedding to be something different. Simple, elegant, with some traditions, but also I wanted pieces of our wedding to break the norms. I want our guests to feel comfortable using technology - as long as it is about us. :)

Seriously, though, I hope people have fun with it and see it as a form of entertainment and not rudeness. I'm sure some people will think it is tacky, but it's us and that's what that day is going to be about. #BrandiLovesTara

Wedding Website

I am getting married in the near future and have been using's handy wedding website tool instead of going through the hassle of creating my own site from scratch. They add more designs every day and I have finally (I think) settled on one. It's simple and focuses on the information, which is the point. The other nice thing about the website is that you can allow your guests to RSVP online, which saves them a lot of hassle and can save you postage! I'm excited to get to that point, but for now I am enjoying making my little modifications and packing it full of information.

Over the past few years I have seen many wedding websites and they server their purpose, although I want ours to be fun and full of helpful information! It also needs to be easy enough for our guests to navigation and shouldn't be a book. I have added fun stuff like links to Facebook albums of vacations we took together and lists of likes and dislikes.

I certainly do not expect every guest to read every word, but I want them to know that it is a wonderful source of information! Wedding party descriptions (at least my portion), links to my Pinterest wedding page, and fun articles are at the ready. I look forward to updating it more and providing guests with a full list of activities!