Using Google Location Data
Having spent the better part of the 2000's as a touring musician, a lot of my oldest friends are still in that industry and actively touring. A week before a long and arduous summer festival (that I did for three years in my much cooler days) I asked a friend to enable location sharing on Google+. I didn't really know what I wanted to make yet, but I knew that I wanted the data. The end result was an interactive way of seeing where they've been, what pictures they took, and showcased the long journey on a summer festival.
Quick and dirty prototype
A week into their trip, I quickly wrote some code to just lay out the data and see their trip from NYC to LA. I liked this format, but I needed a mapping API to place it on, allowing for zooming and accurate coordinate mapping.
Personal data and Google maps
While I waited for more data as the summer went on, I decided to use my personal data to create the underlying code that would eventually power the map. I used the Google Maps API and created a heat map of my activity over time. I've also created this for several people and some, including myself, have printed them out and hung them in their apartments.
Using the system I built for my personal data along with the Instagram API, I finished this project and shared it with their fans. This was the day I learned how important it is to make sure that my work runs well on mobile devices.