Dear Data Post #1: My City

Here’s a story.

It was the middle of June, but the weather was still really crappy for the peak of summer and I was in bed trolling the internet for something to occupy my mind.

There, I came across a lovely story of 2 strangers who came together for a year, exchanged weekly data visualizations on a postcard with each other. A Data Pen Pal! I wanted one. I was starting to get bored with my own work, creating similar visuals day in, day out. This would be a nice twist, switching it up and challenging myself every week to try something different.

I connected with Andriy Nemchenko through the Dear Data database, who has a sizeable list of connected pen pals at this point —he lives in Dallas, far away enough for a postcard to make sense, but close enough to get to Toronto in time.

This is our first postcard exchange — we decided on 1 snail mail postcard, and 3 digitally shared visualizations for the remaining 3 weeks of the month.

That was a great decision. Snail Mail takes SO LONG! I mailed my first one out last Monday, and it got to Dallas a week later. The anticipation nearly killed me.

Here are our interpretations of our cities for each other; we definitely thought a map format was appropriate, though I thought it was really funny that his concept of his city was clearly on a much much larger scale than mine.

My postcard for Andriy
How to Read section on my visual

I have also never checked my mailbox so often…Andriy and I still had to check-in on email, “did you get my postcard yet?”, like it was out of this world. None of the suspense-filled anticipation we used to experience in the 90s.

Andriy’s postcard to me… lots of fun facts about Dallas!

I didn’t understand the rainbow colours at the bottom of the postcard till I turned over to read the legend…Andriy, you have moved around a lot!

Also, I’m very intrigued by the White Rock Lake. All about that outdoor life, gotta check that out one day.

Overall, great first start to our data viz exchange - excited to see this week’s (And the next one comes around fast!).