Data Viz Done Right

February 20, 2019

Improving Upon Strava Activity Summaries: RIDE IT London Osterley Sportive

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A few weeks ago, I voluntold Luke Stoughton (Head of Data School Recruitment and good friend of mine) to join me for a 52 mile cycling sportive hosted by Evans, a UK-based chain of cycling shops. Now, there's one thing to keep in mind...Luke had only ridden up to about 20 miles on a single ride. He WAS NOT happy with me, but he went anyway.

Coach Carl joined us as well, so I met him at a train station on the way and we rode the rest of the way to the start at Osterley House, an incredibly beautiful National Trust park and house. We met Luke there and headed off on our trek, stopping at two feed stops (I ate about eight pieces of cake at the second), peddling up three steep hills (they weren't that bad, but Luke hated it and threatened me), before looping back to the start and hitting the pub for a couple well deserved refreshments.

Along the way, I was thinking about how I could visualize the data. Strava does a decent job (see my ride here) and I thought I'd use that as a basis for my viz. My goals:

  1. Use a Mapbox map background as similar as I could to the Strava map (which is proprietary).
  2. Use the Strava colors (I found the hex codes in their brand guidelines and added them to my preferences file).
  3. Prep the data in Alteryx. There is a web data connector, but I like being able to create my own row level calculations and extract only the data I'm interested in. Plus it gives me an excuse to practice Alteryx more.
  4. I like how the elevation timeline, but for me it's lacking context by not including speed. I decided to keep its wide and short style while creating a dual-axis chart to overlay speed on top of the elevation.
  5. I included key moments as viz in tooltips. Hover over the gold ribbon (fastest speed) to see a picture of Luke and Carl speeding down the hill. That was fun! You can also see a selfie of us at the end.
  6. Include interactivity like Strava. Basically link the map to the chart and vice versa.
  7. Include speed and elevation on each point.
  8. Everyone loves a good BAN! FYI, Strava calculations elevation climb differently.

This isn't anything complicated and I think it's a viz that provides ever so slightly more context than Strava. Click on the image below for the interactive version.

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