Bryn was the real star of ‘Phase 1’ and it certainly got my creative juices flowing for a larger, more ambitious project. There were many holes in the analytics of Phase 1 — it was largely just a bit of fun, however I couldn’t help but think how the project could evolve with a wider selection of dogs and breeds. Thanks to the lovely folk of my village and a mini ‘Facebook marketing campaign’ calling for help I have been able to scale up the tracking quite significantly.
Myself (and my team of tracking enthusiasts) have currently tracked 12 dogs and their owners. I have spent more time trying to comprehend the mindset of a dog whilst they are out walking than anything else lately, and have some really interesting findings including another escape attempt! Whilst Phase 2 is still ongoing I have been busy generating more data visualisations and have evolved the style somewhat from Phase 1.
First of all let me introduce you to the new stars of Plotmypaws Phase 2:
Each owner and their dog were given a tracker (same model as in Phase 1) and asked to record 6–7 walks throughout the week. Fortunately all of the trackers were returned, a testament to some ingenious on-collar engineering involved a modified treat bag and some carabiners! Now for the cool stuff, lets take a look at the ‘dance’ of all 12 dogs throughout their respective weeks…
And here is a slightly more stylised version produced in Cinema4D.
There are some fascinating insights to be gleaned from this data, there are significantly popular tracks in the conservation area highlighted by the accumulating light trails, there is also a lot of ‘adventuring’, but which dogs are showing patterns? Which dogs are just running wild? To find the answers we need to dig a little deeper. Part of Phase 2 includes individual Plotmypaws stories, a collection of (in-depth?) analysis pertaining to an individual dog or breed. So far I have produced a few of these insight stories which are visualised below…
Plotmypaws Story 1: Sibling Insight
Apollo and Blijke’s owners had a specific interest in the comparison between the siblings. The girl, Blijke, is far more loyal in the sense that she doesn’t stray too far whereas the boy, Apollo, frequently roams away from the owner. Both dogs are walked at the same time and the video below illustrates some deeper insight into this pattern.
Plotmypaws Story 2: Desmond Escapes
The really great thing about the trackers is that when something out of the ordinary happens it’s recorded! Once in a while dogs have minds of their own and decide to ‘escape’! Meet Desmond the Beagle who decided to leave his owner and have an adventure of his own and find a friend! Thank goodness for vigilant village folk returning him to the local vets…
Plotmypaws Story 3: Where Is The Pattern?
The final Plotmypaws story revolves around two young labrador pups. When I first processed the tracks I found it fascinating how random the tracks were. The visualisation below shows the tracks over 6 days and with some distance analysis for both labs at once. Note the erratic nature of the graphs, those dogs are enjoying themselves!
Now let’s look at some statistics for all of the dogs throughout their tracking.