Tag Archives: data nerd

Mapping the Vancouver 2014 Election Candidates

Vancouver 2014 Election Candidates Map
Is there any regional bias to the Vancouver election candidates? I took the postal codes from the candidates nomination papers and mapped them.

Here are a few interesting tidbits I noticed.

  • NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe lives on the UBC Endowment Lands, so he can’t actually vote for himself (a detail the Straight already noticed).
  • For the main parties, their heaviest concentration of candidates are in the same areas their supporters live, unsurprisingly.
  • Vision and COPE’s candidates are mostly from Kitsilano and East Vancouver.
  • The majority of the NPA’s candidates are from the west-side (12), only 4 are from East Van, and 4 are from the downtown peninsula.
  • Vancouver 1st is running 12 candidates, evenly spread out throughout the city, though none are from the downtown peninsula.
  • The vast majority of the independent candidates live in East Van, including a number from the DTES.
  • For comparison, I also mapped the candidates during the 2011 election.

Mayor and City Councillors

Park Commissioners and School Trustees

Data Nerd: Analyzing the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2014 Results

2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon Finishing Times
Which is better for running – hot and dry or cold and wet? Personally, I’d prefer the heat but statistically it seems that the colder, wetter weather is better for finishing times. Last year’s BMO Vancouver marathon was the hottest in the race’s 42 year history (with temperatures over 20 C). This year it was cool and rainy (never getting above 10 C), but across the board times were faster. The winners were around 3 minutes faster than last year. The median times for men were 9 minutes faster. And there was a less slowdown between the first and second halves of the race, with 3 times more people running negative splits (faster 2nd halves). The only negative changes – less finishers and less Boston qualifiers (not sure why that is).

2013 2014
Finishers 3877 3783
Negative Splits 99 293
Second Half Slowdown 7.7% 5.7%
Fastest – Male 2:24:09 2:21:08
Fastest – Female 2:40:34 2:37:00
Median Time – Male 4:10:28 4:01:38
Median Time – Female 4:29:45 4:26:29
Boston Qualifiers 375 357

Here is the analysis I did last year: 2013 Results Analysis. If I have time I’ll do some more in depth analysis for the half marathon results.

Data Nerd: Transportation Expenses Updated

My 2012 post analyzing my transportation expenses is making the rounds on twitter again, so I thought I’d update the charts.
Transportation Expenses by Year Chart

Although the cost of driving in Canada has steadily risen, my transportation costs are flat. I spend $1200 a year split between car rentals, car sharing, cycling, and public transit.
Transportation Expenses by Year Pie

Data Nerd: Analyzing the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2013 Results

Now that my marathon training is over, I thought I’d use some of my free time to analyze the race results.

Registration in the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon was capped at 5000 and there were 4958 registered runners, but the results show only 3876 people finished the race – 1710 women and 2166 men. Another 102 people dropped out, including last year’s women’s winner Ellie Greenwood. For the remaining 980 runners, injuries probably forced many of them to drop down into shorter distances or not run at all.

2013 BMO Vancouver Finishing Times By Gender
Finishing times ranged from 2:24:08 to 8:12:33. Half of the men finished under 4:10:00. The median time for women was 4:30:00.

Half Splits Histogram
It was the hottest BMO Vancouver marathon in the race’s 42 year history, which clearly affected most runners. Only 99 finishers (2.6%) ran a negative split (where the 2nd half of the race is faster than the first). Everyone else slowed as the race progressed and the temperatures climbed. For most runners, the second half of the race was 3%-11% slower than the first half.
Half Splits By Finishing Time
The elites ran closer to even splits, but even they slowed by a few minutes. For someone running a 3:30 marathon, the second half of the race averaged 10 minutes slower than the first. For a 4 hour marathon, it was 16 minutes slower. For a 5-hour marathon, it was 27 minutes slower.

Boston Qualifiers - Male Boston Qualifiers - Female
375 marathon runners ran times fast enough to qualifiy for the Boston Marathon in their category. Overall the ladies did a better job qualifying, with 189 running BQ times (11%). 186 men (8.6%) also ran BQ times. The categories that had the most Boston qualifiers were Male 50-54 (43), Female 45-49 (34), Male 45-49 (33), and Female 40-44 (32).

Race results were acquired from SportStats.ca.

Data Nerd: Mapping Vancouver’s Bike Racks

Updated on 2016-04-12 to include 2013-2015 data.

The City of Vancouver made its bike rack data public yesterday. The data is divided into 4 spreadsheets, which isn’t terribly useful. The only interesting tidbit is the exponential growth in bike lane installations. Vancouver now has 1468 bike racks at 1119 locations throughout the city.

In the all the years up until 2009, 676 bike racks were installed.
In 2010: 52
In 2011: 197
In 2012: 543
In 2013: 138
In 2014: 148
In 2015: 422

But without a map, that doesn’t tell the full story. The map above is an interactive google map.

Note: The dataset uses addresses to identify the bike racks, so it’s not perfect when you zoom in.

Data Nerd: 30 Years of Canadian Elections Charted

XKCD created a fascinating chart of the history of the US Congress. I thought it would be interesting to do something similar for Canada, but our multi-party system and separatist political parties makes it a lot more difficult. I was able to gather the results from all the federal and provincial elections in the past 31 years (my lifetime plus a bonus year), and there are some interesting trends and patterns.


– The Liberals are sometimes called “Canada’s Natural Governing Party”, but in the past 31 years, the Conservatives have been in charge of 46% of the governments (172 combined years). By comparison, the Liberals have governed 30% of the time, the NDP 18%, and other governments (many Conservative-leaning) 6% of the time.

– The NDP have never governed federally, buy have been in control of at least one government every year since 1982. In fact, the NDP have been in government somewhere in Canada as far back as 1969, when Ed Schreyer was elected in Manitoba. Most of those governments have been in Western Canada, with the exception of Ontario in the early 90’s and Nova Scotia today.

– 1984 was the height of Conservative governance in Canada. Brian Mulroney won the largest majority government in Canadian history, 8 provinces had Progressive Conservative governments (9 if you count the Social Credit government in BC), and the Liberals weren’t in power in a single province. That might explain Stephen Harper’s tendency toward Orwellian policies.

– Alberta is the only province with a political dynasty/monoculture. Every other province saw 3-5 changes in governments in the past 30 years.


– Although governments tend to cycle through political parties, support for conservative parties has stayed relatively constant in terms of total votes cast (federal and provincial) – between 7.5 million and 11 million votes. Support for the Liberals and NDP has a very strong inverse correlation (-0.85), meaning they are likely pulling support from the same voters. Combined support for the two parties has been pretty constant over the past 30 years – between 11.5 million and 14.5 million total votes.
Continue reading Data Nerd: 30 Years of Canadian Elections Charted

Data Nerd: Monitoring my Energy Consumption

EnergyAware Monitor
One of the key factors that influenced our move into the Olympic Village was the advanced features for conserving energy and water. In our old apartment we stealthily replaced the old thermostat with a programmable one, but heating was included in the rent so we never knew what impact it had. Now, our energy use is front and centre – not only do we pay for it, but we have a monitor beside our front door that shows how much electricity, heating, hot water, and cold water we’re consuming in real-time.

That information has allowed us to be smarter about how we consume energy and water, but it does come with a cost. 30% of what we pay BC Hydro for electricity and 50% of what we pay Enerpro for heating and water are flat monitoring/usage fees – $15/month.
pie chart of energy and water consumption costs

Last week we signed up for BC Hydro’s Team Power Smart Reward Initiative which promises to pay us $75 if we can reduce our electricity consumption by an average of 10% for a full year. We’re already very conscious consumers, so normally that wouldn’t be an easy task. However, on May 7 we cancelled our cable account with Shaw and got rid of the PVR/cable box. It’s amazing how much energy the PVR used, even when it wasn’t “on”. Our PVR was consuming 60 watts of electricity 24 hours a day – that works out to $3/month, or 25% of our electricity costs.

Since getting rid of the PVR, our electricity consumption dropped 15% in May and 21% in June. Right now we’re in good shape to get that $75 (plus $36 in electricity savings).

electricity and water consumption between May 2011 and June 2012

Because of the Enerpro billing mess, the city has been paying for our heating, hot water, and cold water bill, but that changed on July 1. Now we’re responsible for paying it (except cold water, but that doesn’t cost much anyway).

Our water consumption is quite low, especially compared to the average British Columbian that uses 490 litres of water per day. We’re averaging 86 L/ day for two people – 52 L of hot water and 32 L of cold water. Now that doesn’t include our dual-flush toilet (which is flushed using rain water, or will be once they fix the system), and doesn’t include laundry (we don’t have in-suite). For the average Canadian, toilets normally account for 30% of water consumption and laundry 20%. So our benchmark for water consumption would be 245 litres per person. That puts our consumption at 18% of the average BC couple.