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Trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education

More Olympics Medal Table Visualisations

So the Olympics is over, and now’s the time to start exploring various views over the data tables in a leisurely way:-)

A quick scout around shows that the New York Times (of course) have an interactive view of the medals table, also showing a historical dimension:

Channel 4’s interactive table explores medal table ‘normalisation’ according to population, GDP and so on…

GDP and population data have also been taking into account in a couple of visualisations created on Many Eyes – like this one:

Not wanting to not be part of the fun, I spent a bit of time this evening scraping data from the Overall medal standing table and popping it into Many Eyes myself.

(Note that there’s lots of mashable stuff – and some nice URLs – on the http://en.beijing2008.cn/ website… why, oh, why didn’t I think to have a play with it over the last couple of weeks?:-(

Anyway, I’ve uploaded the results, by discipline, for the Olympics 2008 Medal Table (Top 10, by Tally) and had a quick play to see what sort views might be useful in visualising the wealth of information the data contains.

First up, here are the disciplines that the top 10 countries (by medal tally) were excelling at:

Treemaps are one of my favourite visualisation tools. The Many Eyes treemap, whilst not allowing much control over colour palettes, does make it easy to reorder the order of the hierarchy used for the treemap.

Here’s a view by discipline, then country, that allow you to see the relative number of medals awarded by discipline, and the countries that ‘medalled’ within them:

Rearranging the view, we can see how well each country fared in terms of total medal haul, as well as the number of medals in each medal class.

The search tool makes it easy to see medals awarded in a particular discipline by country and medal class – so for example, here’s where the swimming medals went:

A network diagram view lets us see (sort of) another view of the disciplines that each country took medals in.

The matrix chart is more familiar, and shows relative medal hauls for gold, silver and bronze, by country.

By changing the colour display to show the disciplines medals were awarded in, we can see which of the countries won swimming medals, for example.

Enough for now… the data‘s on the Many Eye’s site if you want to create your own visualisations with it… You should be able to reduce the data (e.g. by creating copies of the data set with particular columns omitted) to produce simpler visualisations (e.g. simpler treemaps).

You can also take a copy of the data to use in your own data sets, (e.g. normalising it by GDP, population, etc, etc.)

If you do create any derived visualisations, please post a link back as a comment to this post :-)

Written by Tony Hirst

August 24, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Visualisation

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. [...] Posted in International Affairs, Technology, Web by michsineath on August 25th, 2008 http://ouseful.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/more-olympics-medal-table-visualisations/ « Live pages from The Baltimore [...]

  2. [...] see the following site for many more interesting examples Posted in interesting, politics and current affairs by Chris Keene RSS 2.0 Leave Your [...]

  3. [...] see also More Olympics Medal Table Visualisations which includes a demonstration of a treemap visualisation over Olympic medal [...]

  4. [...] years ago, in a quick round up of visualisations from the 2008 Beijing Olympics (More Olympics Medal Table Visualisations) I posted an example of an IBM Many Eyes Treemap visualisation I’d created showing how medals [...]


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