Every four years, I get blown away by the dedication of people who have spent the previous four years focussed on their Olympic Challenge (I find it hard to focus for more than an hour or two on any one thing!)
Anyway, I was intrigued to see this post on Google Maps Mania yesterday – Olympic Heat Maps – that displayed the Olympics medal table in the form of a heat map, along with several variants (medal tallies normalised against population, or GDP, for example).
The maps were neat, but static – they’d been derived by cutting and pasting a snapshot of a medals table into a Google spreadsheet, and then creating a Heat Map widget using the data…
So I had a look round for a ‘live’ data source for the medals table, didn’t find anything obvious, so looked for a widget that might be pulling on a hidden data source somewhere… Whereupon I found a reference to a WordPress Olympic Medal Tally widget…
A quick peek at the code shows the widget pulling on a data feed from the 08:08:08 Olympics blog, so I ‘borrowed’ the feed and some of the widget code to produce a simple HTML table containing the ISO country codes that the Google Heat Map widget requires, linked to it from a Google Spreadsheet (Google Spreadsheets Lets You Import Online Data) and created a live Olympic medal table map (top 10).
If you want to use the heat map as an iGoogle widget, here it is: Olympic Medal Table Map Widget.