Sunday, June 15, 2014

The World Cup Maps of the Week

One of the symptoms of my current World Cup delirium is that Google Maps Mania was overcome by a rash of football related maps this week. This means of course that I have a rather restricted pool from which to choose this edition of the Maps of the Week. The obvious solution is to have a special World Cup Maps of the Week round-up.


Mapping the birthplaces of the players in this year's World Cup has been one popular theme in World Cup related maps. The World Cup Birthplaces map uses Google Maps Engine to show where every player competing in the 2014 World Cup was born. However I felt that the 2014 World Cup Players' Places of Birth map, made with CartoDB and Kimonlabs, was a better visualization of the same data.

The 2014 World Cup Players' Places of Birth map actually allows you to select to view just the birthplaces of players for any individual team. This provides a much less cluttered view of the data, enabling you see more clearly the locations where each team's players were born.


You've probably seen the New York Times' maps of the Basketball Nation and the Baseball Nation. These maps show the support of US baseball and basketball teams based on their number of Facebook fans.

Now Facebook has got in on the act themselves by releasing the 2014 World Cup Fan Map. This map shows the number of fans around the world for ten of the best players appearing in this year's World Cup.

Ronaldo leads the way with an incredible 84 million fans on Facebook across the world. Poor old Messi's star really seems to have dimmed over the last season. He comes in second, with approaching 60 million fans.


Over the last couple of months I don't think that a major sporting event has taken place anywhere in the world without an accompanying Twitter map. This World Cup is no exception. The opening game between Brazil and Croatia was watched by football fans around the world. In 150 of those countries football fans also took to Twitter to talk about the game.

Brazil v Croatia: how the inaugural match played out on Twitter is another great example of a CartoDB animated map of Tweets. Brazil might have been lucky to have won the opening game but they were the clear winners of the Twitter conversations taking place around the game.

Since the opening game there have been similar maps created for England vs Italy and Spain vs Netherlands.
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