Thursday, July 07, 2016

The New Age of Sports Visualization

Forget about indoor maps, aerial imagery from unmanned drones and routing for self-driving cars. The biggest trend in GIS right now is the wonderful world of Sports Visualization.

If you don't believe me take a look at this amazing 3d visualization of home runs scored at San Diego's Petco Park. The Petco Homers map uses a 3d model of the stadium to show where all the home runs in the 2015 season were scored.

You can filter the home runs shown on the map by team and by time of day. You can rotate and zoom the map to find the best angles. The map even includes a number of quick links which will rotate the map to the umpire's view, the view from right-field, or the views from the Omni or Marriot Hotels.

If baseball isn't your sport then you might prefer some interactive map visualizations of basketball data. Check out the Los Angeles Times' impressive visualization of every shot made by Kobe Bryant in his long career. Every Shot Kobe Bryant Ever Took uses Leaflet.js to present a shot map of Kobe Bryant's 30,699 career shots, both successful and misses.

Alternatively there is Kudos' Golden State Warriors Map, which uses CartoDB's mapping platform to analyze every game played by the Golden State Warriors in their record breaking 2015-16 season.

Still not impressed? Then have a look at Gregory Brunner's 3d shot map of Kevin Durant's 2015-16 season. Successful shots are shown (in blue) on top of a plan of the basketball court in Brunner's Courtside Geography. If you flip the map around (use your right mouse button) you can view Durant's missed shots on the underside of the court plan.

Of course there's no need to stop at mapping individual shots. If you use CartoDB's Torque library you can creating animated maps of whole plays. For example, NBA Movement is an animated map which plots a passage of play during the Clippers vs Rockets game from May 2015.

Soccer fans needn't feel left out. Swiss broadcaster RTS has mapped out the 105 goals scored so far in the UEFA Euro 2016 competition. Les 88 Buts de l'Euro allows you to view the pitch location of all 105 goals and even watch each of the goals on video.

Of the 105 goals only 16 have been scored from outside the penalty area. So far there have been 44 right-footed goals, 35 left-footed goals and 23 goals from headers. You can hover over all the goal map markers on the pitch map to reveal which player scored the goal.

The drop-down menus above the map allow you to filter the goals shown by country or by competition stage.
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