Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Map of Football Fandom

Earlier this year the New York Times started a new trend in digital maps when it released its Map of the Baseball Nation. The map divided the USA into new regions based on the number of Facebook 'likes' held by each baseball team in the country.

The map proved so popular that the New York Times quickly followed up that map by Mapping the Basketball Nation. It has now also released a map of college football fandom.

The College Football Fan Map divides the USA into new regions based on the Facebook 'likes' of college football teams. Not content with splitting the US up into college football fan regions the Times has also created a map of The Places in America Where College Football Means the Most.

This new map is a heat-map of where college football is most popular in America. By selecting a county on the map you can view what percentage of the county's residents are Facebook fans of  a college football team.

What started in the New York Times has now been picked up by other newspapers around the world. Last week Dutch website Tubantia released a map of soccer fandom in the Netherlands. Voetbalkaart is a map of the Netherlands in which each neighborhood has been colored based on the number of registered season ticket holders there are for Dutch football teams.

The color of each neighborhood on the map means that there are more season ticket holders for that team in the neighborhood than for any of their rivals. The map for the most part uses the recognizable colors of the Dutch football teams, however the intensity of the colors is determined by the number of season ticket holders in the neighborhood.

Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger has created a similar mapped visualization showing the geography of football support in Switzerland. Die Hochburgen der Schweizer Fussballfans colors the map based on the home addresses of season ticket holders of Swiss football teams. The color indicates the dominant club in each neighborhood. The intensity of the color indicates the number of fans buying season tickets in the area.

It is also possible to select individual teams from a drop-down menu to view the level of each team's support throughout the country.

The Berliner Morgenpost has also created a map of football fandom in Germany. Using data obtained from German football clubs the newspaper has produced a map showing where the fans of each team live.

The Fußballkarte shows the number of registered members for each club in each German neighborhood. Each neighborhood on the map is colored to show the club with the most registered members in that neighborhood. If you mouse-over a neighborhood you can find out the exact number of fans each club has in that area.

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