At Polychart we are passionate about visualizing data. This blog features product news, articles, as well as our own analyses and visualizations of datasets we find interesting.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Visualizing the Olympic Games

In keeping up with the spirit of the current 2012 London Olympic Games, we created a visualization of the past performances of the top 9 countries with highest medal counts. It gives an overview of the countries' performances in various sports.

The size of the points corresponds to the number of total medals earned by a particular country in a particular sport category. We normalized medal counts so that the maximum size of the circles are the same for each sport category, so that performance in different sports are somewhat comparable.

The sports are divided into the following categories:

  • Aquatic: swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian: dressage, eventing, jumping
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey (Field Hockey)
  • Indoor: Track and Field, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Fencing, Volleyball, Judo, Basketball, Boxing, Badminton, Wrestling, Tennis, and Softball
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Outdoor: Soccer, Baseball, Archery, and Handball Sailing, Shooting
  • Triathlon

Australia has improved considerably through the year in Aquatics and has been doing generally well in Canoeing, Hockey, Equestrian, Triathlon, and Sailing. It faltered in cycling for the last Olympics in 2008 and has barely scored in Gymnastics and Modern Pentathlon. Its performance has declined in Indoor, Outdoor, and Shooting.

Brazil, host of the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic Games, has barely scored in Canoeing, Cycling, Gynmastics, Hockey, Modern Pentathlon, Shooting, and Triathlon. It does fairly well in Indoor and Outdoor, although has been declining in scoring for Sailing.

China, host of the past 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, generally does well in Aquatics, Gymnastics, Indoor, and Shooting. It has improved its performance through the years to score more medals in Sailing, Outdoor, Canoeing, and Cycling.

France, another candidate in the Olympic countries' medal race, scored most of its medals in Canoeing, Cycling, and Indoor.

Germany, similar to China, does well in almost all the categories, except Gymnastics. It has recently scored medals in Modern Pentathlon.

Japan's best sport categories seems to be Aquatics and Indoor. The country scores little in other categories, none in Triathlon, Hockey, and Canoeing.

Russia, a country featured in the prediction for 2012 Olympics' top 3 medal winners, excels in almost all categories except Equestrian, Hockey, and Triathlon.

The United Kingdom, the current London 2012 Olympics host, excels in Cycling, Modern Pentathlon, Outdoor, Sailing, Equestrian. It is still struggling in Aquatics, Gymnastics, Hockey, and Triathlon.

United States, a country in the lead to dominate the medal race, excels in almost all categories, except Canoeing, Hockey, Modern Pentathlon, and Triathlon.

As always, this visualization was created using Polychart.js. Here's the code we used:

For those interested, here is a tutorial on how to use Polychart.JS , a Javascript Graphing Library.

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