Using google maps for sports journalism

As you can see from previous posts, google maps has been high on my radar this last few weeks. I finished the last of the maps workshps on Friday with two groups of sports journalists. Now mapping a news story is interesting but from a sports point of view it’s, on first thought, perhaps less interesting. So I wracked my brain for a way to make it a bit more relevant and interesting.

Whilst I was blundering around yahoo pipes I came across a mashup that mapped the location of football stadiums which I thought might be fun. Obviously they would need to do this the long way but it was worth a look. So I tried a few out just to make sure I could find them (I’m not a football fan). On a side note here the age of Google maps satellite imagery was highlighted by the lack of pitch at the Emirates stadium.

One of the things you can do with Google maps is change the icon from the default lollypop style. So changing the marker to offer a little footballer marker for each stadium seemed appropriate. Here’s an example:


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But the little green guys gave me an idea. What about placing them on the pitch of the stadium, something like this.


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Click the goal keeper and you get a picture of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. (one of the students told me it was him)

This seemed to catch the students imagination and created some good results. Including this great effort by Sean Molyneux for the Man Utd. starting lineup.


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Each marker has been replaced by a team mug shot. Nice touch.

Other uses

One of the other ideas that came up was using the ability to embed a map in a page and still update it. We thought this may work to plot the front runners in a marathon or other race. There is already a Google map of the route (via this page) that uses the line tool to map the route. You could have the key runners marked with logos or pictures. Change the position every so often and also map any other events. Refresh the page* and hey presto! Lo-fi dynamic map.

*if you aren’t doing this on a blog but on your own site then you could add some javascript that refreshes the google map iframe automatically

10 Replies to “Using google maps for sports journalism”

  1. Jack

    This is hand coded in to google maps using the my maps interface.

    The example of the post office closures in the previous post in CSV from a google spreadsheet and pipes

  2. William

    Nice pic shame that the whole microsoft maps experience requires their browser. Almost tempted to bootcamp and give it a go…almost 🙂

  3. Brilliant. If only we could republish the maps in print. I’m working on a map to track our former local high school players as the move onto college and the pros.

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