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WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
10-30-2014, 11:42 PM
Post: #1
WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
Article: http://nyti.ms/1lcRwS1

The above visualization depicts the relation between clubs and countries in sending players to the football world cup in 2014. This chart seems to be a mixture of floating bubbles and hyperbolic tree. It also can be called as node-link diagrams. The outer edge of the chart shows the countries and the bubbles inside represents players and countries which are linked with connected lines.

The process of analyzing visualizations reminds us to ask the following basic questions.

Question 1: Is the purpose well defined?

Answer:- In my opinion this is a fantastic visualization and yes it seems to have a very well defined purpose. The purpose of this viz. is to show which player is from which club and represents which country and which part of the world send most players to the world cup. The content is very concise and clean.

Question 2: Does the content support the purpose and does the structure reveal the content?

Answer:- The content of this visualization is popularity and number of players representing their club and country. The visualization is very exhaustive in its content, you can find every detail about a player, about a club and also about the country. Each player is connected to a club and a country. The magnitude of the bubble depends on the amount of player each club has sent to the world cup. The more the famous club and the player is, more bigger is the bubble.

Question 3: Does the formatting support consumption?

Answer: There is minimal distraction in the visualization and noteworthy things have been highlighted. There is no use of arbitrary colors and labels are quite constant. The categorization is very good.

Note worthy things:

1. The most interesting part of this visualization is the interaction it provides, the user can easily hover the mouse over various bubble and find the relevant players and their association with which club and country. When we drag down the cursor towards the end of the web page we can see comparisons between two categories, dominance of Europe in the sport and how rest of the world finds its place in the whole thing.

2. We can see from the comparison how arch rivals from Brazil and Argentina play for the same clubs and spend most of their time together. This comparison is quite interesting as it will help create interest among people which are new to this sport and have just started following it because of the hype of the world cup.

3 .This one of the very rare successful circular layout. There are lot of interesting stories contained in this visualization.

4. The canvas space is very effectively utilized. Also the colors chosen to encode the various categories are quite distinct and pleasing.

5. The interpolation of data when we drag down the axis on the right is very smooth.

6. The zoom and blurring option provided when a particular bubble is selected lets the user focus on the data of his interest. The interpolation of data works nicely even in zoomed-in state.

7. The use of hue for categorization of data(categories = continents) is quite subtle and the change of color on change of categories (when we move down to the European connection, hue help us categories various leagues) is also amazing.

Improvements to this visualization can be done by making it more light weight such as the interactions become much faster. The size of the chart could have been much bigger and the data should have gone from expansion to contraction which is the other way round now. This would help the user who is not using interaction to get something out of the data. The data of how each club and country performed in the world cup could have been depicted with the help of iconography.

Overall, I think this visualization does a great job summarizing the data set and conveying the message. Personally, me being a soccer fan, was very much delighted as well as surprised to see the representation of my favorite players and their clubs in such a delightful way. There may be other visualization techniques to depict this kind of data but this technique works very well in its own way.
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11-02-2014, 02:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
The visualization has been excellently summarized and critiqued by Soumyasmruti. Personally I feel this visualization does a really good job of visually describing its stated purpose which is to show/represent the football clubs that connected the world cup. The things which were remarkably good were :

1. Excellent use of node-link diagram to encode large amount of data without too much cluttering.
2. Extremely good use of filtering and interactivity to support detailed information.
3."Detail + Overview" style and "Focus + Context" approaches have been used really well to support both an abstract and detailed drill down information.
4. I also agree with Soumya on the fact that there is minimal distraction and choice of hues perfectly blends with the entire visualization.

The areas which I felt where we could improve to make this visualization even better are :

1. Rendering the interactions even faster by making it lightweight. It would be interesting to know what tool/language the designer had used for the visualization.

2. On hovering over a particular country, we get the details of the different clubs from which its players were from. But while rendering that information it also renders the other countries which were associated with players from the club.

Ex: When you hover over England, I was expecting just the English clubs to be shown on the graph. But what we actually end up seeing apart from the English clubs is how players in those clubs are tied to different countries. In effect when we hover a particular country, the information about other countries are also rendered. This could clutter the visualization and I felt this kind of complicates the situation. We could probably get away with that rendering.
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11-02-2014, 04:36 PM
Post: #3
RE: WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
I agree with the remarks that Anirudh made. The links between countries, clubs and players was very interesting. The filtering worked well and accurately showed the connections. I really enjoyed being able to drill down into the specific groups.

I did not really like how the interaction was when a country was hovered over. I would have expected it to show the teams from that country but it did not. Also, as Anirudh mentioned the visualization was pretty slow. It would have been much easier to use if it was made with a better framework (or improved coding). As a huge soccer fan myself I found the visualization very interesting and informative.
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11-02-2014, 10:33 PM
Post: #4
RE: WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
I would agree with the statements that Anirudh and Braden have made. This is a very cool visualization that does a good job of summarizing the data. It is maybe a tiny bit confusing at first glance, but I think this is only because of how novel it is. I have a couple of small critisms:
1. I am not sure I really like the hues used for the individual continents. North America and Asia were a bit hard to tell apart in smaller bubbles.
2. Some of the visualization features were a bit laggy on my fairly powerful laptop. I tested them on an older machine that I have and the visualization was extremely laggy. (This was mentioned)
3. I wish you could click on a player.
4. This can't be all the world cup players? Where are the rest of the players?
Just some little nitpicks of the visualization. Very interesting visualization over all.
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11-03-2014, 12:30 AM
Post: #5
RE: WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
On the top right hand corner of the visualization it is mentioned that "Soccer clubs with players on at least two national teams". So if a club doesn't have 2 players in the world cup then they are omitted. That may be the case with the missing data.
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11-03-2014, 12:51 AM
Post: #6
RE: WEEK 10: THE CLUBS THAT CONNECT THE WORLDCUP
It's a very interesting visualization. The things I really like about this visualization are:
[1] The visual representation of the graph.
[2] The interactivity in the main graph to select a particular club and how it then shows the connecting players between various countries.
[3] The interesting connections (such as Brazil vs Argentina) that we can see when we scroll down.
[4] The filtering option at the end.

I'm not sure what things could have been improved as the visualization shows almost every information that it seemed to target. A minor thing could be coloring the countries in the same continent with the same color.
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