Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Map of the Week-Baseball Week 1

Here in the US of A the baseball season has begun! To honor the occasion I have a couple of baseball related posts. The indiemaps blog maps out where balls were hit. The first one is of a perfect game pitched by Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox on July 23rd, 2009. The small blue dots are hits and the pink ones are outs. Click on the image to get to an interactive google map of US Cellular Field in Chicago where you can click each point for more information. Highlighted is a 9th inning home run saving catch over the wall that helped preserve the perfect game.

The blog entry discusses the details of how the maps are created using these diagrams from MLB Gameday. The points were converted from pixels to geographic coordinates. The diagram locations are based on observation and may not be as accurate as what you might pay to get from for-profit firms.

The next map, from a Phillies-Pirates game played at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia, shows how different ballpark dimensions can affect the outcome of a game. The hit locations are shown (map on left) then transferred to PNC Park in Pittsburgh (map on right) to show how some of the home runs would have stayed in the park in PNC's larger outfield. Note that differing stadium orientations necessitate rotating the coordinates.

The entry continues with a long discussion about how to transfer the data and a link to the code on github in case you want to try plotting your own favorite game. Good luck! Go Phils!


Michael5000 said...

Point of order. I thought a "perfect game" was one where there weren't any hits?

Dug said...

No hits by ONE of the teams. The dots on these maps represent the hits and outs made by both teams hence the confusion. Yes there are various blue dots but they're all from the White Sox.
Color coding the dots by team would be a nice enhancement. The hits could be squares and the outs dots or some such nominal point scheme.

Michael5000 said...

Ah, gotcha. This clears up my confusion.