The beautiful game
For the latest issue of the FT Weekend magazine, photographer Giles Revell created a series of images visualising data from the 2011 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United
FT Weekend's Mark Leeds commissioned the images to illustrate a piece by Simon Kuiper on the growing use of data analysis in football. Revell worked with CGI artist Matt Painter of Happy Finish (featured in our July issue) using data manipulation by Richard Crafts of Systems Accountants Ltd: BI Division to create the series, drawing on data from Prozone, the analytic software used by professional football clubs to assess their players' performances.
The above sphere is part of a sequence recording every 'event' (every pass, tackle etc) in the final. It shows the moment when David Villa scored Barcelona's third goal in the 69th minute.
The image on the right of this spread, the FT says, shows "activity (from both teams combined) during the second half of the Final. The large spikes are goals; the taller ridge represents touches; the shorter ridge represents passes." Note the surge of activity preceding Villa's goal shown by the large spike at the top of the form. .
The image shown at the top of this post "shows the geographic location on the pitch of all actions, such as passes, free kicks, dribbles and tackles, occurring during the Champions League Final. The left half of the image shows Manchester United’s activity; the right half shows Barcelona’s. The height of the spikes is determined by the number of actions that took place in individual locations on the pitch. The densely packed spikes on the right show that overall Barcelona’s activity was much more intensive than that of Manchester United".
See all the images used, with full explanations plus animations, here
Here are some more images from the series that didn't make the final article:
Giles Revell is represented by Stella Pye. See more images on her blog
While you're at it, check out Revell's stunning Chelsea Flower Show images for The Times' Eureka magazine (two shown below)
CR in Print
Thanks for reading the CR Blog but if you're not also reading Creative Review in print, you're missing out.
The June issue of CR features a major retrospective on BBH and a profile piece on the agency's founder, Sir John Hegarty. Plus, we have a beautiful photographic project from Jenny van Sommers, a discussion on how illustrators can maintain a long-term career, all the usual discussion and debate in Crit plus our Graduate Guide packed with advice for this year's college leavers.
If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30%.
I really enjoyed the article but the illustrations let it down and work against the content and everything Simon Kuper writes. I want see the data visualised, but the 'illustrations' are almost indecipherable. Pretty, but lacking in any real content. Arsenal fans will know what I mean.
I think these visual data representations are great, I love the whole concept of representing data and analysis in a creative and innovative fashion. These images have been constructed from an artists point of view and is a great collaboration between by a photographer, graphic artist and print copywriter.
These images make me want to read the article and I don't give a fig about football!
Re-inventing the wheel is sometimes a good thing, if apple had not invented the iPod we would still all be listening to Walkman's and the iPhone et al would still be a fantasy.
We live in a very visually stimulating world, innovation and USP are key, nobody looks twice at a black-and white text only poster hanging in a public place as there is so much competing for our attention, If this article contained tired old pie charts and graphs then I would skip it in a heart beat!
I don't agree with it indecipherable, I love the second grey scale image you can see that barca are dominating man united, the donut red one seems to be showing the 90minutes in degrees and the large half I imagine is barca.
How honestly does anyone think the aesthetic of these images has any relationship with football? Personally sport related design/art doesn't do it for me...just go and watch or play the game.
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