Showing posts with label statistics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label statistics. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Where Do Baseball Fans Live? - Interactive Map

Despite the couple of games that the Mariners and Athletics played in Japan last week, Major League Baseball is calling today the opening day of the season. As a lifelong fan of the defending World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, I am excited for the start of the season. Where do Red Sox fans live? How far does the fandom spread? And what's the disbursement of fans for the other Major League teams? Those questions can be answered by looking at SeatGeek's interactive map titled Where do MLB Fans Live?

Where do MLB Fans Live? is an interactive map that shows which teams are the most popular teams in each county in the United States. A few things found through the map were not surprising at all. For example, every county in Maine and New Hampshire the Red Sox are the most popular team. And a few things revealed in the map did surprise me. For example, growing up in Connecticut I always felt like the state was evenly divided between Yankees and Red Sox fans (with a few oddball Mets fans sprinkled in), but according to this map the state is predominantly a Red Sox state.

There are a couple of flaws with the data interpretation on SeatGeek's Where do MLB Fans Live? The data is drawn from analyzing the behavior of shoppers on SeatGeek. So it is entirely possible that a team is more popular in a county than another but the fans of that team are more active shoppers. Another flaw is that the map only shows which team is most popular in the county but doesn't show how much more popular it is than another team. So it is possible that a county could be split 49% to 51% in favor of one team. Most statisticians would not consider that difference to be significant.

Applications for Education
I'm sharing this map because I think that it could be a good tool for introducing students to the nuance of data interpretation and manipulation. The map could also be used as a model for how to represent data through maps or through infographics.

H/T to Maps Mania

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Math, Science, and Philosophy Lessons

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Whether you buy into the "holiday" or not, your students probably do. Here are three short video lessons related to Valentine's Day.

The following video from It's Okay To Be Smart (produced by PBS Digital Studios) explains why humans kiss, the history of symbols associated with kissing, and some cultural views of kissing. When I saw this video I immediately thought of my friends who teach middle school and high school health classes.

The following fun video, also from It's Okay to Smart, attempts to use math to determine the odds of a 25 year old woman finding love in New York. (Remember, the video is just for fun).

Why Do We Love? is a TED-Ed lesson that explores some philosophies on why people love. The lesson won't provide you with any clear answers, but it will make you think. And isn't that what philosophers want you to do?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valentine's Day Science and Statistics

With Valentine's Day coming up this weekend it's a good time looking for at science and statistics related to the day. The following video from It's Okay To Be Smart (produced by PBS Digital Studios) explains why humans kiss, the history of symbols associated with kissing, and some cultural views of kissing. When I saw this video I immediately thought of my friend Jeni who teaches high school health.

The following fun video, also from It's Okay to Smart, attempts to use math to determine the odds of a 25 year old woman finding love in New York. (Remember, the video is just for fun).

Friday, May 22, 2015

Silk Offers Great Tools for Creating Data Visualizations

Silk is a free tool that I first tried a couple of years ago when it was primarily a digital portfolio and simple web page creation tool. Since then it has evolved to include some fantastic tools for creating and sharing data visualizations.

To create a visualization on Silk you can upload data in a spreadsheet, manually enter data, or use one of data sets that Silk provides in their gallery. Once you've uploaded data or selected it you can use it to create fourteen different visualizations. To create a different visualization of the same data set simply choose a different visualization style from the Silk menu. See my screenshot below for further explanation.
Click to view full size.

Silk visualizations can be made public or kept private. If you keep your visualizations private you can still share them directly to other Silk members by inviting them to your project. Public visualizations can be embedded into blog posts as I have done below.

H/T to The Next Web for the update on Silk.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


In the words of Indiana Jones, "snakes! I hate snakes!" I don't actually hate snakes, but they do make me a bit nervous. Fortunately, I live in a cold climate that has few snakes and no native venomous snakes. The question of why venomous snakes live in warm climates is the focus of this video from Veritasium. The answer is much more complicated than I anticipated.

Applications for Education
Why Do Venomous Snakes Live In Warm Climates? could be the jumping-off point for lessons on biodiversity and adaptation to climate. The video also provides a great example of how statistics don't always tell the full story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 Lets You Put Videos Into Infographics

Back in June I published a short list of tools that students can use to create infographics. One of the tools in that list was On you can create an infographic in just a few steps. Pick a theme/ style for your infographic, upload the data that you want display, and then publish your new infographic. Today, announced that you can now include videos in your infographics. You can insert videos from YouTube and insert videos from Vimeo.

Applications for Education could be a great tool for students to use to create displays of data that they have gathered. If they create videos of their own, students can now include them in their infographics. Or they could simply include videos they find to support positions they're illustrating with their infographics.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Target Map - Create Mapped Displays of Data

Target Map is a new service that allows anyone to create mapped displays of data sets. Users of Target Map can importa and map their own data sets, use data sets from other users, use data sets found online, or manually input data onto a map. When I created my sample map, I choose to manually input data.

Target Map allows you to map data for a country, a region, or for the whole world. You can customize the display to make borders appear faint or bold and alter the look of data points. Although at first glance Target Map's user interface might not appear to be terribly intuitive, it is actually quite easy to use if you follow the directions.

Target Map is free to use if you agree to publish your maps to the public gallery. If you want to keep your maps private you can do so for a small fee. The first time you create a map on Target Map it is reviewed for quality before it is added to the public gallery. Below you will see a map from the Target Map gallery. (Click image to launch map with data key).

Applications for Education
Data sets on their own can be difficult for some students to analyze. Target Map could be an excellent way for students to visualize and analyze data sets that they create or find online. Target Map makes it possible for students to visually compare economic, demographic, scientific, and other statistics. I can see myself using Target Map in my World Studies course to have students create maps comparing economic growth data from different countries around the world.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Fusion Tables - Data Visualization Made Easy
New Visualization Charts in Google Docs
12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How Americans Spend Their Time

Following up on yesterday's post about the online stopwatch, I found an interactive about how Americans spend their days. The New York Times produced an interactive chart of how Americans spend their days. This chart is based on the results of a 2008 survey of thousands of Americans. Click on the chart to see how much time Americans spend working, sleeping, eating, watching television, volunteering, and other daily activities. You can isolate demographic groups and activity elements on the chart for further analysis.

Applications for Education
This interactive chart could be used in a health class to evaluate how much time different groups of Americans spend being active versus the time they spend being sedentary. You could also use this chart in a middle school mathematics class as a model for creating displays of data sets.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

StatPlot - Graphs for Sports

I have to thank the awesome people in my Twitter network for help with this blog post, all of those who offered suggestions are listed at the end of this post. If you're looking for smart people to add to your Twitter network, check the list at the end of this post.

StatPlot is a new service that allows users to create charts and graphs of statistics from the NBA, NCAA Basketball, the NFL, NCAA Football, and NASCAR. Users select the data sets that they would like to compare and StatPlot creates a chart of that data. In the screenshot below you will see a chart I made comparing the Boston Celtics' 3 point attempts to 3 point shots made.

Applications for Education
This is the part where I had to get suggestions from the people in my Twitter network that have better math minds than mine. Here are the suggestions.
Carol @cllecr suggested this use of StatPlot, "stat plot looks like a nice INQUIRY tool.. Answer their own question... Ie is there a home court advantage? Homerun/alt relationship?"
John @johnfaig offered this suggestion, "use as an intro the graph; kids create accurate graph and a misleading version; other kids try and figure which is which."
Cassie @cbanka shared this idea with me, "Stat Plot may work with this lesson plan I found a couple weeks back."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Data.Gov Makes Raw Government Data Accessible is a source of raw data sets generated by the various agencies and departments of the US government. Some of the agencies providing data on that may be of particular interest to educators are the National Center for Education Statistics, National Science Foundation, and the US Census Bureau. is still in development and search options aren't as polished as I would like, but is still a potentially useful database.

Applications for Education could be useful in any high school content area that teaches statistical analysis. In particular, I can see environmental data being used in an Earth Science classroom and data from the Economic Research Service could be used in an economics or business course.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: UNdata

UN Data is a resource useful for anyone needing data regarding almost any department of the United Nations. UN Data is simply a data base of statistics regarding education, the environment, health and human development, trade, and more. The database is easy to search and is linked to a glossary of terms.

Applications for Educators
UN data is a great resource for teachers and students needing reliable development statistics. In the past I've had my high school students gather and decipher the meaning of development statistics.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: World Statistics in Real Time

Worldometers is a new website reporting world statistics in real time. Worldometers is edited by leading experts on a variety of topics related to development and demographics. The list of agencies worldometers draws from is very extensive and impressive. Visit the worldometers sources page to see the entire list.

Stop The is a companion website to Stop The Hunger provides real time statistics about world hunger and poverty statistics.

Applications for Educators and Stop The are useful for quickly finding development data. An interesting lesson using Stop the Hunger and Worldometers would be to have students track patterns in development statistics over a period of hours or days to see how fast some statistics like national debt or world population change. The links to the sources page is a good reference for further investigation.