Visualizing Baseball Data

Welcome to the Visual-Baseball Project, where I merge historical baseball data with the latest in data visualization approaches. Check out some of my work by clicking on the Portfolio menu link or browse the blog to see what I'm working on at the moment.

Tableau Public Baseball Pilot Complete

A few weeks back I posted about using Tableau Public to explore baseball stats, specifically with respect to building dashboards to display information. At the time I had created a very rough first pass at the dashboard, with lots of small multiple tables displaying info on a single page. I quickly realized it was a bit overwhelming, so I sought a better solution. The new version is an improvement, albeit imperfect due to some Tableau limitations. Users can now select a single chart to display in a large, single window using radio buttons. Really easy, and there are a lot of additional filters available on each page to customize the chart to display the results you want. All of this comes with one catch, however. Even when a given chart is not being displayed, it still uses up a handful of pixels on the vertical screen. This forces some charts to display a bit lower on the screen than others, a minor annoyance I spent some time trying unsuccessfully to solve. That’s why you’ll find the offensive categories split into two tabs rather than one. All of the offensive category charts are displayed using dot plots with dotted lines and small filled circles as the display devices. This proves to be an effective, low-ink manner that compares favorably to bar charts in this case. Dot plots allow for an axis range that doesn’t need to start at 0, which proper bar charts always should (it has to do with the… Read more →

4 Years of Baseball Graphics Updates in 3 Days

To say that some of my website visuals were not quite up to date is a massive understatement. The latest version of the Game Summaries covered the 2009 season. The interactive pennant race charts ran through 2011, and the Batting… Read more →

Mapping Projected Growth Rates with D3

The mapping bug has bit me recently, as I continue to explore a variety of resources, including CartoDB, Mapbox, Leaflet, and now D3. While D3 is not a dedicated mapping platform like the others, it is perhaps the most flexible… Read more →

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MLB Batter Dashboard in Tableau Public

Tableau has revolutionized visual analysis for many users by providing a tool that makes it easy to create exceptional visualizations without the need to write code. For some, Tableau Desktop has been a godsend to rescue them from the challenges… Read more →

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CartoDB MLB Birthplace Map

Finally, thanks to the brilliance of the CartoDB platform and abetted by the beautiful Stamen Design watercolors theme, I have a map that tracks the debut of thousands of major league ballplayers from 1871 to 2013 (2014 data will be… Read more →

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Data Visualization, Aesthetics and Intuition

As I worked through a just completed project chronicling the diverse musical career of Neil Young, some valuable (if unintended) insights were reinforced once more. I work on a regular basis with a variety of large datasets that require analysis,… Read more →

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Network Data Adventures with Gephi

Posting to the blog has become a luxury recently, what with a summer full of youth baseball, some organizational changes at work, summer home projects, and of course the upcoming Gephi book. I’ve learned that one has to be especially… Read more →

Visual-Baseball Site Refresh

This one wasn’t in the plan, at least not so quickly, but I decided to go ahead and do a site update with a new theme. The new layout has a little more visual style, particularly on the landing page,… Read more →

Mastering Gephi Book Update

Lest anyone think of me as a full-time author, rest assured that the likes of J.K. Rowling are not trembling in fear. Even if I had the ability to conjure up creative plots, I type too damn slow to make… Read more →