Who really won Gold at the London Olympics?
The bubble map above shows the number of Gold medals at the London 2012 Olympic games, shown in proportion to the population of the winning country.
We needed two data sets to do this, the breakdown of Olympic gold medals by country and their respective populations.
We then merged the data into one spreadsheet, calculated the proportion, and then loaded it into the Mapsdata site for visualization. The graphic gives a much better view of the data than the bar chart or tables offered by alternatives.
How we got the data
Unfortunately the data is not available in a spreadsheet but we simply copied and pasted the data into a spreadsheet.
Over time, we hope more and more organisations will offer their data for download so the community can then do more with it. For the timebeing, however, the copy-and-paste function will do.
We downloaded the spreadsheet as an Excel file which saved us time as we didn’t have to structure the data.
How we structured the data
We simply merged the two spreadsheets to join the number of gold medals won in each country respective to that country’s population.
We then adjusted the data to see how the medal count would look if it was representative of population and not just the number of medals won. For example, was China really so successful given the size of its population?
To do this, we divided the number of gold medals by the population and then muliplied by 100 million. This gives us an adjusted figure for each country.
The result when adjusted by population
Congratulations to Grenada, Bahamas, Jamaica, New Zealand and Hungary, the respective top five when the results are adjusted by population.
The result without population
The final visualization shows how the Gold medals were distributed by country, without any adjustment for demographics. Try downloading the data and seeing what you can do with it. Perhaps you could adjust it by GDP, or some health data. We’re always interested to hear success stories.