Despite the ridiculous restrictions on watching the Olympics, there are still plenty of statistics about various events for data nerds to collect and crunch that might provide some useful insights. By studying athletic performance over time, we can tell when technologies like fancy swimsuits are giving too much of an advantage or when a change in training and technique have made vast improvements. Here are just a few projects that are diving deep into Olympic data.
- Various economic figures can be used to try to predict how many medals each country will earn in 2012. The USA is expected to get somewhere between 99 and 113 medals, and China is predicted to come in second place with 67-98 medals. [url]
- The London Eye will be lit up like a mood ring during the Olympics, based on Tweets and a bit of sentimental analysis to gauge positive and negative commentary of the Games. The analysis is sponsored by an energy company, so it’ll be watching for words like “Olympics”, “London 2012” and the hashtag #energy2012. [url]
- Researchers from the Center for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK will be studying the 2012 games to look for significant changes in athletic performance. They’ve developed a “performance improvement index” to quantify things like: how sprinters are running faster than ever before or that javelin throwers are in a performance plateau. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.