Are you a baseball fan trying to figure out a trip to follow your favorite team on a cross country road trip? Or maybe you want to plan a trip to visit some of the more historic baseball stadiums around the country, and want to make sure you are there for game day? Or maybe you just want to see locations of games happening day by day across the states? Search no longer - my Interactive Baseball Calendar Map will solve your fandom woes!
There are three simple options for using the tool, outlined in the following steps.
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Step 1: Use Case #1 - Summer Ballpark Tour
Say you want to visit Wrigley Field (Chicago), Great America Ballpark (Cincinnati), and PNC Park (Pittsburgh) at the end of August. Set the slider to the date for the start of your trip, say . Notice which parks geographically have games. Hover/click on a marker to see the opponent, scheduled start time, and MLB Game Link. Drag the slider along to match up to your trip and see which ballparks are hosting which games. It looks like August 20th to the 23rd has the games you want, and you could even squeeze a trip to Comerica Park in Detroit if you're feeling ambitious!
Step 2: Use Case #2 - Follow Your Favorite Team!
If you are a big fan of a particular team (Athletics, for example) you can set that team in the drop down next to the slider. Now that team will be highlighted for both home and away games, while all other team markers will be replaced by generic ones. Move the slider along and see if there is an enticing trip path for you. Hover/click on a marker to view game details, with live scores if the game is in progress. Icons show double headers and rain delays, too.
Step 3: Simply Play!
Lastly for a simple and dynamic visual experience of the geographic baseball calendar, you can simply move the slider back and forth and see the team icons move around the map.
Next, I will outline the technical steps for making such a map. These steps can easily be repeated for your favorite sports league.
Step 4: Data Preparation
The first step for this tool involves gathering the data. All prepartion is in the folder data_prep/. For this baseball app, I was fortunate to find 2015 comma-seperated-value (CSV) data on reddit here. I used python to iterate over all 30 teams in the CSV file, geocoders python library to do park name lookup to latitude and longitude coordinates, and fianlly print statements formatted in sqlite3 format. Sqlite3 insert statements are also created for every scheduled game. Finally, these statements are executed to create a sqlite3 database with two tables - teams and schedules.
Step 5: Create Client-Side Data
Step 6: Putting It All Together
Now you have a working map with a slider controlling which games to show for which day, and a generic tutorial for creating your own. Enjoy!
All feedback welcome, regarding any aspect of this project.