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Featured on Gizmodo, CBS Sports, CBC, Yahoo! and various sports and information design sites, and named one of The 10 Best Sports Infographics Of 2012 by Deadspin, this animated ambient data visualization of all goals and penalties of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs created some waves.

BuzzFeed covered the piece as well, and wrote that "a new bar has been set for infographic designers." I don't necessarily think information designers should all race to make slightly abstract, drawn-out animations with accompanying data-driven music, but it was flattering nonetheless.

Explanatory moment from a data visualization about ice hockey
A circular hockey rink from a unique animated infographic
Still from NHL Stanley Cup data visualization

A lot of people have been surprised to learn that this piece was animated "by hand," meaning that each individual puck was animated by me according to the data, rather than the pucks being controlled programmatically. I do my visualization work in this way in part because I am not a programmer, but also because it allows a level of control that makes it possible to create something slightly more human — notice how, when each puck stops moving, it is positioned systematically, but not "perfectly." It's often the slightest deviation from total synchronicity or symmetry that allows us to feel meaningfully impressed.

For more projects like this one, visit the visualization page.

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