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2017 Sports, Medium Newsroom winner

Berlin Marathon 2016 – How Fast Your City Runs

About the Project

With the interactive map, users can follow the Berlin Marathon in time lapse for the first time, and compare the runners. The application shows how fast all 35,827 runners that finished the 2016 marathon ran through the city. Each individual runner is animated as a point on the map, using the real running times. The animated field of runners can also be filtered according to sex and place of residency. In addition, the user can enter their personal best time and track their position on the map, alongside the average for the field. The map is supplemented by an aggregated ranking for runners from a particular Berlin district, German state, or country.

The interactive was a huge success on social media, especially Reddit and has been adapted to other cities such as Hamburg.

The map shows something not possible in reality – the more than 35,000 runners start simultaneously at the same place on the starting line. This allows a direct vision comparison and demonstrates the spectrum of the field of runners in the Berlin Marathon. From the same starting shot, the world’s best race against amateur runners from 114 countries. The Berliner Morgenpost’s interactive team used the real finishing and split times of all participants, combined with the geographic data of the actual course. Every runner is represented by a point on the map. Despite the large quantities of data involved, the app runs smoothly and invites the user to play with the runner data.