Ryerson launches Sochi Olympic medal watch

RULA sochi online

The Sochi Olympic Medal Watch website, provided by the Ryerson University Library and Archives.

Students can now stay updated with the ongoing Olympic medal counts, through a website created by the Ryerson library.

On Monday, the Ryerson University Library & Archives launched Olympic Watch, a website that combines statistical data about competing countries along with their Olympic medal standings.

Daniel Jakubek, a geographic information system and map librarian at Ryerson, said the site’s purpose is not just to provide Olympic updates, but also to showcase the library and its geospatial map and data centre.

“It’s a way for us to highlight some of the resources available via the library. We’re not just books, we work with different geospatial data resources,”Jakubek said.

This isn’t the first time RULA has created a website for the Olympics. An identical website was developed for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

The site has three components: The first is a chart on the left side that refreshes every five to 10 minutes to display the top six medal-winning countries.

Below the chart is a single image that changes every 10 to 15 seconds to show moments from past Olympic games.

The third and largest component is a Google map that highlights medal counts and statistical data, including the number of athletes from various participating countries.

The website, however, is not interactive. The components change automatically and visitors can’t select which countries or images they want to see.

The data comes from several sources cited at the bottom of the webpage, such as the CIA World Factbook and the official website of the Sochi Games, while the images come from various online databases.

Jakubek said he hopes the display will tune students into the library’s resources.

“We do offer workshops in the world of geographic information systems,” he said. “Students can get groups together and request workshops, and we will run custom workshops based on what it is their assignment requirements are.”

Jakubek said no other projects like Olympic Watch are currently planned, but added, “We’re all ears. If there’s some interesting things people would like to see, who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to dedicate some time to it.”

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