Shortly before this summer’s sporting activities got underway, we’d wondered whether there were any hotspots around Great Britain producing medal-winning athletes. We decided to use OS OpenSpace, our free service allowing users to embed our maps into web applications, to plot the birthplaces of the Team GB and ParalympicsGB medal winners.
We were thrilled to see both medal maps filling up so quickly thanks to our amazing athletes. We had to get creative in some cases, as we’re the national mapping agency for Great Britain, whereas our teams include athletes from Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies – so our mapping data doesn’t cover all of those areas. For any medal winners born outside Great Britain, we first looked to their current home town to plot their marker, if this was also outside Great Britain, we added a marker to the spot they won their medal.
Looking at the two medal maps side-by-side, there are instant differences to be seen, with Wales faring significantly better through ParalympicsGB and Scotland through Team GB. However, on both maps, you can spot significant clusters around the more densely populated areas of the North West and Greater London. It was also interesting to see the far north and west counties, Cornwall and Norfolk, are represented on both maps, despite their lower population counts.
Can you spot any surprising trends? Or do you have excellent sporting facilities in your area and can you see an increased number of athletes born near you? Let us know on the blog.