Mahir Yavuz sums up the Global Marathon 2012


Mahir Yavuz sums up the Global Marathon 2012. It was organized by with sponsoring by GE and Google. Check out some pictures at and the rest of the article after the break.

The First Global Visualizing Marathon organized by and GE took place last weekend. It was an exciting global event that connects visualization enthusiasts from all over the world. It was also particulary important to test the global connectedness of students on online platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Youtube. Santiago helped to create the challenges. There were three topics to choose from and either interactive visualizations or infographics to be made.

Participation was remarkable: Over 1000 students from 176 universities and 38 countries across the world interacted on the Live Dashboard and delivered insight and solutions on monitoring disease outbreaks, understanding the global flights network, and contextualizing the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Students, working individually or in teams of up to four members, submitted more than 130 data visualizations.

There were Google Hangout broadcasts, DataViz 101 by Alberto Cairo, DataViz 102 by Kim Rees and Q&A sessions with designers were the highlights of the weekend. It was interesting to see the success of all students from different time zones connecting and interacting with the event.

I was in Hong Kong during the Marathon and I had the chance to meet participants from HKU Journalism Department. (link: It was exciting to see their intention of focusing more on data driven journalism and I realized again that viusalization is a field that brings different kind of studies from different cultures to the same domain.

I was also involved in one of the Q&A sessions with Ben Hosken from Flink Labs. We answered a couple good questions, explaining how to start a data visualization project and the importance of sketching process. You can watch all the broadcasts on the youtube channel (link:

Now it’s time for the jury to pick the winners. For this marathon has an extensive jury on board including Amanda Cox, Andrew Vande Moere, Manuel Lima, Cesar Hidalgo and many more. Check out the official thanking post and help to pick the People’s Choice for the Marathon. (link: