Late last night I got email from our ever twittering and flickring Steve with a link to pure iPad application gold. Like the good Data Visualization nerd that I am I checked out the link, opened my iPad and downloaded my favourite new app, Pennant. I proceeded to spend a good chunk of my evening playing with it and a good part of the day showing it off to every member of the Plank family. I think everyone was duly impressed with the quality of the design, implantation and richness of the data on-hand.
Created by Steve Varga initially as his MFA thesis project at the Parsons the New School for Design, Pennant is a beautifully designed interactive application that lets you browse through over 60 years of baseball statistics. With the mass of data being handled, the application lets you explore historical information from the Team, to the Season to the Game and even down to the individual at-bat level. My favourite thing to do is to hit the play button on the game level page and watch the at-bats flow by me. It's hours of fun.
I'm not one to gush publicly (or even blog all that often) about apps or sites that I stumble upon but this one hit a real personal sweet spot. While I'm not designing much anymore, since just steering the Plank ship takes up a lot of my energy, I still have a love for quality design and in this case, Information Design. While I'm not much of a sport fan I still do hold a bit of a candle for baseball and specifically baseball statistics (I admit to visiting Baseball Reference quite a bit. I also really love this app because professional sports generally suffer from bombastic design choices and rarely evoke the emotional and historic feel that Pennant captures. It breathes.
At $4.99 if you aren't a Visualization or Baseball fan, the price may seem steep (it's amazing how little we've all gotten use to paying for mobile apps!) but if you have an even passing interest in either, it's $4.99 well spent. I hope that this isn't a one-off project but one that encourages others into fresh ways of exploring sports history. Or music. Or movies.
I'm willing to bet that I know a few people who would love to grok Nos Canadiens this deeply.