Monday, August 06, 2007

Pointless Graphical Race Results

OK, uploading images still seems to blurrify them -- this isn't an Ubuntu problem, it's a Blogger feature I'm having a tough time controlling. So, imagine an image just like this, but sharper. The race results page for the NYC Half links to this, which really exemplifies Nike's non-financial contributions to the race.
It's colorful and flashy, but of no purpose. Guess who ran faster, me (green line) or The Runner Known as Jared Rochwerg? Seeing as I ran 10:50 miles and we're clearly separated, you'd be smart to guess her, but I don't thing the graphic pushes you toward that conclusion.
The 'Nike+' race results application was promoted in our Goody Bag, but 404'd before the race and errored out last night. It only displayed its glory after I received an official notice this evening.
I know you can't read the axes, but up is supposed to be 'faster' and across is supposed to be 'distance'. So ... the viewer is supposed to believe that we slowly gained speed over the first five kilometers -- a stupid design choice -- and tore up the last kilometer -- a programming error. As a programmer, I blame programming errors on sloppy QA. My far more dramatic arc in speed brings me back to where I was at the start at 20 k. Wasn't that a stand-still? Are they suggesting "Jared" and I were running at some other arbitrarily selected speed? Did they really fit an exponential to the gun time, even though they know when I crossed the start line?
So, there you go. The pointless graphical race result for yesterday's NYC Half marathon.

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