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The year in numbers: jubilee and olympic data for 2012


2012 is a big year for Britain, and particularly for London, as the city swings into gear for two enormous celebrations this summer.

When exchanging notes with students from my course as we all came back from a month’s work experience, we realised that we had all been working on the same project for different papers.

The occasions are of course the London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee and the task that almost everyone was assigned was ‘a year in numbers’, or finding interesting numbers to represent both events. In retrospect it was probably a good thing that we didn’t confer at the time, as several papers could have ended up publishing very similar statistics!

The most difficult task that I have seen and the one that made me pity the hapless work experience student the most, was to mark the 100 day countdown to the games with an Olympic-themed fact for each number between 1 and 100. This is deceptively difficult and involves a huge amount of work.

In honour of the hours spent on the projects, I thought I would catalogue some of the best examples of 2012 in numbers.

Some news organisations chose to stick with straight lists of numbers, like the Telegraph’s take on the opening and closing ceremonies.

Others made the article more visual by designing static infographics.This example from Time Out is one of my favourites.

The Independent added another layer of interactivity by accompanying their numbers with a slideshow.

The Guardian and the BBC both compiled videos, the Guardian’s in particular is very smooth.

Finally the Telegraph, as you would expect, is leading the way on the Jubilee data, but I have it on good authority that quite a few similar articles will be appearing in national newspapers over the coming weeks!

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