Mapping football teams with Parallax

One day as I was flying high above the Earth, as I like to do, I happened across this corner of London (Fulham, actually) wherein I spied a lovely football pitch situated thus:

“Great cows!” thought I, “all those soccer fans and not one scrap of parking! In my homeland this would not be.”

Compare this with the parking on offer at, say, Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, home of the Brady-less Patriots. It’s a stark contrast, and a good reminder that there’s no need to take public transportation as long as there’s PLENTY OF PARKING FOLKS!

This got me wondering how many fans attend that stadium in London (answer: 26,000 at full capacity). Which in turn made me wonder what team played there (answer: Fulham F.C.). Fulham plays in the Premier League, which put me on to something I’ve wondered about before. I know the names of a number of English football teams, but I have no idea where they are. Okay, Manchester United is in Manchester, but what about Arsenal? For some reason, when I last looked into this, I couldn’t find a simple map that showed what I wanted to know. I’ve since found several, but no matter, because this gave me a great opportunity to try out Parallax.

I learned about Parallax from Ben Hyde. As Ben observes, you should really watch the video to understand what Parallax does, but I would describe it like this: a search engine that carries along piles of intermediate results as you move toward your ultimate aggregated final answer. To pick a simple question: how many presidents went to West Point? It’s not a hard question to answer, but you’d have to visit a lot of Wikipedia pages to get the definitive result. Parallax lets you lasso all the presidents and then pick other questions to ask about the entire set. So we quickly discover that U.S. Grant and Dwight Eisenhower went to West Point. Jimmy Carter is the only presidential graduate of the Naval Academy (John McCain went there too, for what it’s worth).

Back to English football: starting with Arsenal, I continued to the entire Premier League. From there I clicked on Arena/Stadium, and then Show results on map and voilà:

Wow! Now that’s what I’m talking about.

6 thoughts on “Mapping football teams with Parallax”

  1. The best part of that Monty Python skit (“The Hammers. The Hammes are the nickname of what English football team. The Hammers.”) is the intonation. Even my English friend Ryan (who is generally fed up with MP and references thereto) enjoys the intonation of that skit and the “Novel Writing from Dorset” skit (“…it looks as though he’s going for the sentence!”)

  2. I think your Premier League information is old – I didn’t see Britannia Stadium (in Stoke-on-Trent), home of Stoke City FC.
    This is their first season back in the Premier League in quite a while so you were probably just looking at least year’s Premier League list.

  3. Good point. The information for Parallax comes from Freebase, which is downstream of Wikipedia. The Stoke City wikipedia page knows about the Premier League status, as you would expect (, but the Freebase article doesn’t have the necessary arena/stadium metadata in place yet ( Manchester United, on the other hand, has the right metadata: {arena/stadium = Old Trafford} (

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