This project “Fan Culture” is inspired by my previous CHI project “Multiculturalism in the German Football World,” which focuses primarily on the German National Football Team. Last year, I planned to work on the representations of multiculturalism on both national and regional levels. The national perspective went fairly well and I was able to map out the birthplaces of many players. As for the regional aspect, I found the annual reports published by the Central Sports Intelligence Unit and I saw the value of this source. However, I did not have time to intensively work on the data and I also lacked the technical knowledge to visualize them. This year, when I was accepted as a returning fellow, I decided to go back to the data and build a new project around the fan culture on the regional level and really focus on the fans of football clubs in Germany.
This project consists of four pages. The home page provides three brief introductions on football clubs in Germany, ultras and hooligans, and the cultural products of football. “Read More” buttons take users to separate pages where more information was provided. On the “About” page, I explain the overall structure of the league system in Germany and offer some essential facts as background knowledge, such as numbers of the fans and club mottos. On the “Ultras ≠ Hooligans” page, I clearly stated that hooligans are violence-driven and they are considered by the authority as “Category C” in the German football context. I used google charts on this page to visualize how many fans were considered as violent fans in the last twelve years. Users can see clearly through the visualization that more violent fans have emerged in the regional leagues, which has caused social issues that certainly deserve more attention. My next step over the summer is to add more content to the “Cultural Products: Music” page where I can spend more time discovering the social phenomenon “hooliganism” and its byproducts.
The data was collected and typed into a spreadsheet by hand. The annual reports I have access to are all pdf documents. I read through all of them and selected the numbers that are useful to this project. I also put the link to the spreadsheet on the webpage. In addition, I included links to each document on the website (under “Content – Data”) in case other users want to read the original documents. Initially, I was really interested in learning D3.js and use it to build my data visualization. After a couple of online tutorials on D3.js, I realized it might take longer than I anticipated. Then I switched to Google Charts and it worked fairly well for this project since the data I worked with was not enormous.
As a returning fellow, I simply want to express my gratitude to this fellowship. Through CHI, I have acquired basic coding skills, such as working with Bootstrap, reading html and css files, and utilizing visualization tools. Being in a physical space (for the most part of this year), LEADR, and spending time with other fellows truly help build professional friendships. I am glad to meet Dan, Brian, Liao, Ryan who have offered help and feedback to my project. Thank you!