In 2014, 25,000 to 30,000 people were expected to participate in the World Half-Marathon Championship in Copenhagen, and about 10,000 were expected to join the Copenhagen Marathon. But how is it possible to follow a race with that number of participants with different start times, extending over the entire city?
As a public service broadcaster, DR covered those two events, on television and radio, and for the first time, live online. DR was facing a huge challenge in trying to administer those two major events, and therefore asked Headnet for advice and help.
DR is the most visited site in Denmark, and therefore, an important part of the project was that the final solution would be able to withstand the intense use of the service, especially during the two races.
Instead of the regular performance tables for the top 10 men, women and Danes, Headnet developed a data-driven web-application, which made it easy for a user to search for runners and replay the course on a map. Also the race statistics, such as speed, lap times and location, were visualized with graphs. Through an asynchronous application, it was possible to get a quick visual overview, instead of a number index.
As the mobile platform was the primary target, Headnet made the interactive browsing and map display work in a user-friendly way on small touch screens. However, it was still important that the results were available on other platforms. The application enabled a business to be made from a technological service.
The final solution succeeded, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and it was exciting to follow the use of the application during the race. The solution consisted an integrated race database from Dansk Atletik Forbunds, and was developed in Google App Engine. This approach made it possible to keep up with the peak in use during and just after the race.