(Baseball App) Pennant: A case study in Data Visualization for the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by sportsfrk214, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. sportsfrk214, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    sportsfrk214 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2007
    I just saw an app in Apple's "New and Noteworthy" section for the iPad, and I feel compelled to post about it because it is such a wonderful app in my opinion. And not necessarily for what information it provides, but how it provides it.

    Information lookup and consumption is one of the many classes of apps on the app store. I have many apps that I use for information and data. This app, Pennant, sets the bar for what iPad apps should be in my opinion. I will let you look at their website to see the app for yourself, but let me just say that this thing is amazing.

    It basically presents detailed information, down to every at-bat, for every baseball game since 1951. But more important is how it displays the information. As you'll see on the website, all the information is presented in a fun, interactive, and intuitive fashion. All information apps should look at this app as a case study.

    This app does not give any new or exclusive information. One could have simply opened up a website in Safari and obtained the same information. I think this is why many information apps are, quite frankly, boring. They basically perform the same action of a webpage, but maybe make the information easier to see. What makes this app special is that it presents already available information in a new way. It takes something boring and tedious and makes it fun.

    I think this is what iPad apps should aspire to be. They shouldn't just give us information, they should give us new ways of looking at it. The iPad is the most interactive device out there for content, and developers should try to make it interactive. When I first heard about the iPad, apps like this were what I envisioned. I also think of apps like The Daily Edition. It's just an RSS reader, but it presents information in a new and exciting way. For example, in Pennant, you can look at a circular view of each game, which basically is a circle which represents the entire game, and lines jump up from the circle at different heights for Home Runs, singles, etc, at the exact time they happened in the game. So you can go back to a baseball game where a team scored 10 runs in one inning and see lines going like crazy in that inning. Or go to when a pitcher pitched a perfect game and see absolutely nothing. I've never looked at a baseball game this way before but doing so presents it in an entirely new way and gives you a unique and fresh perspective of the motions of each game.

    I have no affiliation with this developer, I just felt like I had to show and talk about this app because this is what the iPad should be. We need more developers to think outside the box and truly create unique apps that bring us information in an entirely new way. All of a sudden, looking up (basically useless) baseball information is incredibly interactive and, dare I say, fun.

    Apps like these are the future of the iPad. I hope to see many more of them.

  2. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Nice review. Thanks for the tap on the shoulder. Looks like a terrific app.
    I hope they continue with other creations.
  3. sportsfrk214 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2007
    I know this is frowned upon but I'm going to give this thread just one bump, as I feel this app serves as a prime example of what app developers should be doing.
  4. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    You would probably get more response if you put the word "Baseball" in the title of the thread instead of making it so cryptic. The app sounds interesting, and I hate baseball. A rewritten thread title with less app narrative might make this a useful topic. Then again if the title had Baseball, I would never have clicked it, but I'm sure I'm in the minority concerning baseball. I'll check out the app anyway, based on your recommendation.

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