Baseball Timeline: Summarizing Baseball Plays Into a Static Visualization

Jorge P. Ono, Carlos Dietrich, Claudio T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In sports, Play Diagrams are the standard way to represent and convey information. They are widely used by coaches, managers, journalists and fans in general. There are situations where diagrams may be hard to understand, for example, when several actions are packed in a certain region of the field or there are just too many actions to be transformed in a clear depiction of the play. The representation of how actions develop through time, in particular, may be hardly achieved on such diagrams. The time, and the relationship among the actions of the players through time, is critical on the depiction of complex plays. In this context, we present a study on how player actions may be clearly depicted on 2D diagrams. The study is focused on Baseball plays, a sport where diagrams are heavily used to summarize the actions of the players. We propose a new and simple approach to represent spatiotemporal information in the form of a timeline. We designed our visualization with a requirement driven approach, conducting interviews and fulfilling the needs of baseball experts and expert-fans. We validate our approach by presenting a detailed analysis of baseball plays and conducting interviews with four domain experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • CCS Concepts
  • Human-centered computing → Information visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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