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120 Years of Olympic Medals: An Overview of Medal Totals (1896 – 2016)

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games begin later this week in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It is a time not only for healthy competition amongst competitors, but also a time when our world comes together. In anticipation of the upcoming games, our latest Map of the Week visualizes the medal totals for each country awarded throughout the history of the Olympic Games. #MapMonday

120 Years of Olympic Medals: An Overview of Medal Totals (1896 – 2016)

Beginning in 1896, the first Summer Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, offering 42 events with competitors from 14 nations. The success of these games later resulted in the creation of the Winter Olympic Games, first held in 1924 in Chamonix, France, offering 16 events with competitors from 16 nations. The Olympic Games have continued to grow over the past 122 years, with the most recent Summer Olympic Games offering 302 events with competitors from 204 nations, and the most recent Winter Olympic Games offering 98 events with competitors from 88 nations. In 122 years, a total of 18,529 medals have been awarded.

For this Map of the Week, the type of map used for visualizing statistical information is a Choropleth map, a map which utilizes different types of shading, coloring, or symbols within an area to indicate quantity – in this case, the quantity of medals awarded per country. The mapping application is separated into (3) types of medal statistics maps: a Summer Olympic map, a Winter Olympic maps, and a combined Olympic medal total map. Choropleth maps are useful tools for visualizing statistical information across geographic areas and allow for quick interpretation of data at a glance. If your data contains a statistical component such as this, consider developing a Choropleth map…it can be a beneficial tool to projects and research you are developing.

About Map of the Weeks from GIS Services:

Throughout the semester, GIS Services will continue releasing bi-weekly maps on a variety of topics for the purpose of demonstrating ideas and uses for incorporating geospatial technology into research and projects you are developing. To view our collection of maps, projects or to learn about the geospatial services offered through the Marriott Library, please visit the GIS Services website @

Happy Mapping!

Justin Sorensen | GIS Specialist
Creativity & Innovation Services / GIS Services

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