IBM CrowdTracker


  • IBM Interactive Experience
  • IBM Research
  • IBM Marketing and Communications
  • Tennis Australia
  • Aruba Networks


Our digital and physical worlds are full of data and tennis fans love data. Putting the data-loving tennis fans at the focus Tennis Australia and IBM CrowdTracker provided fans with insights to make decisions about how to experience the tournament. By meshing together the physical data from WiFi-enabled mobile devices and geo-encoded social media posts, IBM CrowdTracker allowed tennis fans on the grounds, and around the world, to visualise the movement of crowds and the buzz of social media on a beautiful map of the grounds, enabling the fans to plan their Grand Slam experience in real-time.

Key Features



Using data obtained via Wi-Fi enabled device signals, IBM CrowdTracker visualised the size and location of crowds on an interactive map. Through this, fans could see where the biggest crowds were and quickly find the most popular spots. The visualisation included in-progress match and player practice locations to highlight exciting spots at the event.

Crowd locations were visualised through circles of different size and colour, to clearly represent the fan counts and time spent. Showing this data in real-time gave fans the power to be a part of the crowd or navigate around.


Social Analytics
Social media interaction is a large part of the Australian Open and Instagram is hugely popular with fans of the sport. IBM CrowdTracker utilised social analytics and the location of Instagram posts to show fans the most socially active areas in Melbourne Park.

Exploring Twitter data allowed for key words and topics to be identified (including the most tweeted about player). CrowdTracker conveyed this information to show fans real-time trends, and locations within the venue that were trending both physically and digitally.


Court-by-court Insights
IBM CrowdTracker maps included glowing courts to indicate where matches were currently underway so fans can decide where to go. More importantly, they could click on each court to see real time court data such as scores and stats, social sentiment about that match as well as player bios.

By showing this information fans could see the excitement in a match in real-time and over the course of the match. These key statistics allowed fans to augment their experience while at the venue, or socially participate from home.


Context Responsive
Including IBM CrowdTracker across the official Australian Open apps and website gave fans the power of data and analytics wherever they were. As this was primarily designed for fans at the event, the site was responsive to a wide range of devices and designed for touch interactions. The responsive design further allowed it to be displayed on large format screens for public display during the event. IBM CrowdTracker also used live weather and time feeds to contextualise itself with the physical venue showing visual cues for weather and customised day and night views for time.


Analysing the event
It is not only tennis fans that love data. Tennis Australia leveraged the data collection and analytics from IBM CrowdTracker to get key insights into the behaviour of crowds in real-time and over the entire event. As well as providing raw data and statistical analysis, this visualisation was output as a time-lapse video to clearly show crowd movements as the event progressed and key matches were underway.

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