December 14, 2011

The Holidays are Upon Us: A Contest for Our Readers

This month marks the two year anniversary (more or less) of the Floating Sheep blog and we've made a tradition out of having some fun with mapping Santa. In 2009, we did a general mapping of Santa and Reindeer and last year we did the twelve posts of Santa where we looked at the geography of various local names for Santa Claus in Europe.

This year we're taking a look at the age old question of which is more popular, Santa or Zombies? OK, not really an age old question but we've been on a bit of a zombie kick as of late and thought it was a question worth asking. And just for the fun of it, we decided to add include some searches for the anti-Santa: Satan... which strangely enough is almost the same text string. Then because adding in religion is always fun we included a range of terms from Christianity and other religious traditions. After all, what are the holidays without the faux "annual war on christmas" controversy? Then, just because we thought of it, we added in the search term "Fat Man" to see what that might bring.

But the most innovative thing we're doing is passing along the data the data directly to you [1]. Including shapefile and excel versions. See the excel version for the metadata and other information.

We'd like to see what kind of visualizations readers can create. To add a little incentive, we're making it a contest with the winner receiving a honest-to-God Floating Sheep ornament and a Slacker strata t-shirt. Both of which are also available for your purchase and pleasure. They make excellent gifts, no matter which holiday you celebrate this time of year!

Contest Rules
  1. Email your entries to
  2. Entries must be received by Monday December 19th by 8 am EST. (Apologies for the tight deadline but we're getting this post up later than planned). We'd like to post all the entries to the blog by the 20th.
  3. By entering you agree to allow us to post your visualization on the blog and under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
  4. Winners will be decided by the FloatingSheep collective as advised by comments to the posts here.

If you have any questions... feel free to ask us in the comments section.

[1] And no, we're not just passing along the data because were lazy. For the record, while we are undoubtedly lazy, we actually have mapped the data and will be posting the maps next week.

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