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Esri Canada’s Quest for the Cup! Tracking the NHL Playoffs

With the popularity of remote and hybrid work policies, it can be difficult to replicate the water cooler comradery of the traditional workplace. As such, with the return of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Esri Canada decided to create a company-wide playoff bracket using ArcGIS Online to track not only playoff predictions, but also each competing team’s travel distance, time zone change and CO2 emissions.

Feeling connected to colleagues is an important aspect for any company’s employee retention plan. With remote and hybrid work policies, these connections can be difficult to maintain and even harder to create for new employees. Esri Canada’s Quest for the Cup is a Stanley cup playoff bracket which harnessed Esri’s web GIS environment for collecting each participant’s vote using ArcGIS Survey123 and tracking predictions using ArcGIS Dashboards. Furthermore, we also decided to track every playoff team’s cumulative travel, time zone change and CO2 emissions to see if this may lead to a competitive advantage. The competition has encouraged friendly banter in company chat rooms and developed connections within Esri Canada.

Step 1 – Collecting each participant’s vote (ArcGIS Survey123)

The Survey123 used to track predictions. Points are awarded for winning predictions and accurate length of series (best of 7).

The first step was to use ArcGIS Survey123 to collect each participant’s location, ongoing predictions, and their Stanley cup hopefuls. To centralize the entire bracket under a single application, we embedded the Survey in an ArcGIS Dashboard.

Step 2 – The NHL bracket dashboard (ArcGIS Dashboard)

The ArcGIS Dashboard used to track predictions from each participant.    

The second step was to create an ArcGIS Dashboard to track each participant’s prediction for which team would win and in how many games. Using the Survey123 URL parameters, participants clicked on their names in the active participants list and updated their picks following each of the rounds once the matchups were decided, thereby maintaining a single record in the hosted feature layer for each of the participants. See the URL parameter below:{globalid}  

Step 3 – Track each playoff team’s travel, time zone changes and CO2 emissions (ArcGIS Dashboard)

ArcGIS Dashboard used to track each team’s travel distances, time zone changes and CO2 emissions.

The live dashboard is used to track each playoff team’s travel throughout the entirety of the playoffs. To replicate the flight lines, each team’s home arena was situated using the locate tool. The XY to Line tool was then used to create the flight lines using a North America Lambert conformal conic projection to measure distance. You can create your own flight lines using this Esri inc. tutorial.  CO2 emissions were estimated using the Air Miles Calculator.

Arcade expressions were used to customize the list and indicators specific to each team. You can view the arcade expressions by modifying the URL below and copying the dashboard to your organization’s ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal account.


Step 4 – Keeping track of points (Python script)

The Python script used to automate keeping track of each participant’s points.  

Manually tallying each participant’s points would be quite an undertaking. Therefore, as teams were being eliminated, a Python script was used to match the series winner to participant predictions. For each matchup, 1 point was awarded if the participant accurately predicted the winner, and a bonus point was awarded if the participant accurately predicted the length of the series. Prizes were awarded to participants with the top 3-point totals, as well as bragging rights.

Closing remarks

This type of comradery-building exercise could be applied to a variety of events such as the FIFA World Cup, NBA, NFL, MLS playoffs, or even reality shows like the bachelor. Participants are not required to be named users. These are simply fun, configurable apps to build a community around remote and hybrid workplace arrangements. Furthermore, these types of web GIS applications can be used by your organization’s GIS team to showcase to the non-GIS user the types of workflows that can be done to manage geospatial data or as an introduction to some of the applications they may be called upon to use for certain projects.