Visualizing Movie Data | VMD_09 | The height of performers

While searching for data from the 200 films that we saw in 2015, I found that there was a reasonable list of actors who have published their physical height. On the IMDb-site I also found that there are always three actors per movie specified as a main actor. However, the 600 actors and actresses are not complete in their data. But it is quite strange that actors and actresses make their height public as interesting information. So I’ve spent some time to do some more research on what height exactly is (or what the meaning of it is). Human height or stature is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body, standing erect. During this research, I also found a list of average heights of people in countries of the world. The information is also broken down into heights for men and women. Eventually I decided to interpret this information in three variations. But maybe I’ll find more variations during the work itself.

To begin with, I must first create a list in a spreadsheet where only the actors and actresses are who have given their height and country of birth. Birth year and place are irrelevant because I only want to compare physical heights. Of those 600 actors and actresses only 302 actors and actresses gave me the complete data. But as with any statistical data, the accuracy of this data may be questionable for various reasons. The trajectory to get all this information in Processing is now ready. All 302 performers are now displayed in Processing’s console and message area. This is useful for checking. The first version I have made used five columns. The first column contains the name of the actor or actress. The second column shows the gender. The third column indicates the height. The fourth column contains the country of birth. The fifth column shows the average height of the population of the motherland. The columns are for the moment sorted by countries of birth (from Argentina to Wales).

The next step is to find a layout where I can compare the differences in height of actors, actresses and the average heights of the countries of birth. When I look at the average height of people from the countries of birth than the height ranges from 154 to 181 centimeters. But the heights of the actors and actresses vary from 150 to 199 centimeters. That seems a nice job for Processing map-function. The map-function re-maps a number from one range to another. For example, it converts the number 25 from a value in the range of 0 to 100 into a value that ranges from the left edge of the window (0) to the right edge (width) of the window. Through the map-function I drew horizontal lines representing the heights of the actors and actresses. The average heights of persons from the countries of birth is also shown.

The drawback of the previous approach is that it is difficult to compare the average heights of the countries of birth with the heights of actors and actresses. I have changed that in this version. The heights of the actors and actresses stand right next to the average heights of the countries of origin. Color is now used only to help distinguish the data better. But this can be done better.

In this version, the height of the actors and actresses is represented by the red numbers. The horizontal red bar represents the height too. But in a graphical way. It’s a bit strange to show vertical height as horizontal bars. This has to do with the text. That is better readable horizontally instead of vertically. The average height of the motherland has now the same color blue as the horizontal bar. I also have put the lines directly below each other so it’s easier to compare the heights.

The font does not have to be monospaced anymore. We do not have to compare any heights of names in this graphic. We compare heights of actors and actresses. In the previous version, everything is sorted by country. The list starts with Argentina and ends with Wales. It seems better to me to sort all data on the heights of the actors and actresses. And than we see that Chris O’Dowd, with 199 centimeters, is the longest male actor. The longest female actress is Nina Hoss with 180 centimeters. She is 19 centimeters shorter than Chris O’Dowd. But she is another 20 centimeters higher than the actor Denis Lavant which has a height of 160 centimeters. The smallest actress is Vanessa Martinez. She is 150 centimeters in height. That is 49 centimeters shorter than Chris O’Dowd.

Will the graphic become different if we sort the average height of a country as a starting point? The average height of a country of birth set against actors and actresses. To show that I gave the countries thicker lines. It appears that Rutger Hauer, with 181 centimeters, ends at the top. It is also remarkable that Nadine Labaki is ranked on 28th place with her 167 centimeters. Many men seem to average around to 175 centimeters. With Buster Keaton clearly below the national average. Also interesting is Olga Kurylenko (174 centimeters) compared to the national average of 160 centimeters. Or Regina Torné (173 centimeters) with the national average of 154 centimeters. Also notable is Joaquin Phoenix (173 centimeters), while the national average of his country of birth is 154 centimeters.


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