The LA Times has a leaflet map viewer app showing all 30,699 shots in Kobe Bryant's career. It seems like spatial analysis could be useful for certain coaching decisions. Are any coaches actually using GIS tools? enter image description here


LA Times wrote an article on how they did it, with more details on GitHub.

Update I see the NY Times has published some even more impressive analytical tools, based on work by Prof Kirk Goldsberry.

Also, BasketBallreference.com has heatmaps, like this one for Kobe. enter image description here

I wonder if coaches try to get in the zone the way players do. If so, would tools like these be a distraction?

Or does the color phi phenomenon prove that flow is an illusion?

SportVu collects the data. I don't think they were around when Kobe began his career.

  • It is pretty revealing how aware of the three point line he is, that would be something to analyze, as to whether or not he actually looks down to see where he is relative to that line. Analyzing the density of the shots from what would be the right hand side of the key, I would be interested to see how many of them were made as bank shots.
    – jbgramm
    Apr 14, 2016 at 14:38
  • 3
    The shots are time stamped. It would be interesting to see an app with a timeslider and heatmap to show how his shots changed over his career. Apr 14, 2016 at 14:40
  • I imagine that it could show a decline in athleticism, times he played while injured, and strategies used against specific match ups if thoroughly analyzed.
    – jbgramm
    Apr 14, 2016 at 14:43
  • Interesting to see how many shots were attempted behind the backboard plane.
    – artwork21
    Apr 14, 2016 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


Yes, Kirk Goldsberry now works for the San Antonio Spurs.


I had a GIS class with the quarterback of the LSU football team. For his class project, he mapped out his passes into different regions of the field and compared his completion rate across the regions.

  • 2
    I should add that i'm pretty sure that they won a championship that year.
    – Ezra Boyd
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:34

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