I love to hear about obscure uses for Excel. Why? Because it debunks the notion it’s purely a number-crunching tool used for a certain activity, by a certain group of people, in a certain place, and at a certain time.
Here’s one that challenges all stereotypes: Excel as a stadium mosaic designer.
You’ve got to be joking, right?
Wor Flags, a Newcastle United fan group, is responsible for the spectacular pre-match fan displays at St. James’ Park. They hit a crescendo in May at the Magpies’ last hurrah of the season, as 50,000 vociferous supporters lifted coloured pieces of foil in the air to form one seamless mosaic.
The end result was superb, but it didn’t happen by accident. What was the process behind it?
Group member, Chris Heron, constructs them. He maps out the layout in an Excel worksheet, assigning a value and colour to each cell that represents a seat. Careful consideration is made for aisles, gangways, and vomitories, which are given empty cells.
For the Leazes End (with the blue star), Heron uses the formula =(𝙲𝙾𝚄𝙽𝚃𝙸𝙵(𝙱𝟷:𝙵𝙰𝟼0,”𝙱”)*𝟷.𝟷) to count how many of each foil colour is needed across the 9,420 cells, with an extra 10% added.
The plan is then distributed to a group of volunteers via WhatsApp, who cooperate to attach the foil pieces to the seats.
As you can see, it certainly contributed to a fabulous atmosphere, and the fans really were Rockin’ All Over the World! 🎶
Special thanks to Bill Jelen for first covering this in his ‘Unusual Uses of Excel’ Microsoft blog post (https://lnkd.in/emtvpx8q).