Map Control Analysis
My submission for the Riot Developer challenge is a sort of replay system utilizing the timeline data from match data retrieved from the Riot API. This is more of a concept application to explore the potential of this timeline data to visualize and analyze map and vision control. There are several limitations in the timeline data, some of which are intentionally left out. We only have player position data once per minute, though position data is also provided for some major events like champion kills. Ward positions are intentionally not provided, and so we attempt to extrapolate additional data based on the player positions we're provided.
The demo can be seen here: http://flask-phoclabian.rhcloud.com The default visualization is a randomly selected URF game which was found using the api-challenge-1.4 endpoint. There is also support for selecting the latest match found through this endpoint, but since this endpoint is no longer functional now that URF isn't running, we are forced to use a static game. However, it is also possible to search for a new game. This can be done manually with a match ID, or by typing in a summoner name (only on the NA region currently). If a summoner name is typed in, it will display the visualization for their last ranked match.
As described above, there are several challenges in this type of visualization based on the data provided. Since we only have position data once per minute in the worst case, we used an A-Star search algorithm to extrapolate position data between every known location. This was done to make the "replay" more realistic so that players wouldn't constantly run through walls. Also, since the goal is to estimate ward positions based on these estimated player positions (admittedly a lofty goal given the scarcity of data), this provides a more accurate estimate, assuming the players generally take the optimal route from point to point. Using these estimated positions, we estimate the ward positions. To use this to visualize map control, we used a convex hull composed of towers and active wards. Optimally we would use a visualization technique which allowed finer granularity (since obviously with a ward in enemy jungle doesn't directly imply control of the river in between), but it was quickly seen that the ward position estimation is not accurate enough to make these more advanced visualizations useful.
There are some more techniques which could be used to somewhat improve the ward position estimation, such as using bush locations as a higher probability location for wards to be placed, but it simply is not enough. Of course this is intentional on Riot's part, as they've stated they do not want this information available. And as mentioned in the Challenges section, there are some other visualization techniques which could be used to more accurately describe the vision control based on our points.
In the end, I do not want a tool like this to be used against other specific players. I envision a map control tool like this one to assist a player in their own (or their team's) deficiencies in map control. By examining their team's map control at various points in the game, they would be able to more quickly pinpoint bad habits, such as overextending, not clearing enough enemy vision, not preparing vision control around neutral objectives, and more. To accomplish something like this, it might be possible to allow additional information to players for their own games. By doing this, they could take advantage of the additional information to improve themselves, while making it more difficult to take advantage of this data to exploit tendencies of specific enemy summoners.