Colourful Calgary cows

Jul 11, 2023 · 2 min read

Where are the colourful cows in Calgary?

Grades 5 - 8

If you've ever strolled through the streets of Calgary and found yourself captivated by the sight of a large, vibrant cow statue, you're not alone. These colourful cows are the outcome of the Udderly Art: Colourful Cows for Calgary project. Initiated by a group of philanthropists in 2000, this project was established with the dual purpose of beautifying the city and raising funds for charity.

The group manufactured over one hundred life-size cow statues and placed them in strategic locations throughout the city, including parks, the airport, and the zoo. Donors purchased each cow for $5000, collaborating with local artists to embellish them with vibrant colours and distinctive designs. The decorated cows were exhibited from May to October of 2000 in Calgary and later auctioned off to private buyers. The project successfully raised $1.2 million dollars for charity.

The first twenty cows purchased were given the ‘Maverick’ denotation. We compiled a dataset of the locations of these cows by gathering information available on the project's website.

Using this dataset, we generated an interactive map displaying the location of each cow. You can hover over the location pins on the map to view the names of the statues, and you can also zoom in to see their precise locations.

Reflect on what you see

Look and interact with the data visualizations above. When you hover your mouse over the map, you’ll notice that more information appears.

Think about the following questions.

  • What do you notice about the visualization?
  • What do you wonder about the data?

Use the fill-in-the-blank prompts to summarize your thoughts.

  • “I used to think _______”
  • “Now I think _______”
  • “I wish I knew more about _______”
  • “These data visualizations remind me of _______”
  • "I really like _______”

Learn how we visualized the data

Go to our walk-through (in Jupyter notebook format) to see how the data science process was applied to create these graphs, from formulating a question to gathering the data and analyzing the data with code.

Building tomorrow’s digital leaders
Developing data science tools for Canadian K12 classrooms