Announcing Google Chart Tools

FEB 11, 2010
A good chart can tell a story, such as depicting when you get home on Saturday night by plotting your tweet patterns along the week.
A good chart can take an elusive concept and clarify it in a visually appealing manner. This ingenious XKCD strip uses a pie chart, a bar chart and a recursive scatter plot, to demonstrate the concept of self description.

Whether you need a simple line chart, an interactive Geo Map or a complex Motion Chart , Google can help you add live charts to your web page using our Chart and Visualization APIs. Both of these APIs are free and simple to use, however they each have distinct advantages:

1. The Chart API provides Image Charts which are rendered by a Google chart server in response to a simple URL request. Image Charts are fast to render and can be easily emailed and printed. In addition to the extensive gallery of charts, this server now also provides dynamic icons, QR codes, and math formulas.

2. The Visualization API provides Interactive charts which are rendered on the browser using a Google developed JavaScript library. Interactive charts trigger events, providing tool-tips and animations. In addition to a rich gallery of charts, this tool can also read live data from a variety of data sources such as Oracle PL/SQL or Google spreadsheets.

We have discovered that developers occasionally need some help in navigating between the many options and distinct advantages of Image Charts and Interactive Charts, and therefore decided to bring the two APIs under one new framework which we call the "Google Chart Tools". We've accordingly renamed the APIs to Image Charts API and Interactive Charts API and created a simple side-by-side comparison page which you might find useful in choosing which chart tool is better for you.

Image Chart: Oceans of the world

Interactive Chart: Oceans of the world

We hope to meet you in person at Google I/O this May. In our Google Chart Tools I/O session we plan to present many of our new features including dynamic icons, which helped us plot our version of the recursive XKCD chart below: