16 December 2007
Google Charts Gets Invader’d

Playing with Google Chart API and PyGoogleChart this afternoon after reading the announcement last week.

Invader Chart

A couple things to think about when using the API:

  • You will want to use a wrapper - Take one look at the link that generated the above graphic, and you’ll quickly see that this is not meant for humans. Maybe write your own wrapper around the bits that you are using. Maybe use one like PyGoogleChart.
  • It’s not just for web apps - Charts can be cached for later use using curl or equivilent. NB: IANAL so review the Terms of Service and usage policy and make your own decision.
  • You will have to normalize your data - The chart api docs talk quite a bit about reducing number of elements in your datasets. Another important thing to think about is the range. For instance if I wanted to chart the last few days closing values for the CAC 40 Index which varies from 5,547.21 to 5,750.92. I would have to first normalize the values to something under 4096 for Extended Encoding, under 100 for Text encoding and less than 62 for Simple Encoding. Then the y-axis labels would have to be adjusted to reflect the normalization. Example

It’s pretty clear we’ve only seen the beginning. People outside will find new and unanticipated ways of using the API and Google will continue to crank out new features.

Inspiration for above:

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