As a matter of convenience, you might fire up good ol’ Microsoft Excel to create great looking charts. But an online tool is a failsafe if you are on the road and don’t have Excel installed in your computer. Online chart tools are a crowded breed on the web. We have covered some of them here – 5 Nice Online Tools To Create Charts and Graphs.
But I wouldn’t take too much of a detour because Google itself has a nifty chart service tucked away amongst its web services. Google Image Chart Editor (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) lets you dynamically visualize your data quickly without knowing any of the complex know-how that goes into professional charts. Well, almost.
As they state – “The Google Chart API lets you dynamically generate charts with a URL string. You can embed these charts on your web page, or download the image for local or offline use.”
Creating Your First Chart
Google’s Chart API helps you design a basic chart by using the Chart Wizard or, alternatively, choosing an existing chart from the gallery and customizing it to suit your needs. Google Charts can be rendered on most browsers thanks to HTML5/SVG elements. Different types of charts are supported from the simple line charts to even QR Codes and hierarchical tree maps. There is also a trio of funky Google-O-Meter charts to choose from.
You can use the chart type examples displayed to choose one or import a chart with a URL. Google Chart Tools supports two types of charts – simple charts and interactive charts. The Google Image Chart Editor can be easily used to customize the look and feel of the chart image according to your document. Data and data styles define a simple chart.
Google Image Chart Editor has all the set of tools you need to create eye-catching visualizations of boring data. Interactive charts need some coding know-how, but you can start with simple charts and tell us how you did.