Google has released an easy to use API that creates charts and lets you very easily imbed them in your web pages. For example, here's a chart that shows recent browser usage for visitors to this site:
The code that produces that is as easy as you could want: I simply put "http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=p3&chd=t:45.8,38.7,15.5&chs=270x100&chl=Firefox|IE|All%20Others" inside an <img> tag.
I first got wind of this from a post at Technometria, by the way. Good site, worth a visit. I could have made it a line chart just by changing the "cht=p3" to "cht="lc":
Fantastic stuff, and pretty easy to use. However, I ran into trouble when I wanted to make a bar chart. Let's try it:
Ugh. That's kind of cramped. How do we spread it out? Maybe it just needs more room, let's try making it wider:
No, that didn't do it. We need to add a new parameter: "chbh=40,20". That says the bars are 40 pixels wide, with 20 pixels between them.
Note the usage policy:
Use of the Google Chart API is subject to a query limit of 50,000 queries per user per day.
That's certainly well within my parameters..
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Anthony Lawrence
Much to the surprise of the builders of the first digital computers, programs written for them usually did not work. (Rodney Brooks)