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a new Google Visualization API, based on the powerful visualization techniques from GapMinder. the API is "designed to make it easier for a wide audience to make use of advanced visualization technology, & do so in a way that makes it quick and easy to integrate with new visualizations."

next to the classical methods, the amount of new visualization techniques is quite impressive & include motion charts (a la Gapminder), flashy 3D funnels, pyramids, pie & donuts, time series charts (a la Google Finance), data gauges, geographical heat maps & Gantt charts.

this launch is simultaneous with a recent announcement (googledocs.google.com) from the Google Docs team, who have added support for gadgets & the Visualization API in spreadsheets. this includes a set of gadgets created by Google & several other companies, including some that add pivoting, grouping, & other new visual functionalities.

will this shape the future of data visualization online? if so, how?

[link: code.google.com (visualization API) & code.google.com (visualization gallery) & google-pivot-tables.blogspot.com (Panorama software blog)|via google-code-updates.blogspot.com & arstechnica.com|thnkx Juan Pablo & Ali]

see also iGoogle gadgets & Google chart API.

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9 COMMENTS

Time line is really cool. Must visit.

Thu 20 Mar 2008 at 10:04 PM

They are nice. However the pyramid and cone charts are a classic case of lying with statistics

Thu 20 Mar 2008 at 10:35 PM
simon

I have mixed feelings. On one side, I think there's the possibility we could have this Google Maps effect where everything on the web looks like Google Viz, but on the other side, it'll get people to notice and maybe even get excited about data. This excitement over spreadsheets, in the end, will benefit us information / data visualists.

One might argue that with this release, people won't feel the need to hire someone like me, but I think it's going to leave people wanting more, which is a good thing.

Thu 20 Mar 2008 at 10:37 PM

@nathan

Entry level tools help raise the bar on the "higher" end of the spectrum. Your Google maps comparison is on the money, outside of aesthetics - how much has that platform changed the world of accessible GIS? Lots!

I'm not sure if these new Google initiatives will have that kind of effect in the world of infovis, but who knows. One can only assume more people having access to more tools is a good thing.

Fri 21 Mar 2008 at 3:34 PM

That pyramid/cone picture is an excellent illustration of "It ain't the tools, it's the skills". By making the commonest component, coal, the apex, and the least common components the base, the visualisation throws away what little advantage cones and pyramids have (i.e., the way the three dimensions offset the invisibility of the smallest components) and exaggerates the problem instead.

Which suggests that all this new interface will do is what Excel and Powerpoint did: give the same old incompetents the power to make even more new mischief, in the belief that they don't need experts now they have the whizzy picture software.

And argh! I just noticed there are *speedometer gauges* there as well! This is going to end in tears, mine at least.

Fri 21 Mar 2008 at 9:48 PM
derek

Very cute pryamid :)

Nice & Smooth news i will soon can create interactive iso map so ;)

Cyu ;)

AV

Sun 23 Mar 2008 at 6:28 PM

I made a test run for the Google motion chart and it works really well.

http://jpbi.blogspot.com/2008/03/motion-chart-provided-by-google.html

Tue 25 Mar 2008 at 6:27 AM

We Epic Systems together with Beemode (www.beemode.com) have developed a Data Visualisation software almost ready to be released soon.

We are looking for ideas to promote the software.
You can view our preliminary version at :

www.epicsyst.com/visual.swf

Your comments will be appreciated.

Hisham Abdel Maguid
www.epicsyst.com

Tue 01 Apr 2008 at 2:30 PM

The sole purpose of a child's middle name, is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Sun 15 Aug 2010 at 3:18 PM
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