50 Google Charts Tricks for Your Next Classroom Presentation

Posted on 06.05.2008

By Britney Wilkins

Chartophiles and students, have you heard that Google has made it incredibly easy to generate your own slick-looking charts? It's true, and all it takes to make one is the ability to read and edit a URL. This has made it possible to get creative with charts and wow the audience for your next classroom presentation. Read on to see what's been done, and how you can easily do it yourself.

Fun

These are a few examples of people having fun with charts.

  1. Create Pac-man Charts: Google's own Matt Cutts describes how you can make a pie chart that looks like Pac-man.
  2. Tracking Christmas Cheer with Google Charts: This guide shows you how you can take a look at Christmas food and more in festive charts.
  3. Love o Graph: Get a good look at data about you an your crush using this fun tool.

Mapping

The API allows you to make creative maps-and you'll see a few different ways to use this ability here.

  1. Making maps with Google Chart API: With the Google Charts API, you can make maps and even place charts on top of maps.
  2. Easy legend generation for the Google Charts API map chart type: Your maps don't have to exist without legends-this tutorial will show you how to make them.
  3. Highlight a specific country: If you just need a simple image to highlight a specific country, it's easy to do it with Google Charts.
  4. Thematic Mapping with the Google Charts API-A Brief Tutorial: You can create your own red state/blue state style map using Google Charts.

Handy

The charts made in these examples are just all-around useful.

  1. Creating a GUI for the Google Charts API: Check out this tutorial to learn how you can create a nice looking interface to use with Google Charts.
  2. WeatherMole: This site uses a number of different Google charts to display weather data like wind speed, hourly temperature, and humidity.
  3. TheAirDB: Using Google Charts, this site shares stats about airports.
  4. Convert simple tables to charts: Here you'll find out how you can take simple two-column tables and turn them into attractive charts.
  5. Clocks with Google Chart API: Google Charts will return a nifty little clock face displaying the time in any given location, even changing the border to silver at night and gold during the day.
  6. Melbourne weather with Google Chart API: Although it's a horribly long character string, you can use the Google Charts API to create a weather chart.

Pure Data

If you're just looking for an attractive way to serve up data, look no further than these examples.

  1. Sparklines (Google Analytics Style) with Google Chart API: Recreate the sparklines charts that Google Analytics creates using the Google Charts API.
  2. Automated Polls: This automated poll site displays poll data in real time with Google Charts.
  3. Create Bullet Graphs with Google Charts in 7 Easy Steps: Using the API, you can put together extremely useful bullet graphs that display a single measure visually.
  4. Using Google's Motion Chart to visualize population trends: Analyze trends in population with Google Chart API and Motion Chart.

Tracking

Check out these charts that let you stay on top of visitors, Diggs, and daily activities.

  1. Twitter Statistics with Yahoo! Pipes and the Google Chart API: Google Charts makes it possible to create a scatter plot that shows how much a user "tweets."
  2. Tracking visitors: This code explains how you can use Google Charts to create a bar chart that reflects visitors per hour.
  3. Compare traffic: Use the API to compare traffic among different weeks to see how you've grown.
  4. Digg Bury Recorder: This tool uses the Google Chart API to stay on top of the buries that various Digg stories receive. Hopefully this will soon be available for other tech and financial news social media sites. 
  5. McKinsey Style Individual Consulting Tool: Using Google Charts in this tool, you can see which activities make up your daily life.
  6. Basic player charts for everybody!: This users has put together charts that track NBA player production.
  7. Google Gadget to Keep Track of Your Feedburner Stats: Visually display your Feedburner subscriber count with Google Charts.

Integration

Use Google Charts to take other applications to the next level.

  1. Google Chart API and AS3: You can place Google Chart API into ActionScript and Flex applications using this solution.
  2. Google Chart API Fun with Cocoa and F-Script: Learn how to use Google Charts in Cocoa with this guide.
  3. Using the Google Chart API from the server side.: Check out this article that describes using the Google Chart API to save on bandwidth.
  4. Creating Content with Google Charts: This post describes the usefulness behind tracking jackpots for bingo and gaming sites.
  5. Seaside: This post shows how you can make use of Google Charts with Seaside.
  6. Create a slick mashup with Google Charts, AJAX, Project Zero, and WebSphere sMash: Follow this tutorial to learn how you can integrate Google Charts with Project Zero applications.
  7. Excel and Google Charts: With Google Charts, you can easily and quickly make charts for Excel that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.

Finance

These charts are a great example of how you can use Google Charts to stay on top of your money.

  1. Track share prices: In this example, you'll see how to it's possible to see how a stock trades over time.
  2. Google AdSense Charts and Graphs: Keep an eye on your Google earnings with the Charts API.
  3. Calculate loan repayments: With the Google Charts API, you can create a GUI that makes calculating a loan repayment easy.

Business

Put Google Charts to work in your business like these people have.

  1. Building Executive Dashboards with Google Chart: You can easily provide information for executive decision-makers with charts created using Google Charts.
  2. Google Chart Server API generates QR Codes: Use Google Charts to make your own two-dimensional bar codes for URLs.

Education

Check out how some users have used Google Charts for school.

  1. Tracking Courses: One tinkerer found a useful way to take a look at the radiology tech courses and other classes that students have taken and plan to take.
  2. Plotting functions with Google Chart API: Here, you'll get a look at an equation parser/plotter that uses Google Charts.
  3. Track your grades: Start visually depicting your grades for various assignments with the Google Chart API.

At Home

These are just a couple of the things you can do to make home life better using Google Charts.

  1. FeedFlix: Get a good look at your Netflix rental patterns with this tool that uses Google Charts.
  2. Docoloco: This tool has used Google Charts to find and recommend places to eat and drink.

Showing Off

These examples represent a few extraordinary things you can do with the API.

  1. Put pie charts all over the globe: This guide shows you how to display data for different parts of the world all at once.
  2. A Wind Rose: You can create a meteorological wind graphic using Google Charts and a data feed.
  3. Scatter pictures with Google Charts: This post describes how you can turn pictures into a URL with Google charts.

Other

Here you'll find even more useful ways to take advantage of the Google Charts API.

  1. Google Chart Creator: You can use the Google Chart API to create your own chart creator, much like this one.
  2. Generator for the Chart Server API: This is another good example of a generator created with the Chart API.
  3. Accessible Google Charts: You can make pie charts accessible using this technique through Google Charts.
  4. Federal Contracts by State: This tool takes advantage of the Google Charts API to stay on top of how much money in Federal Contracts each state gets.
  5. Weight loss: This user has set up a chart to track his weight loss.
  6. Food consumption: With Google Charts, you can mash up with Maps and track something like pizza deliveries.