Google Chart Tools, Hmm…

So my plans for how best to visualise the output of ScrewTinny have been changing recently.

I’ve looked at using Excel to create charts manually. I’ve looked at Python chart libraries. I’ve looked at Google Docs. But now I think I might have found a winner – Google Chart Tools.

I’ve been agonising about how to deliver the results of my NLP text analysis. At the moment I’ve put a bunch of effort into creating charts in .Net so that I can inject them automatically into a PowerPoint using VSTO. It’s working fine but it limits me from being about to use the generated charts easily for web consumption from within Python – my development language of choice.

It also limits me from easily getting the charts on the web. And this is perhaps the most restricting element of my design decision. I had initially thought that I would use MS Office based documents (Word and PowerPoint) to publish my research. However I now feel that with the richness of HTML 5 and technologies such as Google Docs, I should think again.

I’ve just watched this video which shows how easy it is to embed data visualisation into a web page.

Google Chart Tools seems to be a great way to embed charts into an HTML 5 page. It also raises questions about where to store the data (Google Docs Spreadsheet?) and other logistical issues too but that’s for another day.

I’m going to be putting my Arcanicity Project code up onto Google App Engine and rather than chuck out a vanilla HTML page with the results as I had planned, I think I will use some tables and charts from the Chart Tools library.

You can have a little interactive play with the Google Visualization library here in the Google Code Playground.

I’ll keep you posted.

Danny Goodall

Posted in Charting, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and tagged , , , , , , .

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