For the Web hacker in you: Google Chart API

I have said it again and again and I will keep on saying it: I am a hacker, a tweaker, a fiddler, and so on. And Google has just come up with one of the most hackable Web API I have seen in years! All it does, essentially, is to allow you to chart data on a Web site, but it does so very nicely using a REST API.

Suppose I want to create a bar chart made of the values 10, 58 and 95. The following URI (all on one line) will display the desired image:


http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?chs=200x125
&chd=t:10.0,58.0,95.0
&cht=bvs

And the net result is this:

If you are a Unix hacker, then Google just invented the Web equivalent to gnuplot.

Update: Paul has some crazy plots! Here is one I like:

See also my posts Writing and Maintaining Software are not Engineering Activities, The death of computing and The end of SOA web services.

Source: Parand.

(In other news, Michael reports on Paperspine, a service where you can get books delivered to your home à la Netflix. I wonder whether they will invest as much as Netflix does on recommender systems? )

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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