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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Using Google Visualization APIs for genealogy?

Quoting from Google, "Visualizations are small embedded objects that take structured data from a variety of sources and present them in new and interesting ways. Visualizations can be embedded on any web page by adding some simple Javascript and HTML. Many visualizations have also been wrapped as gadgets, for display on web pages or additional targets. This section of the Google Visualization API documentation describes how to embed both gadget and non-gadget visualizations in a page. If you want to learn how to write your own visualization, see the Creating Visualizations section of the documentation."

Many of the visualizations are map oriented. Here are a couple of examples:


The real maps require a degree of programming ability and are much larger and in some cases interactive. The gallery has lots of examples. The visualizations are available as images, gadgets and other tools. Visualizations built on the Google Visualization API can also use any accessible Google Spreadsheet as a data source. Using a spreadsheet is as simple as finding out the proper URL to use for a sheet or a range of cells in a spreadsheet to which it has access, and using that URL as a data source URL. The visualization can be an embedded gadget in the spreadsheet itself, a gadget outside the spreadsheet, or a non-gadgetized visualization. Google.

There are virtually an unlimited number of available types of visualizations, with more being developed all the time. For those who are not afraid to learn a little programming, Websites and online reports can have much greater impact.

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