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Google Chart API update  (View post)

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
12 years ago6,397 views

Google has dropped the limit of 50,000 queries per user per day on the Google Chart API.

google-code-updates.blogspot.c ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It seems there's a lot of other new stuff in the API too: sparklines, country maps etc.

Above 2 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

(FYI: I'm getting a Bad Request on that "special URL" link.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

You're quick Tony, I just fixed it, thanks :)

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

That map generated by the API looks suspiciously like Google Analytics' visitor map. I guess it's just a static image, though?

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It's great and all since its first release of the API but i'd like to see the update on the charts api when you can display the figures on top of the dotted-lines or bars.

for example:


peibioalliance.com/files/bargr ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I'm interested to understand the business case behind this. Google is essentially saying "You never need to serve another chart again. Feel free to use our processing power and our bandwidth, no matter how huge your requirements are". There's got to be something more to this than "we thought it would be cool" (even though it IS incredibly cool).

My best guess is that Google gets two benefits: semantic data to crawl, and lots of behavioural/demographic data to help them target their ads better.

Google gets the raw chart data – the figures, the titles, etc. Google now has an easy way to index that data in their search results, without needing to try to analyse the PNG graphic files. So if you search for "third quarter cheese sales in London" you can be sent straight to the page containing that chart. It's a small but very useful step towards the semantic web.

Google also gets the behavioural/demographic data. Doubleclick has been doing this for ages with those 1x1 pixel graphics. Google has found a way to do the same thing in a somewhat less evil way, by providing a user benefit. Not only that, Google will have a way to track user behaviour over pages that don't contain Doubleclick ads, provided the pages contain a chart (or a map, or a gadget, etc).

Yeah, it's gotta be something like that.

I wonder if it's also a "first high-traffic test case" for the roll-out of a massive Akamai-like content-distribution system. Something like the "Internet 2" or similar that appeared on the famous whiteboard? The thing that Google hired Vint Cerf for (they must have hired him for something tangible over and above "internet evangelism").

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

(Added an update with your comments Roger.)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"My best guess is that Google gets two benefits: semantic data to crawl, and lots of behavioural/demographic data to help them target their ads better."

I don't think so. There's almost zero semantic data in those charts. It's exactly what you'll find in table: some columns with data. You can't describe or structure your data. You can't even say what your chart is about.

Google doesn't place a cookie when you load a chart image and can't get any behavioral data from a simple image.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> You can't describe or structure your data.

The chart labels?

> You can't even say what your chart is about.

The chart title?

> Google doesn't place a cookie when you load
> chart image and can't get any behavioral data
> from a simple image.

Their referrer logs?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Find the semantic data:

chart.apis.google.com/chart?ch ...

chart.apis.google.com/chart?ch ...

These are equivalent with tables and Google can index all the tables from the web without having to rely on tricks.

Probably the only value is that people might use Google's API instead of creating charts in Excel and saving them as images, so the text is easier to index.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> These are equivalent with tables and Google can
> index all the tables from the web without having to
> rely on tricks.

No, they can't easily index tables/ charts in images (unless they use OCR and more). This is a typical use case for the Google Charts API from a developer perspective: to replace other, perhaps more costly or more complicated alternatives. As soon as the Charts API was released, I replaced my old third-party PHP library for the charts at coverbrowser.com for instance. Instead of a mere image, Google is thus now able to get my raw data in structured ways directly. (Not saying that Google really has this semantic scraping goal for offering the API. Though, remember when they revealed what they really offered their GOOG-411 service for? blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-1 ...)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

<< No, they can't easily index tables/ charts in images >>

But they can index tables, spreadsheets, CSV files and create a special search engine for this type of data. Charts are just a way to visualize data.

Michael Kennedy [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Did you know that your posts are being stolen by SpotGnome? Your content is being stripped of your name, and posted on their site as your own. Here's your post on their site, with their copyright.

www.spotgnome.com/2008/03/18/
GoogleChartsAPIUpdate.aspx

I'm writing to you because this is happening to me as well, and I don't like one little bit. See the comments at the end of my stolen post:

www.spotgnome.com/CommentView,guid,c672cf17-39dd-
4abd-a263-6f0c78537daf.aspx#commentstart

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Sigh. Thanks for the alert.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Wow, that spotgnome.com site has several comments of blog owners writing in to tell the guy to remove his content. Doesn't look like he ever gives credit back to the original authors. I read at least 4 different comments were people requested their content removed but with no luck.

Anton Shevchuk [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I added "Radar charts" to service charts.hohli.com, but map type is more difficult :(

[Fixed formatting – Tony]

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