May 8, 2010 2 Comments
Recently I had a few reasons to review Data Visualization technologies in Google portfolio. In short: Google (if it decided to do so) has all components to create a good visualization tool, but the same thing can be said about Microsoft and Microsoft decided to postpone the production of DV tool in favor of other business goals.
I remember a few years ago Google bought a Gapminder (Hans Rosling did some very impressive Demos with it a while ago)
and converted it to a Motion Chart “technology” of its own. Motion Chart (For Motion Chart Demo I did below, please Choose a few countries (e.g. check checkboxes for US and France) and then Click on “Right Arrow” button in the bottom left corner of the Motion Chart below)
(see also here a sample I did myself, using Google’s motion Chart) allows to have 5-6 dimensions crammed into 2-dimensional chart: shape, color and size of bubbles, Axes X and Y as usual (above it will be Life Expectancy and Income per Person) and animated time series (see light blue 1985 in background above – all bubbles will move as “time” goes by). Google uses this and other own visualization technologies in its very useful Public Data Explorer.
Google Fusion Tables is a free service for sharing and visualizing data online. It allows you to upload and share data, merge data from multiple tables into interesting derived tables, and see the most up-to-date data from all sources, it has Tutorials, User’s Group, Developer’s Guide and sample code, as well as examples. You can check a video here:
Everybody knows about Google Web Analytics for your web traffic, visitors, visits, pageviews, length and depth of visits, presented by very simple charts and dashboard, see sample below:
And last but not least, Google has excellent back-end technologies needed for big Data Visualization applications, like BigTable (BigTable is a compressed, high performance, and proprietary database system built on Google File System (GFS), Chubby Lock Service, and a few other Google programs; it is currently not distributed or used outside of Google, although Google offers access to it as part of their Google App Engine) and MapReduce. Add to this list Google Maps and Google Earth
and ask yourself then: what is stopping Google to produce a Competitor for the Holy Trinity (of Qlikview+Spotfire+Tableau) of DV?