Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Charting Experiments

Data visualization on the web has been for a while an area without much innovation. You basically had 2 solutions:
  1. Generating a static image on the server side
  2. Using flash as a way to make more dynamic graphs
Unfortunately both solutions have their own limitations. For the server-side image generation it is obvious: the result is static. For flash: flash itself can be a limitation since it is not an open standard.
Since a year or so, we did see some simple solution based on canvas (html5) but now some groups are experimenting more advanced solutions based on web standard. 2 solutions that I really find interesting are Protovis from a Stanford University group and Processing.js from John Resig (Mr jQuery himself). They are still experimentation but they show a new approach with a real touch of innovation. Let's now wait to see if they will become more than lab research tools, I do believe!

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