Since there are a few chart geeks (ok, so there's nimh) here who put a lot of work into charts I figured I'd post a tutorial on how you can easily make beautiful image charts on the fly.
In web development, I subscribe to the strategy of "Abstracting through a standard protocol". A good example is in Google's charts api
. They let you use the standard URI protocol to generate beautiful chart and graph images that are made as soon as they are viewed.
So instead of using complex tools just to get a chart going, or using text tables it's as easy to make beautiful graph images using a simple url to Google's charts. If you are a programmer your application can be made to generate them automatically (the intended use for the api) or you can make them manually and display them almost anywhere on the web using image tags.
Here's an example.
Makes this image:
There are many different kinds of charts. You can even do maps like this:
You can read more about the url format here
and make any chart you want mannualy or you can use these tools to generate the urls needed for your graph: