Why to replace Matplotlib with Google Chart ?

Why to replace Matplotlib with Google Chart ?

Here it is described how Google Chart fits better than Matplotlib in some situations.Matplotlib, as its name say, comes from Matlab, so the syntax is also very similar. However, it arises from the need to represent data within a Python environment in a few lines of code. The pyplot API is used to create the figures and everything works with the integration of the matplotlib library.

Most Python users are used to representing data with Matplotlib.

“Matplotlib is a comprehensive library for creating static, animated, and interactive visualizations in Python.”

Matplotlib, as its name say, comes from Matlab, so the syntax is also very similar. However, it arises from the need to represent data within a Python environment in a few lines of code. The pyplot API is used to create the figures and everything works with the integration of the matplotlib library. Using Matplotlib is the simplest way when the data is produced by a Python script and needs to be represented instantly on a single machine.

However, there are some situations in which it is necessary to represent the results within a web page, in a static or even dynamic way. In this way interaction with the viewer is also facilitated, since he will only have to access a certain domain from his browser. Integrating Matplotlib into a page written in HTML is achievable, but there is a better alternative and it is called Google Chart.

“Google Charts is an interactive Web service that creates graphical charts from user-supplied information. The user supplies data and a formatting specification expressed in JavaScript embedded in a Web page; in response the service sends an image of the chart.”

Web service is an application capable of making machines communicate via the HTTP protocol. For this, as we said before, with Google Chart you have the possibility to provide visualizations to anyone through HTML pages.

Therefore, Matplotlib and Google Chart need to achieve the same goal (the representation of data), but in a different way. In fact, while Matplotlib is a library and it makes use of the Python language, Google Chart is a web service and it makes use of the JavaScript language. Someone would know how it is possible to set up an HTML page that through JavaScript and Google Chart represent data produced in Python. Well, the “_intermediary_” between the two technologies will be Flask, a Python library that allows you to start a Web service in a very simple way. This is my choice, but you are free to use any other tool to have a web service in Python.

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