Motion Chart

October 5, 2009

Since we are focusing on presentations, and every Friday tests each Interactive Media student on their on-the-spot presentation skills, we are constantly trying to find more interesting ways to keep our audience’s attention. We mainly rely on sketches and visual elements, however we are branching out and learning about various interactive methods.

With programs like PowerPoint getting a little old for most of us, people are turning to Adobe Flash and other creative forms. These are more interactive for the viewers and keeps people engaged.

We were recently introduced to one of Google Docs applications or gadget that is supposed to enhance the way we display a set of data or statistics. This free Motion Chart gadget utilizes a Google Doc spreadsheet, which is set up similar to Microsoft Excel, and creates a more interactive chart presentation online. By rolling over the bubble points (colored circles that depict the statistic that were placed into the spreadsheet) the viewer can see the exact point coordinates. Both the x and y axis can also be changed in order to see a new set of information.

To learn through emersion, we were asked to find a set of data that could be based off of our research or from another course topic and attempt to figure out how to use this Internet tool.

It was actually interesting to see how the information I found on non-profit contributions (throughout the economic recession and its gradual growth) from 2003 to 2008 have changed within different sections of the nation. It was a great visual way of representing the changes over time.

The only thing I wish would improve is the ability to edit the chart easier once it is created. This option is kind of limited so you had to go back to the actual spreadsheet and modify things in order to create a new chart.

Check it out:


One Response to “Motion Chart”

  1. andersj said

    I was hoping you were providing a link to YOUR chart and not Google’s…
    Anyway, when companies develop these new tools and unveil them the tools are not usually in peak condition yet, but just in a usable state. I am sure Google and others will continue to develop this concept and make it better and more flexible in the future. In the meantime, I got everyone in our class to focus on the fact that they should be using comparable data sets in their research papers! Victory!

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