To watch this animated Flash chart, please visit outside the reader.
Online spreadsheet programs like Zoho Sheet or Google Docs allow you to plot different types of charts and graphs that you can save as images and embed them in your blog or website.
The problem with these static image charts is that if the source data changes, you have to redo the entire exercise of creating the chart. Another reason - they do not look as attractive as their Flash based counterparts which we'll discuss here.
Th most popular toolkit for creating and embedding animated charts in web pages is XML / SWF Charts - absolutely free, creates dynamic charts and supports a plethora of chart types with animated transitions.
Create a text file that contains the spreadsheet tabular data and pass that as a parameter to the Flash chart. If some part of data changes, just modify this text file and the chart on your webpage will always show the current data. A brilliant software - very flexible and creates professional looking charts.
The only issue with XML SWF charts is that you need to upload the chart animation files and data files manually to some web server before using them on your webpages. If that sounds too much effort, you'll love FusionCharts which have a free version and can be embedded inside any page through Google Gadgets.
Just type your chart data inside this FC Google Gadget, choose a chart type, dimensions, color scheme and copy-paste the generated code in your blog.
The charts look stunning and like Google Finance charts, visitors can read the value by moving the mouse over the charts.
Finally, if you need a more visual interface and don't mind the company's logo, use the good old Rich Chart Live for creating Flash charts online. It's a web based Flash charting service.
[This post is based on a request from Holden Karnofsky who's looking for the best software to create interactive charts on the web - choices are FusionCharts, Dundas, Swiff/GlobFX, Aspose, PopCharts]