PHPlot

This library written in PHP allows you to add a variety of different types of graphs to any web site.

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If your web site uses PHP then chances are that this chart library will form a useful addition to your site. What this library does is to take an array containing numerical values and convert that array into a chart. If it would be at all useful to be able to convert data into a chart then this library can do it for you.

Many different chart types are supported including line, area, bar, Line/Point. pie. stacked bars,stacked area, candlestick, and histogram. The library also provides you with ways to define the chart title and legend, where to place the legend, what colours to use, what to display on the X and Y coordinates of those charts that have X and Y coordinates and just about everything else you might want to be able to modify to get your chart to display exactly as you wish.

You can get started really quickly. Once you have installed the library on your site, simply select the example chart from the documentation that most closely matches the way you want your chart to appear. Copy the code from that example and modify it to use your data. The only things that you will need to change initially will be to use your own data as the content for the $data array and to change the text in the SetTitle call to provide the graph an appropriate title. Just about all of the other values set in each of the examples can be left alone to start with and you will still obtain a reasonable looking chart of your data in the style that you want. You can return to the code later and modify the other values once you understand what all of the different calls do and know which to change to what values to make the specific change in appearance that you require.

The huge number of options that this library makes available means that you can get your graphs to look exactly the way you want them to look just by setting a few simple values. If you decide you want your graph to look completely different then you can make the change without having to change the data array (unless you decide to change the data type).

Graphs make it far easier to see trends in your data that are not as obvious when you look at the raw numbers and this library will provide you with lots of additional information about your data with little programming effort.

 

This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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