Monday, October 13, 2008

iCharts - Create Interactive Charts Online

iCharts, a finalist at TechCrunch 50, provides a new way for looking at data charts. iCharts users can create interactive bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts. To create a chart users can import data from existing files or manually input data onto a chart. On many data charts the display is static, but in iCharts the display can become interactive. If the option is enabled, placing your cursor over the the data display will reveal more information about a particular data set. I think of this interactive option as being floating footnotes for your data display.

Charts created on iCharts can be shared publicly or privately. All publicly shared charts go into public galleries that anyone can search.

Here is a video of the iCharts founders demonstrating iCharts at TechCrunch 50.


Applications for Education
Creating interactive charts with iCharts is rather simple. In fact, for most students learning to use iCharts will be easier than learning to use Excel or similar spreadsheet products. The advantage of iCharts is the ability to make more information available on each chart than can be included in a static chart.

iCharts could be a useful tool for high school students in math, science, or social studies courses that require students create graphic displays of data sets. The option to embed an iChart into a wiki page is useful for classes that are collaboratively creating online content.