One of the ways to present and share information with others is by the help of an image chart. Image charts provide a way to alter the graphical representation in any way you want, including its size, labels, colors as well as the given data.
In this blog, we will discuss the benefits and limitations of image charts and how to create an image chart in 10 simple steps. So keep reading ahead!
What is an Image Chart?
An image chart is a visual representation of data that can be inserted in various documentation including but not limited to emails, analysis software, SMS, MMS, and several applications, like Excel, using special tools.
There are different types of image charts. Just like graphs, an image chart can display information in the form of a bar chart, pie chart, line chart, scatter chart, pictogram, histogram, polar chart and bubble chart, to name a few.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Image Charts to Display Information
Creating an image chart to display information from a given data set has several pros and cons:
- Image charts provide an easy-to-understand picture
- Image charts can easily be shared with multiple interested parties
- Image charts can help organize information in a well-structured manner
- Image charts can be tampered with to present inaccurate information
- Image charts can be misleading
- Image charts usually require additional explanations of the data (verbal or written)
How to Create an Image Chart
The most important section in this blog! If you are a beginner, just starting off with creating image charts, the information below might seem a little complex, but it will also provide a comprehensive understanding of the entire process. Follow the steps mentioned ahead and you will be a pro in no time!
Step # 1: Deciding What Type of Chart You Want to Create
Depending on your data set and the requirements of your project, decide whether you want to create a pie chart, a bar chart, a Venn diagram, a line chart, etc.
Step # 2: Specifying the Components of Your Chart
How big do you want the image chart to be? Do you want your chart to have multiple axes? What labels do you want on each axis? Should there be labels on the plot area of the chart? Do you want a trend line on your chart? Aim to answer all these questions before you move on to the next step or it can get frustrating later on, when you don’t have the answers when finalizing things.
Step # 3: Formatting the Data
Depending on the chart type you chose in step # 1, format your data in a way that makes it easy to read. You can use “simple text format” to make it more understandable. You can also “encode” your data which sends the image chart faster but can omit out some valuable information.
Step # 4: Modifying and Scaling the Data
Step # 5: Finalizing the Image Chart Size
Define the height, width and length of your image chart including any titles or margins. Keep your size within 300,000 pixels, with maximum length and width of 1000 pixels each. All values should be integers when setting sizes.
Step # 6: Adding Parameters
A parameter is an important value that will be used in the URL of your image chart. Parameters are usually coded in names like “chrtx” or “chm.” All parameters must be encoded according to the UTF-8 file format.
You must convert the following important aspects of your chart into parameters:
Step # 7: Creating Your URL
Your URL must follow a certain format which has the name of the software or website you used, followed by the parameters in your image chart.
Step # 8: Create Hotspots For Your Image Chart
Using HTML elements like <area> or <map>, you can create a hotspot map for your image chart. This will create regions on your chart than can be clicked on to get more information about what is displayed.
Step # 9: Choosing Your Method to Send the URL
GET and POST are two ways in which you can send the URL of your image chart. If you do not have a lot of data to include in your URL, you should use GET as it is easier to type it in the URL bar on a browser. If you are working with a complex image chart with a lot of parameters, we recommend using POST as it can hold much more data.
Step # 10: Send Your Image Chart!
Once your URL is ready, you can generate your image chart and send it to whomever you want! The receivers will get the image chart in the form of a picture with clickable areas to help them understand the information.
We hope these 10 steps on how to create an image chart were helpful! Comment below in case of any questions and let us know about your experiences of creating an image chart. If you need help making image charts, check out our website.