Trendalyzer becomes Motion Chart


Motion Chart is one of the visual gadgets available in Google spreadsheets.  This is best known.

But Motion Chart is one of the visualizations in Google Public Data Explorer, too.

Data Explorer also offers diagrams and maps.

The original trendalyzer from Hans and Ola Rosling’s Gapminder still exists and is periodically updated with new data. Rosling’s interactive bubble graphs are often integrated in fascinating videos where developments are explained.

Others have adopted bubble-graph presentations in their visualization tools, so i.e. NComVa and Prognoz (see this post: Africa).

A short overview can be found in this post: Trendalyzer and sons


Original post from 2008 below:

Google has activated the trendalyzer graphic style known and bought from Gapminder (thank you Marc Ringuette for the hint in your comment). Google integrates trendalyzer, now renamed Motion Chart, in its spreadsheet. There you can choose several types of visualizations, i.e. Motion Chart.

It’s like in EXCEL and more: The graphs produced from the data can also be exported as gadgets and introduced in iGoogle or in whatever website. The link to Google spreadsheet remains necessary and gadgets can be updated with new data. In fact you don’t get autonomous graphs as known from other trendalyzer clones (see trend graphs).


How to:
In Google spreadsheet data have to be highlighted and with “Insert -> Gadget” a Motion Chart can be produced from these data.



As a gadget choose Motion Chart



Give a title, check data fields … and it’s done


As with other templates it’s not easy to produce good graphical representations. Good concepts and clear messages are needed.

And here are two links with further help:



Try it yourself !

31 thoughts on “Trendalyzer becomes Motion Chart

  1. This rocks! I’ve been waiting for Google to make trendalyzer usable for some time, and this is an awesome how-to guide.

  2. I have been looking for a way to access this graph since I discovered it on TED. Thank you for the post! This is great, but is there a way to set the graph so that it not only moves but leaves its trail behind. Viewing Gapminder graphs you can watch it grow and at the end you have a snapshot of the completed graph. I want to be able to view the graph in its entirety when it is completed.
    I could not figure out how…and suspect you can’t.

  3. We are almost done. Minor adjustments to be completed.

    RFrank, we have what you need covered.

    You can register now at, and in a few days you can test the software by uploading data (Excel specification on website now) and getting the corresponding Flash charts. This is for a limited number of users.

    Hisham Abdel Maguid
    Epic Systems

  4. According to sources from Gapminder it seems as Trendalyzer is still alive and is developed by Gapminder to be the visualisation tool in building global regional and national statistical systems by use of social community software to get the contribution from many hands allover the globe. This is done in a very slow pace. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this project in terms of accessibility to international statistics at different levels geographically. I also discovered the other day that Trendalyzer has included meta data handling as as an integrated part of the tool. See

  5. Hm,

    I am having trouble when embedding a motion graph today, and noticed that the examples you publish doesn’t load either. Is it only me or do you also see a problem recently?

  6. I’m having real difficulty getting motion charts to work. What’s the simplest guide to use?

  7. One way to use this visualization is as explained above, but you can actually use this visualization with data from any data source, not just Google spreadsheet or Google visualization API. With libraries like GVStreamer you can create a feed (“Google visuaization compliant data source”) from your website that can be read by the visualization gadget. Check for more information.

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