Google Bullet Graphs

Trevor Lott of, a service that provides performance reports for auto dealerships, wrote to me recently. Here’s what he said:

I’ve been a fan of your work for several years and have always been impressed with your willingness to share, be it innovations, ideas or feedback. It’s only fitting that I had you in the back of my mind when I was testing the Google Charts API a few weeks ago to explore the potential of the web service to create bullet graphs. I’m happy to report that it’s possible but wanted to take it one step further: to promote bullet graphs and help to increase their accessibility. To that end, I wrote up a quick guide to creating bullet graphs using the Google Charts API. Please consider it a small tribute for what you’ve given to me and the data visualization community over the years.

I appreciate Trevor’s kind tribute—especially the fact that he delivered it in the form of a practical solution to a real need. If you’re interested in producing bullet graphs using Google Charts API, take advantage of Trevor’s fine work, which he’s provided as a simple series of clearly explained steps. You’ll find it in Trevor’s blog.

Take care,


3 Comments on “Google Bullet Graphs”

By Create Bullet Graphs with Google Charts in 7 Easy Steps « HSI Developer Blog. June 5th, 2008 at 9:38 am

[…] This blog post referenced below was referenced in Stephen Few’s blog this morning and describes the several easy steps required to create a bullet graph using the Google API. Being able to easily throw these things up, ad hoc, in any web page is pretty phenomenal, if you ask me. The image below is actually a Google Graph: […]

By Grant Bentley. June 13th, 2008 at 5:17 am

It is possible to use the Google Graph api to embed sparklines and bullet graphs into Business Objects Web Intelligence reports by building the url of the chart with specific objects inserted as the parameter values within the url and making the cell display as html. I can finally recreate some of your recommendations for dashboard design in Business Objects without having to wait for them to stop filling it with eye-candy. Very easy to bring a touch of Tufte and Few, even to Business Objects :-)

By Stephen Few. June 13th, 2008 at 1:30 pm


Very clever solution. It’s amazing the lengths we must go at times to accomplish what software ought to make easy.