CoolData blog

10 December 2009

Cool motion charts – Part 5

Filed under: Data visualization, Free stuff — kevinmacdonell @ 2:08 pm

Here’s the fifth and final part of my tutorial on creating a cool motion chart from your complex data set. (Click here to go back to Part 1.) This part is important, and a little tricky.

See, everytime the flash-based chart has to be re-drawn, you lose all your preferred settings. Unfortunately the method for preserving your preferred ‘default state’ is not straightforward. I expect Google will make it easier in future, but in the meantime, here are the steps:

  1. Set up the chart exactly as you wish it to appear (speed, axis and circle definitions, colours, categories, etc. and starting point in the time series).
  2. Click on the wrench in the lower right hand corner, then click on ‘Advanced’ at the bottom of the box that pops up. This makes the Advanced settings available in the window.
  3. Click on the Advanced bar, and you’ll see a small window containing the ‘state string’, which will start out something like, “{“xZoomedDataMin”:0,”yZoomedDataMin”:0,”stateVersion”:3,”xAxisOption …etc etc”. Copy the entire string, and close the settings popup.
  4. In the title bar near the top of your chart, click on “Edit Settings.” Paste the state string into the area labeled “Default state“.
  5. Click ‘Apply and close’

Now your chart will always display properly whenever you load it up, and whenever you share with others.


  1. I think this has changed. While I did find this default state in early 2009, I dont see it now. I no longer see a way to set the state for a published webpage (through google docs, if you host yourself ofcourse you could include javascript to set).

    Comment by Sage — 3 February 2011 @ 3:45 am

  2. Hi there – yes, it’s been a while since I’ve revisited Google’s motion charts and in that time the feature has probably evolved. Sorry!

    Comment by kevinmacdonell — 3 February 2011 @ 10:20 am

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