A short survey of some chart-drawing options for Python and Haskell

I’ve been thinking about chart drawing a bit lately, partially because I’ve been doing some work which needs it, and partially because I keep seeing pretty pictures like the ones here (or in these slides) and wondering how people produce them.

Perhaps old news, but today I came across the Google charts API, for drawing charts (line, bar, pie, scatter, radar, etc.) via URLs. It’s clearly not capable of the prettiness linked above, but seems quite neat for “workhorse” charting, e.g.

Example pie chart

I particularly like the maps option:

Example map

Naturally, there exist Python and Haskell bindings.

I’ve previously looked at NetworkX, matplotlib and gnuplot, all of which are a bit more heavyweight — though I think only NetworkX, if any, could handle the prettiness mentioned initially.

HaskellCharts was mentioned in the latest Haskell Weekly News.

Today I also found Cairoplot, Chaco (very plot-centric), and the fruity Mac goodness that is NodeBox — very pretty, and looks lots of fun, but not exactly a charting app.

Right. That should be enough to be getting on with, anyway…