Google launches animation tool so you can turn boring data into cool GIFs

Google wants to be the Giphy for turning boring data into awesome animated illustrations – sort of.

The search engine titan announced it has launched a handy animation tool that essentially lets you turn tedious number charts into slightly more entertaining GIF illustrations. The so-called Data GIF Maker practically allows users to set their desired parameters and effortlessly transform them into data visuals.

Google data editor Simon Rogers says the company built the app to make it easier for journalists to rely on data when telling stories; but virtually anyone can benefit from using the tool.

While the Google team says it typically resorts to the GIF Maker for visualizing competing search interest, Rogers explains the tool leaves opportunities for much wider application – including representing “polling numbers, sales figures, movie ratings” and so on.

Using the Data GIF Maker is fairly straightforward:

  • Enter your data points
  • Choose names for the points of comparison in question
  • Select colors for each data entry
  • Add explanatory text
  • Click ‘Download as GIF’ to generate the images

One thing Google unfortunately overlooked is the ability to select how the data displayed has changed over time, which means you will often have to add that additional information separately – in captions, for example. Still, hopefully this feature lands in future iterations of the app.

Now go explore the Data GIF Maker here and convert those sleep-inducing statistics into beautifully animated illustrations.

Just a little heads-up: The tool might take a few minutes more than you’d like to finish generating images – so be patient.


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