Google has recently published a Pre-Alpha version of one of the newest Google Labs projects called Google Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables provide the abillity to visualize tabular data in various ways. Similarity to Many Eyes or the NY Times Visualization Lab are obvious, let’s see how Google makes a difference.
Fusion Tables use the Google Visualization API to create the visualizations. The currently available methods are Map, Intensity map, Line, Bar, Pie, Scatterplot, Motion and Timeline visualizations. The graphs provide rudimental interactivity like a basic tooltip for detailled information about markers. Many Eyes has a much broader catalog of visualization methods mostly created with Flash / Flex with a more extensive interaction model. Like IBM’s ManyEyes.com Google Fusion Tables provide an embeddable code to each visualization to take the graph with you.
Google focuses more on the data side of things with Fusion Charts. A user can import and export any dataset as a csv files. The data tables can be edited, merged, filtered aggregated and shared with collaborators. Collaborators can even discuss on rows, columns and cells with a built in commenting system. Nathan from FlowingData.com places the tool between Google Spreadsheets and phpMyAdmin in his review of Fusion tables.
Fusion Tables is in a very early alpha phase and therefore we can’t really make a statement about the usefulness of the visualizations at this point. We’re very keen to hear your thoughts about the service in the comments.