Is there a "standard" solution to represent data with charts in a Drupal 7 site?

Basically I'm measuring changes in several numbers, with data collected each hour. Therefor I'd need multiple charts generated from separate MySQL queries.

I've seen suggestions for Google Chart Tools: Image Charts, for the Charts and Graphs module, and plenty of others. I wonder how to judge these effectively.

1 Answer 1


Module comparison

To create charts in Drupal, the Comparison of charting modules is a possible place to start from for finding the module that best fits your needs. That comparison does include the modules mentioned here, but quite some other charting modules ...

This comparison also contains a Maintenance Scorecards section for all Native Charting Modules, which might be used to decide about using which "charting modules" these days.

Possible alternatives

Possible alternatives that should solve this specific question, are the Chart module, or the Charts module. Both modules can be used as an API (e.g by calling them from within a custom module). Or you can use their views integration which provides a new views style plugin to transform tabular view results into a chart as in these Charts previews and/or the Charts demo site. Refer to the Chart documentation and/or Charts documentation for (way) more details.

The Charts module ships with out-of-the-box samples which are straight forward to adapt to fit your needs, e.g. by cloning these samples in a new views display or a new view. Of course there are other alternatives in that comparison that might be a better fit for this specific case.

Selection criteria

The license that comes with the related charting library (engine) in each of these charting modules, should be considered also (open source or not, license fee, etc). It is one of the (important?) selection criteria for deciding on the module to go for. Some other typical items to consider are:

  • Possible privacy concerns.
  • Yes or no support for saving charts in PDFs (usually supported by PHP based libraries, and not supported by JS based libraries).
  • Flash based libraries should be avoided if charts are to be displayed on mobile devices.
  • Some libraries (like the Google flavors ...) require a working internet connection (not always available in local DEV environments ...).

Disclosure: I'm a co-maintainer of both Chart and Charts (confusing module names, I didn't invent them), and the author of the Comparison of charting modules.

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