As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Google has applied this theory in its latest method of categorising its wide range of APIs (Application Programming Interface).
In an effort to help the the millions of developers around the world who use Google’s APIs to build millions of apps and services, Google has created a rather nice periodic table-style infographic, showcasing its APIs and developer products.
Click image to launch the table
As shown above,the different API categories are organised by colour. Hovering over the category on the table shows correlating APIs and clicking on the API takes you to the relating information page. Smart.
Along the top of the table are the various categories – Mobile, Search, Gadgets, Data APIs, Social, Misc, Ads, Geo, Tools, and Chrome. Hovering over any of these will highlight the corresponding “elements” on the table below it. You can then click on any of the elements, and it will take you to the page dedicated to that API or product.
Again, smart. And useful.
However, not everyone agrees. A commenter on Hacker News believes that using periodic table as a cultural artefact “cheapens science”;
“The periodic table is not some artistic layout of letters, it’s science at its very best, one of the great results of the 19th century and the birth of modern chemistry. It doesn’t honor science to take, say, typefaces and put them in a funny-looking grid. That just mocks the idea that science can predict the way the world works.”
Another commenter on readwriteweb.com thinks the table shows “a lack of creativity in infographic design”.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Personally, we love this – it looks great, it shows a fun side of Google that’s seldom seen and most importantly, it helps make sense of Google’s wide rang of APIs. Well done Google, more of this please.