Google Analytics conjures up visual tracking

The web analytics program is stealing a march from Napoleon with a feature called 'flow visualisation', inspired by a famous diagram of the general's Moscow campaign

Google Analytics is rolling out a new feature that will help people visualise traffic to their websites.

Flow visualisation in Google Analytics

Flow visualisation will let users of Google Analytics visualise the flow of visitors around their websites. Photo credit: Google

The first feature shows users of the web analytics service how visitors are moving around a particular site. The concept is based on Charles Joseph Minard's famous graph of Napoleon's march toward Moscow, which details how many soldiers continued or fell by the wayside. It shows time, motion, and it tells a story, Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising at Google, told the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

However, the Minard model is still static, Wojcicki acknowledged. So Google took the information and made it "dynamic", Wojcicki explained, by integrating this style of diagrams and renaming it 'flow visualisation'.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Google Analytics now mapping visitor traffic on websites on

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