The Google Charts Tools provide two kinds of heat map charts for geographical data, the Flash based Geomap and the HTML5/SVG based Geochart. I prefer the Geochart as it doesn’t require Flash, but so far there have been two shortcomings with it: I couldn’t add additional tooltip information and the default Mercator projection shows Greenland the size of Africa. Both of those issues seemed to have been resolved by Google. Although the features aren’t officially documented and released yet, Mitchell Foley from the Google Chart Tools team presented the new developments at the Google I/O 2013 conference in May already.
On 7th December Google published a new version of their Visualisation API. The new version adds a new chart type: Stepped Area Chart and provides improvements to Geo Chart. Now Geo Chart has similar functionality to Geo Map, but while Geo Map requires Flash, Geo Chart doesn’t, as it renders SVG/VML graphics. So it also works on your iOS devices. These new features have been added to the googleVis R package in version 0.