By now you will have a very good understanding not only of how PHP works but the flexibility and wide range of platforms and programming applications that you can interact with in PHP. You can confidently connect to databases and create textual output for the person browsing your web site to view, but sooner or later you are going to need to output that information in a graphical format. Sure you could fire up a graphics program and create a few good looking graphics for your site, but what about when your graphic is directly related to the data in your database?
PHP contains a range of functions that allow you to open, manipulate and output graphics to the web browser. During this chapter we will explore how these functions work and how we can apply them to display our data.
By the end of the chapter we will not only have seen how to create images on the fly, but will have built a practical application using these methods and concepts.