I have a series of coordinates data which I plot onto an API-generated heatmap visualization using Google Maps API. The data changes daily, and I'd like to capture the heatmap and save it as a PNG or JPG image programmatically from within PHP so that a particular day's map can be recalled without regenerating the map and a number of maps could be sequenced together to show the changes animated over a given time period. I also need to be able to export a PDF report including a heatmap and this obviously would not work with a dynamic webpage frame.
Does anyone know:
of a way to save a Google-generated heatmap to a static PNG or JPG file, other than manually taking a screenshot and then cropping it to the bounds of the map? The solution needs to work in a GUI-less shared hosting environment as it will be deployed to many users with many different hosting configurations, the majority will not be skilled Linux experts or running a VPS; or
of an alternate tool for plotting coordinates onto a map and producing visualisations from this such as heatmaps, that can be saved into PNG or JPG files, from within PHP, and using only freely available PHP classes or default-installed PHP modules? (this is my prefered route if anyone has any tools in mind)